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

Cat's eye view of the garden

Cat in the garden

My dirty little secret is that I'm a workaholic...until you leave me alone on the farm. Then I have a tendency to curl up with a book and a cat and not emerge for hours.

Since I had several items on my to-do list to complete while Mark was away at school, I figured I'd instead take the cat to the garden and see if Huckleberry is as good at prompting me to work as he is at telling me to play hookie.

Box turtle

Of course, once I'm outside, the wonder of nature always sucks me in. Tuesday, I was clearing off the butternut beds in preparation for planting oats. The weeds had grown high in the aisles and the remaining butternut vines turned this zone into a wild area, so I wasn't entirely surprised to find a box turtle happily hanging out amid the greenery (along with seven overlooked squash).

The rings on this turtle's shell tell me that she's about seven years old (not quite fully grown), and I amused myself for a while imagining that my totem animal had hatched right here soon after Mark and I started reclaiming our core homestead from the wilds. After Huckleberry said hi, I moved the visitor over under the hazelnut bush, where she can find some peace and quiet amid the comfrey.

Young oat cover crop

Next door, the broilers were already hard at work dismantling my earlier planting of oats at the feet of failing tomato vines. Mark and I put the brooder in this area because I assumed tiny chicks wouldn't be able to scratch up the plants before their roots became fully established. Apparently I was wrong! At only one week old, the Red Rangers are already prime scratchers, so I may have to write off some of the cover crops in this zone. Oh well --- no huge loss since we'll get to eat the meat.

Stalking cat

"You're not paying attention to me," complained Huckleberry. "This is boring. I'm going to take a nap."

Good call, cat. I guess it is time for lunch.

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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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download the hi-res versions of your images. some of the shots are so beautiful, that they deserve to be zoomed in and admired section by section.
Comment by pedro Fri Sep 4 12:41:50 2015

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