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

Cleaning up the yard

Mowing preparationAll winter, the yard fills up with this and that --- cardboard leftover from a kill mulch project, chairs from a family gathering, dismantled pieces of a chicken tractor.  Since we don't have neighbors to complain, I suspect I'd never clean up if mowing season didn't roll around.

Starting last year, we have a new spring tradition.  The first lawn mowing afternoon is a two person job --- I run around picking up bits and pieces while Mark pushes the mower.  Some things just Early spring mowingget stacked up to expedite mowing, but I also fill a bag with trash, move building supplies to the barn, and take down quick hoops that are no longer in use.

I know I failed at my job when I hear the awful sound of the mower bogging down on a forgotten bit of junk.  Luckily, the piece of carpet I missed didn't do much damage.

If my house ever looked so spic and span, I might let strangers inside....

Our chicken waterer makes care of the backyard flock quick, clean, and fun.

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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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This is off topic, but it made me think of you and Mark.

Comment by Emily Thu Mar 29 10:20:30 2012
You should NEVER let strangers in your house;).
Comment by Jessica Thu Mar 29 10:24:13 2012

Is that an old electric ringer washer in the background? Does it work or are you planning to try to fix it if it doesn't? The abandoned house down the road from us has one sitting in the yard, and I was thinking of asking the neighbor who owns the property if he'd like to part with it. I thought it would be more fun than trudging to the laundromat.

~ Mitsy

Comment by mountainstead [] Thu Mar 29 11:27:09 2012

Emily --- We made a root cellar out of refrigerator a few years ago, but it was upright to make access easier, and a heavy rain made it fall over. We haven't gotten around to digging it out yet, but one of these days....

Jessica --- Yep, I think I learned that lesson too well in kindergarten. People think I'm odd, but when non-family comes over, I usually have them sit out in the yard. It's just so much more pleasant out there, and doesn't require me to obsessively clean. :-)

Mitsy --- I love my wringer washer --- it's the way we wash all of our clothes! Mark's Mamaw (grandmother) gave it to him when we moved here, and it's perfect for our farm since it doesn't need high pressure water, and can sit outside without freezing up. The wringer washer is also so simple that when something goes wrong, it doesn't take Mark long at all to get it going again. Mark keeps wanting to upgrade me, but I don't want a real washing machine.

Comment by anna Thu Mar 29 12:18:35 2012

I, too, juggle indoors and outdoors picking up: The indoors is motivated by visits even if they only pop their heads inside. But also because I have to try to sweep, sometimes mop, and wash sofa covers because of Tobin (my old dog). I do try to wash the windows off and on, too, just so the one over the kitchen sink isn't so grubby. As for the outside, I am the kind of "put-it-off" lawn-mower who looks at grass going to seed as another way to reseed the "lawn"! Altho I like the feel of a fresh- mowed yard, I can't bear to mow down violets, dandelions and ground-ivy unless there are other blossoms around. Well, here goes--heading out to the tiny yard I have. It may start up this time, or might not. If it does, I may try to mow inside Tobin's yard! It takes barely 1/2 hr for the whole thing. (And, actually, to wash my windows takes barely 15 min. ea. the way I do them...) So, to mow or clean, I have to first have the energy and determination to at least start!

Comment by mom Thu Mar 29 15:36:56 2012

Mom --- Well, halfway clean. We're saving the front yard for next week. :-)

Windows are the one thing I sometimes clean inside without guests (although not nearly as much as I should.) Especially in the winter, it's nice to have an unsullied viewing area!

Comment by anna Thu Mar 29 19:39:56 2012

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