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

Ecology ebook hot off the virtual press!

Sugar Hill: A Microcosm of Central Appalachian EcologyDuring the winter of 2008 to 2009, I quit my job and finally had time to work on a book about central Appalachian ecology.  I started studying the topic as a hobby in high school, majored in biology in college to round out my expertise, then worked for a half dozen years leading hikes and conducting ecological inventories.  When an acquaintance broached the idea of publishing a trail guide about a local park, I jumped at the chance to get those ecological stories down on paper.

Yellow Trout LilyAll winter, I wrote and polished, but once we got to the final publishing stage, the deal fell through.  Basically, the aquaintance and I had been operating under two different assumptions about how our collaboration was going to work, and neither of us was willing to bend to meet the other's reality.  (Note to self --- ignore Appalachian conventions and get agreements down on paper on later deals.)  For me, it came down to not wanting to have to be the one marketing the book --- how would I have time to obsess over my garden and keep you all informed about the most boring aspects of my daily life?

Meanwhile, I'd discovered that publishing ebooks just makes a lot more sense than publishing paper books for niche subjects.  With the success of Microbusiness Independence under my belt, I decided to publish my Appalachian ecology book in the same format.  As an experiment, I'm also making the entire book available for free on the Clinch Trails website.

Sugar Hill: A Microcosm of Central Appalachian Ecology
spans 300 million years, with tales of chemical warfare, sex changes, and murder.  The book is one part trail guide and two parts stories about our local ecology, flora, and fauna.  Even if you never plan to visit southwest Virginia, I suspect the book will explain at least one mystery relevant to your own ecosystem.  I hope you'll check it out and let me know what you think!

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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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