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

Old Appalachian barns

Lichen on wood

I love old barns.  I hardly remember the house I lived in from birth through third grade, but the barn is still vivid, as are all of the other barns I've explored over the years.

Appalachian log barn

Mark and I enjoyed the opportunity to visit Sarah's farm Saturday.  We had lots of fun hiking and hanging out, but most of my photos are of the barn.

Inside log barn

I think this must be the local style for livestock barns because Sarah's log barn is nearly identical to the one on my aunt-in-law's farm one county over.  I was very jealous of the old manure still remaining in the stalls on Sarah's property.

Corn crib

Sarah's corn crib looks more modern, with its wire hardware cloth inside, but it still has a very nice sense of style.  While researching my root cellar book, I learned that corn cribs and root cellars both are probably designs stolen from the Native Americans, then given a European twist.  So perhaps structures like this have dotted the Appalachian landscape for thousands of years.

Our chicken waterer is the POOP-free solution for modern chicken-keepers.

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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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Remember how we used to climb way up the wall of the corn crib in the barn?

Funny you don't remember the house though. The middle room with the coal stove and the tub; the kitchen with the B&W TV; bedroom with cracks around the door to spy santa thru; back porch with its pump house and the flat concrete roof of the root cellar; and the addition, that will never be finished in my mind, with its stacks of material, unframed windows and doors to crawl behind. One day I want to go back and refresh my memory.

Comment by Mon Jan 7 09:41:14 2013
Very artistic and beautiful shots, Anna! I decided to put that manure to work yesterday and mixed it with some vermiculite to get my cold frame all ready for some mid-winter experimental seeding. :)
Comment by mitsy (aka, sarah) Mon Jan 7 09:58:17 2013

Joey --- It's funny how little I remember the house. I remember the feel of the cool concrete in the addition under my bare feet on hot summer days and I remember melting crayons on the roof, but that's it. In the barn, though, I remember the corn crib vividly, and the hayloft too....

Sarah --- I was very impressed by your seedlings under the lights too! I almost posted my photos of them, but they didn't fit the theme of the post. :-) I'll look forward to hearing how round two of experiments go.

Comment by anna Mon Jan 7 10:07:23 2013
The photos are very similar to the old barn at my cousin's place in Meadows of Dan. I believe they just pulled down the barn that my great great grandfather built on a neighboring property, but it was of boards and not logs like the images you shared. The one at my cousin's place is even older. One is still able to see that all of the logs are numbered. The old barn was up on a hill. All the logs were numbered and it was dismantled and moved to the bottom of the hill; like a grown up lincoln log set. The move happened some time prior to the turn of the century (1900.)
Comment by Charity Mon Jan 7 11:04:02 2013
Reminds me of my grandparents' barn and outbuildings in Lee Co.
Comment by Elizabeth McCullough Mon Jan 7 21:27:51 2013

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