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

Summertime, when the living isn't so easy

Summer vegetables

Homesteading can feel so surreal in the summer, when the temperature is in the 90s but you know that only about three months remain until the first frost. Then you do the math and realize that 58% of the year isn't safe for tender summer herbs and vegetables. But even with those warnings of the long, cold months ahead, how can you resist living in the restful sea of summer green?

Cat in front of curing garlic

If you want to feed yourself homegrown vegetables all year, though, it's time to eschew the grasshopper lifestyle and turn into the ant. We've already got a bit over a gallon of summer produce stored away in the freezer, and much more will be hitting the ice box shortly. Meanwhile, the garlic is nearly done curing and the onions will soon hit those drying racks. We're planting fall crucifers and lettuce and carrots for fresh winter eating, and I'm dreaming of upgrading from quick hoops to a movable greenhouse for more serious frost-protection some year soon.

Goat in the weeds

But I'm also taking advantage of the hot weather to take the goats out in the woods for extended bouts of grimming (they graze, I swim). The living may not be easy on a farm in the summertime, but it sure is satisfying!

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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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