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

Signs of life in the garden

Garlic greening up in the springEven though the grass in the aisles is starting to green up, the garden looks pretty bare and brown.  But if you peer closely enough, you'll see signs of life.

Despite an unusually cold winter, our Valentine's Day peas popped up a few days ago with an excellent germination percentage.  In a nearby cold frame, cabbage and broccoli seeds bathed in the absurdly high temperatures required for germination (60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit) and have already opened up their cotyledons.  We even have true leaves beginning on the lettuce in the other cold frame.

Meanwhile, the garlic and Egyptian onions are putting on their spring growth spurt.  Even if I didn't like garlic, I think I would plant them for their beauty in the spring, so firm and tall against the brown leaf mulch.

Wild beeOn the wild side, I've been keeping an eye on pollinators (other than our honeybees, of course.)  The unintentional bed of chickweed outside our kitchen window has been buzzing with these small native bees --- does anyone know what they are?  Don't forget to leave some weedy patches in your own garden to give these guys a home!

Read how we started a small business that started paying all of our bills in just a few months.

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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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