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

Pet tomatoes

String training tomatoes

What do goats and tomatoes have in common? When you raise them by the dozen, it's all about a herd mentality --- damage control. But with just a few on the farm, each one turns into a cosseted and cared-for pet.

This year, we have four pet tomatoes rather than our usual three dozen. With so few looking for homes, I was able to chose niche habitats for each. Two are beneath our west-facing roof overhang and got trained along strings while the other two are in a more conventional garden setting. I'll be curious to compare and contrast which setting does better when the time comes to harvest from our pets.

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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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