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

A conversation with myself

Gardening in the rain

Author Anna: Working your garden while the soil is excessively wet or dry can break apart those soil aggregates that I wrote so much about in the last section. And when soil aggregates break apart, it only takes a little bit of compaction to force them back together in a more rock-like fashion with no handy air holes in between to keep the soil loose. The result is clods...

Real-life Anna: Phew, I need a break from all this editing! But it's raining too hard to spend much time in the garden. How about some heavy-duty soil digging to get my heart pumping and make me feel like I accomplished something?

Soil clods and crusts

Author Anna: Do as I say, not as I do. And use a long-handled spade for this kind of shoveling.

Real-life Anna: I used up all your cardboard again, Mom. Could I have a little more, please?

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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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