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

Question of the week

I am very much interested in wanting to live this type of lifestyle. However I am a city boy. What advice would you give to someone like me?


MapMy first suggestion for someone like yourself is the old phrase realtors throw around. Location. Location. Location. When I'm unsure of what part of the planet I should be near I cover my walls with maps of potential spots.

There are several factors to consider in your deduction process and it can get overwhelming very quickly. Choose your top three locations and begin to educate yourself with as much information from these places as you can handle. Give yourself at least a couple of weeks to marinate in all the possibilities your favorite three might hold. With any luck you may recieve some guidance from your subconscious in the form of a dream, a synchronistic event, or some kind of sign or omen that may help to steer you in the right direction. Plan some field trips to the places in question and start doing some good old fashioned exploring.

No matter how much money you have to spend on such a project, the goal should be to find the best deal you're most comfortable with. Most people in the United States don't realize just how much affordable land is still out there in this country and a lot of it is never advertised. Choose one of your three locations and commit to living there for a month or two. Find an affordable place to rent while you intensify your search for the perfect piece of property that will fit you like a well worn work glove.

A real estate agent can be very helpful and exhausting at the same time. Choose yours wisely and don't be afraid to dump them if you're not happy with the attention you're getting. Investigate the foreclosure properties in the area. Drive around with your imagination open and be on the look out for run down and abandoned properties. Once you find one that may fit your needs go to city hall and look it up in their tax records. Contact the owner and express your interest. Some folk may even offer you a "land contract" which basically means you bypass the bank and pay the owner payments. SatireThe most important part of a journey like this is your intention. It helps to rate your desire for change on a scale of 1 to 10. I would say if you don't score at least a solid 9 on that scale then you should go back to the drawing board and find another top three places to live with for a while. Trust in your intuition and know that time is running out. You don't need to be an economist or a fortune teller to know that something is not right with the direction of this country.

Credit goes to David Dees for the photographic satire.

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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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