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

Giveaway winner and reading material

Young australorpsThis is a scattered, book-keeping post, so please take a minute to at least skim the headlines.

Giveaway: Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word last week and entered our consulation giveaway!  Fostermamas was the winner --- please drop me an email and we'll start channeling wisdom your way.

Reading material: There's no lunchtime series this week, but Weekend Homesteader: September is free on Amazon today and tomorrow to make up for it.  The four projects include spicing up your cooking, canning tomatoes for the winter, saving seeds for next Chick feederyear's garden, and building a homesteading team.  As usual, you can email me if you'd rather receive a pdf copy.

Free paperback: My publisher asked me if I knew of anyone who might be interested in reviewing Weekend Homesteader, so I thought I'd ask my favorite readers.  (That's you!)  This is your chance to receive a free copy of my book, quite possibly before anyone else!  If you work-for/run/have-an-in-with a TV or radio show, newspaper, magazine, or website and are interested in reviewing Weekend Homesteader, please drop me an email with your contact info (name, email, phone number, and mailing address) so I can pass it on to my publisher.  I won't promise anything (because I don't entirely know what to expect myself), but I will definitely put you on the list.

Reading club: I thought I'd test the waters to see if any of you are interested in participating in a summer reading club.  I have a huge backlog of books that I always mean to read, but don't, generally because they're lighter or more philosophical than my usual non-fiction fare.  Maybe if we read them together and discussed them on the blog, I'd have an incentive to buckle down!  If you're interested, please leave a comment to let me know which of the following books sounds intriguing (or to suggest your own), and to give me an idea of how many pages you think you'd like to read per week:

Pretty pictures: Are courtesy of our growing flock, who have enjoyed their upgrade to a bucket waterer and larger pasture!

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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 would definitely be up for a summer reading club! :) I'm not sure how many pages I could commit to per week - my time is pretty limited, on the one hand, but I'm a fairly fast reader on the other hand . . . Well, I'd do my best to keep up, anyway. My first choice would be Walden as that one has been on my reading list for years. After that, I think I would be most interested in one of the permaculture books, as what I've read about permaculture on your blog intrigues me. I keep meaning to go search out more information about it, but then getting distracted, heh.
Comment by Ikwig Mon Apr 16 08:39:13 2012

Sure, it would give me a reason to stop a read once in a while. I used to read all the time but now I don't feel like I can take time out of my busy day. I'm especially interested in reading:

Walden - I read it as a child in grade school, so I feel like reading it as an adult would be beneficial. Folks, This Ain't Normal - Salatin is my hero and I haven't read any of his books yet! Just in Case - I enjoy Kathy's blog and really need to read her book. Gaia's Garden - I'd like to expand my own miniscule permaculture skills.

Comment by Jessie : Improved Mon Apr 16 11:43:55 2012
Yes please! I'm another 'not sure how much time I could give it' kind of person, but I'd be happy to have motivation to read more brain feed instead of the drivel that usually lands on my bookshelf!
Comment by Steph Mon Apr 16 14:59:17 2012
Have you read anything by Carol Deppe? I'm reading The Resilient Gardener right now and think she would be right up your alley.
Comment by Charity Mon Apr 16 15:52:01 2012

Everybody --- It sounds like there's enough interest to give the book club a shot --- great! I'll wait a couple of days to see how the votes pan out, but it looks like Walden might be a good place to start. It's relatively short --- 200 pages in the paperback I have --- so I was thinking of us reading about 50 pages per week and discussing it in quarters. Sound good?

Charity --- The Resilient Gardener is on my shelf right now waiting to be read! I think it's going to be informative enough to turn into a lunchtime series, though, which means I'll actually get to it sooner rather than later and I don't need a book club incentive to read it. (And, of course, this is all about me, right? :-) ) Glad to hear a vote in her favor!

