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

Summer pruning in Mirkwood

Summer pruningDo you remember how our heroes left the path against Gandalf's advice and ended up lost in Mirkwood?  (I'm writing about The Hobbit, of course.)  Finally, they decided that Bilbo would have to climb a tree in hopes of finding a landmark to steer toward, and our less than intrepid hobbit summoned his courage and clambered up through the scratchy limbs until "he poked his head above the roof of leaves" and "saw all round him a sea of green, ruffled here and there by the breeze."

Well, that's how I felt on Friday morning when I started summer pruning our largest peach tree.  Luckily for me, the tree is short enough that the job required no climbing, but the leaves were so dense that I had to creep underneath and then pop my head up in little openings.  I could almost imagine that I was parched and starving, perched atop a tree in the canopy of Mirkwood --- maybe that's why I was so hungry for lunch.

Our chicken waterer keeps the flock healthy during hot summer days.

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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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I'm pretty sure they were still on the path at that point. They were just discouraged because they were almost out of food and water, and wanted to know how much farther they had to go. They wandered off the path afterwards because they saw a fire at night and thought that they could find food and help there.
Comment by Anonymous Sat Jun 11 20:58:14 2011
You are so right! I went back and re-read the chapter --- clearly my memory was faulty.
Comment by anna Sun Jun 12 13:07:43 2011

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