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

Raccoons and chipmunks in the garden

Bowl of produce

When we moved to Ohio, we went hardcore on our garden fencing. And the barrier has kept out the deer I was most concerned about.

Unfortunately, nothing else seems fazed.

It's taken years to figure out exactly who's eating our fruits and veggies. But a game camera recently confirmed what I'd already guessed.

Chipmunk stealing a tomato

Unripe strawberries and tomatoes strewn across the ground are a sign of fumble-fingered chipmunks. These little rodents can go through a planting remarkably fast.

Raccoon in the garden

Entire branches torn down in the raspberry patch and snow peas dragged off their trellises are a sign of raccoon damage. Yes, raccoons are quite happy to eat garden produce other than corn.

The solution? We aren't quite there yet. But at least we've nailed the problem down!

In other news:


My heart was warmed when I heard from a very unexpected trailersteader two weeks ago:

"Your book inspired my wife to have the courage to move out to our little farm and live in a trailer, the only way we could afford to live there upon my retirement from teaching high school history. How delightful to pick up your Trailersteading book and learn the author was one of my first AP history students back at Tennessee High in Bristol! I admired your intelligence then; now I admire what you have done with it. Sarah loved your book!"

--- Ken Senter

What a wonderful cycle since Mr. Senter's enthusiasm and intensity of focus on his subject matter was contagious twenty-odd years ago. It's wonderful to think that I managed to have an unexpected positive impact on his life just like the one he had on mine!

Soil course on Udemy

I'll end with a teaser of what Mark and I have been hard at work on this summer. My next post will hopefully be a link to the finished product, but you can hear about it first and get a free review copy if you sign up for our email list. Can't wait to share with you!

Anna Hess's books
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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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