The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

A Halloween harvest

Picking peas

The first widespread frost blanketed the farm Halloween morning. I've been harvesting the broccoli and peas a bit at a time over the last month, but a low of 28 was enough to start damaging the remainder, so Mark and I spent the afternoon bringing in the last of the early-fall harvest. Cabbages, broccoli, peas, raspberries, and the last few figs soon lined the kitchen counter, and then it was time to head back outside to protect the late-fall bounty.

Measuring row cover fabric

I've learned over the years that it's not worth covering up tatsoi, tokyo bekana, and mustard. These tender greens do okay in the early fall, but even with frost-protection, they soon perish during November nights. So, instead, I just erect quick hoops over the last planting of lettuce --- currently in tender two-leaf stage --- and over most of our beds of kale. One kale bed I'll leave uncovered to give us more variety in our greens harvests before we begin delving into our covered beds in late November or early December.

Covering quick hoops

Goats eating broccoliAt this time of year, I always get lots of question about quick hoops, and I don't blame you. They're a beautiful sight in the garden, and tender kale leaves deep into the winter are a beautiful sight in the kitchen! All of your questions are answered in my 99-cent ebook Weekend Homesteader: October, and if you want to splurge, you can collect all of the Weekend Homesteader months in the paperback form. I hope that helps turn your garden into a year-round affair!

(Yes, the last shot is a totally unrelated cute goat photo. After all these weeks, you're still surprised?)

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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