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

Enjoying the fall colors

Foggy hayfield

I've been making a lot of posts about what's in my head rather than what's on the farm because my outside chores for October consist of weeding and mulching the vegetable garden to prepare it for winter.  A blow by blow would be pretty boring.

Napping in the sun

But I didn't want you to think I spent all week napping in the sun.  Huckleberry does that for us.

Fallen walnut leaves

In addition to giving me lots of meditation time to dream up new ideas, I enjoy autumn hours spent weeding because they let me watch the fall colors change from day to day on the trees...

Fall colors

...and on my plate.

I had a great shot of my clothesline fall colors too, but I decided it was just too risque for public consumption --- my underwear took up about 500 square pixels.  You'll just have to imagine the blue-gray trailer, the peach leaves beginning to drop, my rainbow-striped towel fluttering on the line, and a stray walnut leaf spinning through the air.

Fall garden

I think this is shaping up to be my favorite autumn ever.

Our chicken waterer keeps the flock healthy so they can enjoy crisp fall days.

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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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Anna your fall colors look a lot like ours, beautiful.

Like you I have used straw to mulch around my vege plants to keep moisture in and keep the ground from freezing. This is the first year I have tried a hoop garden. I would like to know if I need to put straw around my garden plants under the hoop? Thanks

Comment by Mona Fri Oct 5 13:01:33 2012
I have been working on fall preparations as well. Picked up 1 load of hay yesterday and 2 today. For me that is 30 square bales. I can fit 10 in my caravan with seats removed. Idk what you pay there but I got mine slightly old for $1 per bale. Figure I'm using for much and added insulation not animals so that's ok. Gotta do the math to see if I wanna do that for the composting toilet or not. I got a free handicapped toilet. Seat off the curb so just gotta figure where I'm settingt that up. Ill probably be the only one using it... and sorry if my post doubles it does that often from my phone for some rrason.
Comment by Irma Fri Oct 5 14:59:23 2012

Mona --- I like to mulch everything down, even bare beds, when I can afford the straw. That keeps the winter weeds from taking over, which will happen fast in a warm quick hoop.

Irma --- We use straw instead of hay because straw doesn't come with seeds in it. If I could get hay for $1 per bale, though, I'd snatch it up and use it for extra biomass under a kill mulch or for bedding in the chicken coop. I'll be interested to hear about what you choose to do with your hay, and how your composting toilet project works out!

Comment by anna Fri Oct 5 18:57:41 2012

I'm setting the toilet chair up in the basement as a second bathroom for now. I didn't do much with it yet as I had to go to work. (Stoopid job. :-) lol).
As for the hay, I got many uses including I stack some against the outside wall that has water pipes for my washing machine, I blanket my garden beds, (the seeds are imho an acceptable tradeoff for how much better my garden is) ( can't get straw cheap enough) some in my front yard for halloween then let it rot there, it helps the grass, and probably for the start of my humanure pile. This straw is slightly moldy so I wouldn't use it for chicken bedding. Oh and the lady I met from craigslist that I got the hay from has a pile of black gold (well composted horse manure) that she is willing to let me have some for free.

Comment by Irma Fri Oct 5 19:40:24 2012
Irma --- Well-rotted horse manure is my very favorite form of compost. Good work finding some for free!
Comment by anna Sat Oct 6 07:48:14 2012

There is a couple places that give it for free, this is the most aged I have found though. Today I repurposed a yard swing into a trellis for next years peas. My daughter made me take a picture cause she thinks Im brilliant and that I should send it to "that website your always talkin about"

Comment by Irma Sat Oct 6 20:34:28 2012
Irma --- I'd love to see your yard swing pea trellis! If you do take some shots, you can email it to
Comment by anna Sun Oct 7 08:08:44 2012

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