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

Homesteading internship teaser


Study group10 acres of pasture in need of TLC.

48 acres of Appalachian forest.

Two springs and a pond.

A naturally air-conditioned sinkhole.

A fallen down barn.

Two miles from our house.

A non-profit willing to partner on our homesteading plan.

A well-established intentional community that just might dip their finger in the pie.

Looks like a much more interesting internship program than I'd originally envisioned.

But dozens of wrinkles still need to be ironed out before we can make an announcement.

So this is a teaser.  Maybe.  Maybe not.

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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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Comment by Amanda Suzzi Wed Nov 9 09:01:30 2011
I know! Pretty exciting! It's hard not to enthuse on the blog even though there are lots of ways this wouldn't become a reality.
Comment by anna Wed Nov 9 09:58:03 2011
this post has stirred my wanderlust something fierce. be careful or you might end up with my family on your door step looking for something to do. you could use a family of three right? :) it's hard to not pondering using our savings (freshly harvested from Wells Fargo) and buy an RV and hit the road!
Comment by kevin Wed Nov 9 10:43:49 2011

I was so happy with my first caretaker (not intern as I'm not around that much - but not paid, completely barter), that I have a second caretaker (a couple) on my way out to my homestead. The first has a lifetime and then some of serious construction and backwoods/forestry experience. The couple who are moving clear across the US in a beat up minivan for the barter opportunity have more energy, homesteading interest, and will be taking the lead on garden development, orchard, and livestock in addition to helping with some construction (everyone has to pitch in to build another shed for the new folks to camp out in.)

I hope that if it does work out, you get just the right folks! And if the first don't mesh; don't give up; try again! I've been happy thus far and my place is way more remote and off-grid than yours. :)

Comment by Charity Wed Nov 9 14:41:47 2011

Kevin --- Don't get that RV just yet. This property is a bit too remote for low-clearance motorized vehicles. If it pans out, year 1 interns will be tent-camping for the summer.

Charity --- That's just the kind of perfect situation we'd like to see materialize in our neck of the woods. We're not looking for caretakers in year one, but are excited by the possibility of meeting more likeminded people face to face.

Comment by anna Wed Nov 9 17:14:35 2011
Wow. I'm kind of stunned. I can't think of any other time in the last... 15 years that I've ever heard you say that you were looking forward to meeting anyone human face to face.
Comment by Heather Thu Nov 10 11:30:30 2011

Hey, I don't dislike people face to face. I'm just picky about who I see, and I like to see them in small doses, which means the more local they are the better.... :-)

More seriously --- Mark and I have been starting to feel the urge to build more local community. I adore folks like you, but you're so far away! It's hard to ask you to come over and help me gorge on ripe strawberries....

Comment by anna Thu Nov 10 18:59:16 2011

"Hey, I don't dislike people face to face. I'm just picky about who I see, and I like to see them in small doses"

I'm honored to have been invited last year. :D Believe me, I totally understand the antisocial/picky streak. I have it myself. Especially in large groups, etc.

I've been feeling the itch to disappear into the woods permanently again lately... probably my dissatisfaction with society in general, and of course the same life situation I have been dealing with for 3+ years.

Comment by Shannon Sun Nov 27 14:25:21 2011

You should feel honored --- you are one of the very few blog readers who we've had on the farm. (Maybe only you and Everett?)

I'm sorry to hear that things are still difficult! I hope you find the right balance where you can enjoy the woods and not just retreat to them.

Comment by anna Sun Nov 27 15:14:36 2011

Wow... I'm even more honored now that I know how tough a cut it is to make!

I hope one day I am able to visit again some time. Spending time in the yurt is a memory I am quite fond of.

Comment by Shannon Sun Nov 27 23:16:16 2011
You're very welcome, especially if you make it up during the winter (but after the holidays are all safely done...) A bit chilly, but you seemed to handle it great last time!
Comment by anna Mon Nov 28 11:40:24 2011

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