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

Mud season hauling

Hauling tin

For some reason, we always want to haul a lot of heavy things in and out in February, despite this being the time when the floodplain is muddiest.  In previous years, we've stressed over the transportation issue, but we've gotten a bit more creative this year.

Ruffed GrouseB.J.'s cousin Dillon asked if he could come over and make some spending money for paintball on a couple of snow days, and we quickly turned him into a pack mule.  While I figure we'd save a little cash by running a motorized vehicle in and out, human power is actually pretty efficient monetarily, especially if you have a ninth grader on hand who wants to build his muscles for football.  He didn't grouse at all.

Meanwhile, we're embarking on a truck-share arrangement with B.J.  He needs a vehicle and we want to be able to haul things about once a month.  We figure if we get him a truck and he maintains it, we won't end up with the problem where a good truck goes bad from sitting around most of the time.  There's even a possiblity we might be able to borrow Dillon's four wheeler to haul the golf cart up to the trailer for some TLC.

Raking leaves

All of this means more time for me to do the things I love most --- like raking leaves out of the woods and kill-mulching spots for new berries.  Mark talked me into going a little overboard with our perennial order this year, and I felt confident enough that we'd have time to dote on the new berries that I went ahead and ordered red currants, honeyberries, mulberries, and a Siberian pea shrub.  With berry bushes on their way and a cat in my lap, this is very blissful time of year.

Our chicken waterer has been enjoyed by chickens world-wide.

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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 will be very interested to hear how the Siberian tree goes. I read about them a few years ago, and as I recall I liked them for their potential as fodder and hedge, but then I heard that they were invasive and dropped the idea.
Comment by Faith T Wed Feb 20 08:55:52 2013
How is the terraced hillside project going? Seems like a good place to have BJ help.
Comment by Gerry Wed Feb 20 09:38:37 2013
Gerry --- You might have missed my followup post last month on our chicken blog. All's going well there, but we want to give it some time to really settle out and see how the experiment does before terracing more. Hopefully it'll work so well we'll want do do a lot more, though!
Comment by anna Wed Feb 20 11:42:35 2013
I am curious to know why you bought one of these shrubs. Here in Alberta, they were what farmers used to cordon off their fields. They are super hardy (-40 F. no problem) and in the spring have lovely yellow flowers that look a bit like pea blossoms. They provide a great wind break too, but you won't need that in your treed location. I believe they are a relative of the cabbage family, but I could be wrong. (Maybe I am thinking of canola.) They form a very strong hedge and you do see seedlings in the spring but I would not call them invasive. They usually just grow beneath the established shrub. Birds also love them.
Comment by Heather W Wed Feb 20 14:12:02 2013

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