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

DIY garlic curing rack

Do it yourself solar panel tower and crop drying tower combination

The new DIY solar panel tower now has 6 drying racks and a roof.

Garlic will be the first test curing, but that's still weeks away.

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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 rocks!
Comment by Maggie Tue May 15 17:56:21 2012
I know! I'm itching to dig up some roots and give it a whirl.
Comment by anna Tue May 15 20:43:41 2012
Lookin good! Unfortunately its giving me more crazy ideas in which my husband will scratch his head in bewilderment.( Although I can get away with such things, I am the builder- he's the couch potato :D )
Comment by MamaHomesteader Tue May 15 21:50:22 2012
We should make that our motto: "Promoting crazy ideas for over five years." :-)
Comment by anna Wed May 16 08:00:09 2012
One of the reasons I still get the paper is for great articles to share, sometimes with my sisters, in Maine and on Cape Cod, to prove that life in Appalachia can be inspiring:) Well, Jack Mason , from Meadowview, VA, a retired Emory and Henry prof. has a wonderful article on solar possibilities. Go to for info on the solar suitcase, which allows doctors to provide emergency obstetric care. Mason refers to and explains that his own home has three applications: a passive solar system that helps with space heating, solar thermal that heats water, and solar electric--a PV system of 6 kilowatts producing more electricity than they use, so for the rest of their life all their elec. is free...What I'm interested in is a small sun-powered fan for ventilation (from FarmTek for $300.) He has made solar ovens from cardboard, cooking fish, meats, veggies--even cakes. A friend designed a solar system to keep his cattle's drinking water unfrozen: a 15 watt module, a battery and wire connected to a couple of light bulbs. Small apops can be built to power saws and drills in the field. You need 2 or 3 modules rated at about 200 watts ea., deep cycle batteries and an inverter to change DC to AC. This replaces gas-and diesel-pwered generators...mason sounds like a good expert in the field!
Comment by adrianne Wed May 16 08:05:16 2012

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