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

Cognitive behavioral photo therapy

Early farm photo

Thousand-gallon tank"Sometimes I feel like we're moving backwards!" I complained to Mark on Monday.  From time to time, I'm guilty of what Mark calls stinking thinking, especially when a farm problem I thought we'd licked raises its ugly head again.  In this case, I was responding to a wily chicken flying into our core homestead, something that was never an issue until last fall, and which I thought we'd since dealt with.  But, in typical drama-queen fashion, one hen incursion can quickly make me think the whole farm is devolving back into the mass of thorn bushes we originally moved into.

Mark props me up well when I go down the wrong mental pathways, but the real solution is to look back at photos from six years ago, before we even started our blog.  During my most recent photo-therapy session, I stumbled across these fun photos from the day when Mark talked me into splurging on a thousand-gallon tank we'd found on Craigslist.  I was dubious about the price tag, but was quick to help as we rolled it up the hill to its current location.  That tank has since made life so much easier!  Except when the ground is frozen solid, there's no more carrying water on our agendas.

Young vegetable garden

HomesteadOr how about these photos of our young homestead, when we only had one garden patch (pure shade in the winter), hadn't learned about quick hoops, and didn't have a single porch to lounge on?  Even I can see we've come a long way since then.

Hudkleberry in the doghouse

Okay, Mark, you're right --- our homestead looks better every year!  Now, if only we could train the orneriness out of Huckleberry....

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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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In beginner's overwhelm, I wondered if it would still be happening years down the road. And I wake up this morning to find you affirming what I'd figured - sometimes it still does. Congratulations on your wonderful home.
Comment by Aggie Fri Jan 31 09:24:41 2014

Mark & Anna I enjoy your daily postings. You may have to clip one wing of the flyer. I have had to resort to this on a few occasions. After she tries and fails a few times she will forget about the escape efforts. She really will be at no greater risk from predators.

Comment by Mike Fri Jan 31 09:52:11 2014
Mike --- That is the obvious solution, but unfortunately doesn't seem to help with this batch of hens. We ran through that, plus about half a dozen other solutions before finally putting the worst offenders in the chicken tractor last fall, which is why it's so frustrating to have the issue crop back up. But I've got some outside-the-box solutions lined up, so hopefully we'll crack the problem faster this time.
Comment by anna Fri Jan 31 10:18:25 2014

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