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

First ice

Fall ice

Even though we haven't had a frost yet, weird microclimate effects resulted in homegrown ice Tuesday morning.  I'd let a little rainwater accumulate in the wheelbarrow, and the metal dissipated heat in such a way that a low of 34 resulted in a skim of ice.  Strange, huh?

Morning sun

Meanwhile, the sun has drifted low enough in the sky that we don't see light in our core homestead until mid-morning.  Although the north-facing exposure of our plateau makes me envious of our neighbor's sun, it does provide some dramatic lighting.

Do you think we'll make it to Halloween without a frost?

Our automatic chicken waterer makes it easy to leave town for the weekend without worrying about your flock.

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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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We were supposed to have our first frost last night, but it didn't happen. We knew before sundown that it wouldn't frost. So it will probably be a couple more weeks before the next frost opportunity happens.

I love fall. Made my first butternut squash soup of the season. Delicious.

Comment by mona Wed Oct 17 15:46:43 2012
Mona --- Those near misses feel like you got a bonus, don't they? So glad to hear you're enjoying the culinary delights of fall!
Comment by anna Wed Oct 17 16:40:39 2012
I never realized that you guys are facing north. My mom has property thats on a slope facing north, and I tried to explain to her that this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's good for her to keep in mind as she plans her gardens. It's good to know that you're working in a similar setting. Are there any major differences between your neighbors gardening techniques and yours because of this? (Assuming your neighbor gardens!)
Comment by Sara Wed Oct 17 17:19:24 2012

Sara --- Good question. Our neighbor doesn't actually garden, but we do a lot to work around being a on north-facing slope. The mule garden is located as far from the hillside as we can get and stay on our flat plateau, so we do all of our spring and fall gardening there. We also moved our laying flock to a pasture just beyond the mule garden so they enjoy winter sun as well.

I've been reading that a north-facing slope is good for holding early spring bloomers back so they don't get nipped by late frosts. We have a lot of trouble with that, and I'm thinking of trying out a few trees closer to the hillside --- they'd get more summer shade, but might miss those pesky frosts. So it's not completely a bad situation to be in.

Comment by anna Wed Oct 17 18:06:44 2012

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