Comment by anna Mon Apr 16 16:13:29 2012
I'd love to read through Radical Homemaking.
Comment by Sheila Mon Apr 16 16:27:28 2012
Count me in for a reading club! I've read Ishmael, the Salatin book, and Gaia's garden (re-reading it now.) My book club reads a book every 6 weeks - that seems to be a good rate for most people. We read Ishmael and many did not like it, but it is definitely thought provoking.
Comment by De Mon Apr 16 20:31:27 2012

De --- Thanks for the feedback on reading schedules! I've never been in a real book club, so that really helps. :-)

Here are the votes so far:

Ikwig Jessie Sheila De Me Total
Walden 1 1 1 3
Ishmael −1 −1
Radical Homemakers 1 1 2
The Bucolic Plague 0
The Dirty Life 1 1
Folks, This Ain't Normal 1 −1 0
Small is Beautiful 0
Just in Case 1 1
Gaia's Garden 1 1 −1 1 2
Introduction to Permaculture 1 1
Comment by anna Mon Apr 16 20:40:45 2012
I read the Bucolic Plague - and I loved every minute of it!! It really gives a first hand insight into the idealisms of starting your own homestead and then being faced with all the things you never thought of. Some really humorous recitations of all their antics of two city slickers starting their farm!
Comment by Jayne Mon Apr 16 21:05:19 2012
Count me in especially with Walden, and the 2 permaculture books. I'm a slow reader. Just hope I can keep up.
Comment by Kevin Mon Apr 16 22:03:12 2012
I won! Woo Hoo! You don't know what you've gotten yourself into ;)I'm in the process of tearing up my suburban front yard and turning it into an urban farm. I would be up for a book club Walden read. It's one of those things that I refer to in abstract but have never made it through the entire book....and how appropriate for your first Walden Effect group read.
Comment by Fostermamas Tue Apr 17 16:15:13 2012

Jayne --- I'm not sure if that's a vote for Bucolic Plague because you really enjoyed it or against because you've already read it?

Kevin --- Looks like Walden and then Gaia's Garden are our top contenders now! Don't worry about being a slow reader --- if I try to set too many pages per week, feel free to tell me to slow down.

Comment by anna Tue Apr 17 17:11:34 2012

Fostermamas --- You deserve to win! I'll be looking at your facebook photos in the next few days. It sounds like you're at the perfect point in your homestead for some advice!

I feel exactly the same way about Walden. Let's see if we can plug through together!

Comment by anna Tue Apr 17 17:33:19 2012
I just came on here with the intention of voting for Walden. It took some time for me to decide. Add my name to the list, if that's how you're doing it. I like this idea a lot. ;)
Comment by Maggie Tue Apr 17 18:05:59 2012
Maggie --- Glad to have you on board! You're the vote that tipped me over the edge --- with six votes for Walden and only three for the next most popular book, it sounds like I'd better make my choice and get people reading.
Comment by anna Tue Apr 17 19:53:12 2012
Anna - no need to put a minus sign for books I've read - I'd still enjoy discussing them :-)
Comment by De Wed Apr 18 07:48:41 2012
I think Walden in particular would be interesting... I read a couple of chapters of it with my high schooler for her AP English class last month and found it curious sometimes, dry other times. Nevertheless worthy of the effort. Permaculture books might be a good idea if not too basic... disaster preparedness is a good idea if it doesn't get too political about the demise of our economy and marshal law, etc. Looking forward to whatever you pick!
Comment by jen g Wed Apr 18 09:50:32 2012

De --- Without the minus signs, Gaia's garden is looking better and better for book two!

Jen --- Sounds like we're on a very similar wavelength. I've added your votes and am glad to have you in the "club"! :-)

Comment by anna Wed Apr 18 10:59:55 2012
Count me in for Walden, but don't be scared off by the Radical Homemaker. I loved it and sent it to my sister, and I'm no Sally homemaker for sure!
Comment by Karen Wed Apr 18 20:25:28 2012
Karen --- I appreciate you saying that. I had a feeling the "radical" part of the title was more important than the "homemaker" part. Glad to have you in the book club!
Comment by anna Thu Apr 19 17:22:00 2012

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