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

Christmas summer

Goat eating winter grass

This winter has thus-far been as abnormally mild as last winter was abnormally cold. Usually, our grass is entirely dormant by now, but new growth keeps popping up to our goats' delight. And we're barely delving into the quick-hoops greens yet since there's still masses of kale and brussels sprouts to eat in the main garden. Our firewood supply is also in particularly good shape since it looks like we're only going to use half as much wood as Raspberry leavesI'd alloted for December despite lighting the stove whenever Huckleberry complains about the interior temperature dropping below 62.

On the other hand, a few plants are getting confused, especially since we had a cold spell in November to pile on the chill hours. During our jaunt to the big city yesterday, I noticed cherry trees blooming along the streets. And even though our fruit trees thus far seem to still be asleep, a few fresh leaves are poking out on certain raspberry canes. This kind of midwinter growth is almost certain to be frozen in the near future.

I'd be concerned about bad bugs not getting knocked back enough by a mild winter, but our weather is as changable as Huckleberry's moods. So I think chances are pretty good we'll still see a cold spell before true spring comes 'round again.

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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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