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

An average day

Morning garden
"Dear Anna: as a would-be homesteader and blogger, I was wondering what your normal day on the homestead looks like in terms of time spent in the garden versus online blogging or documenting your experiences? I'm sure it varies according to the season, but I am still curious as to what a typical day looks like for you and Mark. Thanks!"
--- Karen

I put off answering Karen's question because I kept thinking I'd posted about our average day before, but I couldn't seem to find the page.  So, I apologize if this is a repeat....

Afternoon garden

After a couple of years on the farm, Mark and I came to a compromise we could both be happy with about working hours --- 9 to noon, then 1 to 4.  During warm weather, we spend the first chunk working outdoors and the second chunk on money-making tasks (swapping the order in the winter).  You hear about the outdoors portion of our day all the time, and can probably guess that the other half consists of making chicken waterers (both of us, or sometimes various helpers), mailing those waterers (Mark), writing (me), and keeping our online empire running (mostly me).

Evening garden

Of course, there are also the parts of the day that don't really count as work (if any of it does, which is up for debate).  I start half an hour earlier than Mark does so I can feed the chickens and walk Lucy.  Mark takes the afternoon shift, bringing in the eggs and giving Lucy another training walk after "work."  Cooking doesn't count as work (unless there's a lot of excess to be preserved), and neither does blogging.

No matter how you divide up work and non-work chores, Mark and I have a lot of leisure time to use as we wish.  Mark has been enjoying a post-lunch nap most days lately, and I've always got a book on hand to fill those free hours (if Huckleberry doesn't need extra spoiling).  Excess time never seems to be a problem, though --- I would be quite happy if days were 48 hours long --- which I guess is a good sign that both the work and non-work parts of our day are fulfilling.  I hope you can develop a structure that feels the same!

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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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Before I retired, I used to have to use weekends to catch up with the bare essentials of keeping track of what needed to be fixed around the house (for ex. if in this season, checking the heaters, going thru the fridge, checking fluids in the car...) and I wonder if you do these "maintenance" jobs as part of your own weekend, or as they come up? But maybe, being who you are, you have these down on your "to-do" lists? Our friend, Tina, was talking the other day about how she and her husband each have their lists, and her husband chimed in to say that sometimes he "cheats" and puts things on his list that he can cross off, since, for him, the satisfaction is that he finishes everything on the list, more than just the actual accomplishment (say, for me, of re--potting a citrus plant, to get it ready for winter).

I guess the weather plays a big role in your planning--right?

But, getting back to being retired, now: I still try to have a balance, so I don't endure too many consecutive days indoors; but, actually, I confess, I'm not in the same physical shape I once was, so I try to vary my outdoors "work" too.

Comment by adrianne Sat Oct 5 09:19:21 2013

Mom --- I considered adding a note about housework in my post, but left it out. The basics (dishes) aren't on our lists, but we do put larger household repairs and such on our to-do list. On the other hand, basic cleanup (sweeping, windows) aren't on the list, which is probably why they never happen! :-)

I'm like Tina's husband --- crossing things off the list is a huge reward. :-)

Comment by anna Sat Oct 5 13:51:19 2013

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