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

Patchwork quilt garden

Oat cover cropRecent visitors to my garden have been drawn to the brilliant yellow-green oilseed radish leaves like moths to a flame.  They skip right past all of my edibles --- lettuce, broccoli, mustard greens, garlic, potato onions, parsley --- and beg to eat my cover crops.  I don't let them, but I am having a love affair of my own with the oats, even delaying cutting down the waist-high stand in the waterlogged back garden because I'm so attached to their beauty.

Late fall cover cropsThe garden is turning into a patchwork quilt of color --- purple swiss chard, yellow radishes, dark green oats, tan straw.  This photo shows the last corner of the garden that still needs to be put to bed for the winter.  I'll weed the strawberries and mulch them heavily, then cover up the few bare beds.  Due to my extensive cover crop trials and a moderate fall garden, there are only a handful of beds that have nothing growing in them.  A stroll through the vibrant garden fends off any winter blues.

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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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