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

Backup blackberries

Bowl of blackberries

For the second time since we moved to the farm, all of our cultivated blackberries died to the ground over the winter.  The bushes quickly sent up new stalks in the spring, but since most brambles fruit on last year's growth, that meant no blackberries for us this year.

Or maybe not.  I was thrilled to see that a wild blackberry plant Mark accidentally left in the gully last year is loaded with big, tart fruits.  Blackberries spring up in our area anywhere there's light and not too much disturbance (aka mowing), and I picked lots of these wild blackberries when I was a kid.  As an adult, I prefer to spend a bit more effort tending cultivated varieties since the plants are thornless, the fruits are bigger and sweeter, and they're handily located right outside my door.  But it sure is nice to have backup blackberries when our thornless plants fail!

Green baby frog

We don't use most of our 58-acre farm for anything, but at times like this, I appreciate the way nature fills in the gaps.  And, speaking of nature, dozens of these tiny green frogs hopped out of our sky pond this week.  Even though they're green, I'm 99% sure these are baby gray tree frogs, who will resemble their name better in a few weeks.  Go find a tree, little frog!

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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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