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


Hummingbird on a grape trellis

Although we did eventually make it across the creek Wednesday, our first attempt was a failure.

Homemade paddle"If I just had a paddle, I think it would be safe to kayak across the floodplain while the water is so dispersed," I told Mark Wednesday morning. Within fifteen minutes, he'd created me a paddle out of a flipper (thanks, Rose Nell!), a furring strip, and some duct tape.

Unfortunately, when we embarked on our adventure, Mark immediately saw the flaw in my plans. Despite flood waters receding about three vertical feet in the last twenty-four hours, I still couldn't reach the kayak using hip waders.

All it took was a little more time, though, to achieve our goal. By 1 pm, the creek had gone down another foot and Mark and I together were able to retrieve the kayak we'd stashed by the creek. He hoisted it into a tree to empty out the water (a difficult feat when knee-deep in the drink), and we even discovered that we'd been smart enough to leave a paddle stashed inside. Maybe next time we'll get yet smarter and park the flood-water transportation device by the barn!

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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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