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

Compost cycles

New compost pile

Last year's pile of garden-weeds-and-kitchen-scraps compost is pretty much empty. You can see what remains of it in front of one of the covered fig trees in this photo. Basically, a few okra stalks and squash vines weren't entirely composted, but everything else has been spread on the garden to feed spring carrots and summer tomatoes.

The next round of garden fertilization will come from goat-barn leavings, but I'm already building the third installment in the series. The pile in the foreground of the photo comes from beds cleared to make way for broccoli and cabbage...and maybe the resulting humus will feed more broccoli and cabbage in the fall?

Circles and cycles. Closing the fertility loop is a bit like saving seeds. You have to think months ahead, but once you get your plans down pat there's not much extra effort involved.

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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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