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

Hit by a Farm

Hit by a FarmShannon is too busy to regale you with tales of cute bunnies this week, so I'm filling the gap with a review of one of the many books I read while the power was out.

Hit by a Farm, by Catherine Friend, feels more genuine than other farm memoirs I've read recently, although it's not quite so gripping as some since it's written like a series of short stories.  Catherine and her partner decide to buy a farm and 100 ewe lambs, while starting a one-acre vineyard, pasturing chickens, and embarking on several other adventures.  In the process, their relationship suffers from farm-related stress and the duo nearly splits up.

Sheep were an integral part of the book, and I definitely felt like I experienced shepherding in all of its glory (and pain).  I was intrigued to learn that guard llamas actually pulled their weight on Catherine's farm --- I've always considered llamas to be one of the pyramid-scheme livestock.  (You know, a few breeders make big bucks selling breeding stock to others, then eventually the market crashes and the llamas are worthless.)  Equally interesting was learning how essential it was to have a milk goat around to feed orphaned lambs.

On the relationship front, I think Hit by a Farm covers a topic that most homesteaders try to ignore (at their peril).  As Back from the Land details, more failed farms seem to stem from broken relationships than from anything else, so I was heartened to read about one very established couple who eventually figured out how to stay in love despite the farm.  I don't want to ruin the ending, so I'll let you read for yourself how Catherine and her partner made farming work for them.

Homegrown Humus is my 99 cent introduction to a healthier garden through cover crops.

Anna Hess's books
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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,

Relationships. Certainly an important topic and one most folks never talk about.

We got married in 1966. Eventually I learned to talk and listen. And now our relationship is better than it's even been. Amazing :). Who would have guessed!

I remember bringing some book to a counselor. He looked at it and pulled a book off his shelf. "This is the one that in my experience works." It was Harville Hendrix "Getting the love you want."

I have since recommended it to many couples. When they both read it, it works.

Keep up your great work :).


Comment by john Tue Jan 22 13:45:57 2013

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