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

Daffodil farmers

Digging daffodils

Back before Mark came up with his chicken waterer invention, we were running with every microbusiness idea we could think of.  One of the first was selling the daffodils that had multiplied like rabbits between when the last humans left this farm and when we came to take the land back several decades later.  That March, I sold budding daffodil bulbs for about 25 cents apiece on ebay and thought I was making a killing --- those couple of hundred bucks were much appreciated since we were getting a farm going on about $12,000 per year.

Always the long-term thinker, Mark talked me into planting some of the bulbs out in rows in what was then unused land (and which later became the forest garden).  He figured the plants would divide, and then one day we might become daffodil farmers.  Substitute teaching was getting old fast, and Mark was willing to grasp at any straw that would get him out of the classroom.

Backpack of daffodils

Our current microbusiness derailed the flower plan, but the daffodils multiplied anyway.  So I give away as many as I can every year until it starts to feel like I'm pawning off unwanted kittens on my family and friends.  I was able to talk Mom into taking home a backpack full this weekend, but have many more looking for a home.  If you're local and in need of daffodils, just let me know how many dozen you'd like!

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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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I want some! But I'm in China. If I were back in Ohio where I belong I would so drive down there to get some. And to see your farm-- if you'd let me? I love your blog, and I so want to do what you're doing someday. sigh Happy Spring!
Comment by Dreamer Sun Mar 17 08:29:09 2013
Oh my! I wish I were local. Daffodils are my all time favorite flower. Every year I try to buy a bag of bulbs and plant them. It's my dream to have an entire lawn of daffodils some day! :-)
Comment by Michelle Sun Mar 17 08:40:44 2013
Good luck...I feel your pain. The tiny little house I bought on a quarter acre lot a few years ago was loaded down with iris plants. I have given trashbags full of them away and I am still looking for people to take more. I swear, they are more prolific than any rabbit ever thought of being. If I don't stay on top of dividing them, they don't bloom. Still, I can't bring myself to just throw any out.
Comment by Ed Sun Mar 17 10:52:43 2013
I'd be willing to Paypal for shipping for a chicken waterer box full!
Comment by n Sun Mar 17 14:59:18 2013
n --- Email me ( and we'll see what we can do. :-)
Comment by anna Sun Mar 17 15:38:29 2013

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