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

Finding time for flowers

Trellis window

Mark looked at me like I was nutty when I told him our core homestead felt smaller this year.  "You do realize we expanded the boundaries in a couple of places, don't you?" he asked.  Well, yes, I do know that our core homestead is actually bigger in a spatial sense, but we seem to be starting to hit the fewer-weeds plateau that established gardens eventually acquire, which gives me tidbits of time for play even during the height of planting season.

Shade trellisThis week's play has consisted of planting two beds of flowers, something I never seem to find time for in the spring, but always regret when summer rolls around flower-free.  One bed is an area I kill-mulched in front of our south-facing bank of windows last fall.  I added a trellis and Dani's mystery beans in the back of the bed, then set out some seedling sunflowers, zinnias, and marigolds that I'd started inside a couple of weeks ago.  I hope the result will be a shady trailer interior this summer, along with a pretty view when we eat on the porch.

The other bed is similar, but minus the beans and located in the forest garden.  That spot is really for the bees since there's no often-used human zone nearby.

Of course, most of my garden time has been spent on more worthwhile pursuits, such as weeding and planting.  Even though we could have a frost anytime during the next two weeks, the 10-day forecast looks freeze-free, so I put in green beans, mung beans, sweet corn, cucumbers, crookneck squash, watermelons, okra, and basil seeds last Friday.  After a weekend of heavy rain, I expect to see sprouts any day now and am hoping our late spring won't mean a late summer after all.  If the weather decides to be tricky and slam us with a late frost, I can just replant --- it's worth risking a couple of dollars' worth of seeds for the chance of early harvests.

The Avian Aqua Miser is a POOP-free watering system for backyard poultry of all types.

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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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Hi Anna and Mark, I don't know if you'd consider doing this (I know it is a little invasive), but I've been reading your blog for years and would be so curious to see some more shots (a tour of sorts) of your guys' trailer. It seems like it's really cozy and and I'd be curious to know how you guys fixed it up.

Comment by Katie Thu May 2 19:01:37 2013
Your place looks so different since we saw it, but I see you still have the chair. :-)
Comment by Brandy Thu May 2 19:04:49 2013
I'm really jealous! We can't safely plant for another month. I might try to sneak in some potatoes, carrots and beets but anything else would just have to be replanted. Real gardening is still a ways off :(
Comment by Elizabeth Thu May 2 23:15:12 2013
Katie --- One of these days I'll probably do an inside-trailer tour, but there's not really much to look at. We haven't spent much time rehabbing the inside, so most of it is the original fake-wood paneling. What might be more handy is a floor plan since we have knocked out walls to change the usable space. I'll mull that over and make a post eventually. :-)
Comment by anna Sat May 4 10:40:54 2013

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