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

Swelling fruits

Young gooseberry

A long, gentle rain over Sunday and Monday has increased the lushness factor of our farm by 50%.  I wanted to give you an extensive farm-tour, but I'm working with one hand tied behind my back with our current camera situation.  (Life without supermacro is tough.)  So, instead, I'll just tell you that the first of the summer vegetables (beans and cucumbers) are up, the rye is ready to be cut, and the perennials are growing like crazy.

Young strawberry

The strawberry beds are finally white with blooms, and the first fruits are being set.  Other perennials that already have little berries swelling include nanking cherries, gooseberries, blueberries, and even one of the red currants we planted this spring.

Young peaches

The peaches are bursting out of their faded flower wraps and will soon be big enough to thin.  I can't tell yet whether the apples are hanging onto their fruits this year or not, but I have high hopes.

Iris polyculture

And it looks like this will be the first year we'll enjoy iris flowers.  Our polyculture of irises with thyme seems to be working pretty well --- the trick will be whether the tall iris leaves start to outcompete the low herb now that they're well-rooted.  This is one of my attempts to include a few more flowers in the garden without feeling the space is entirely wasted.

Mushroom logs

Finally, the woody plants are starting to yearn for another round of weeding.  This week, I'll be torn between prepping 31 beds for the big frost-free, spring planting on May 15, and getting a head-start on the weedy, woody perennials.  According to Michael Phillips, the trees will be be putting out a new flush of feeder roots soon once they hit a lull in leaf growth, and I definitely want them to be weeded and mulched down again before then.

Our chicken waterer keeps the coop dry even when a dozen birds are milling around inside on rainy days.

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

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.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.

Do you use a tripod for the up close pictures? Otherwise, you must have a steady hand.
Comment by Gerry Tue May 7 07:55:54 2013
Gerry --- I don't tend to have problems taking closeups without a tripod, but sometimes I should probably use one when I zoom way in. Instead, I generally just lean up against whatever's around.
Comment by anna Tue May 7 09:03:20 2013


Another option you can try is to increase the shutter speed. You will need good light for that. If the light is low and behind the object a flash can help even out the light.


Comment by Gerry Tue May 7 10:24:46 2013

Ok, I'll admit it. I am totally jealous of how far along your garden is. We have had a cold apring, with unpredictable deep freezes. I have lost two complete crops, amd germination rates are way down. I should be picking lettuce already, but not yet! I am amazed you have planted summer stuff already. Even the things in my hoop houses all froze, with extra layers on and everything. I am thinking the hoop houses dont help much here in the spring, but should extend things in the fall. Good news, though, the extended cold has kept the apple trees from blooming early, so hopefully they wont suffer when the blossoms do open!

Comment by Deb Wed May 8 00:04:39 2013
I, too, am torn between garden jobs. Here in northern CA, we've just had a lovely spring rain and are enjoying some relief from the unseasonably warm spell (90's! In early May!) we've been having. So the soil is lovely and moist, perfect for getting the seedlings in before it heats up again, but also perfect for pulling the larger weeds (and sprouting gazillions of tiny ones!). What to do first? It's clear that the only solution is to give up eating and sleeping so I have time to do both, right now.
Comment by Heather Wed May 8 16:31:51 2013
The sight of that gooseberry made me so happy. Nobody knows them around here, but I grew up in Germany and ate lots and lots of them (before I knew to appreciate them properly!). I planted 3 of them and expect my first harvest this summer....
Comment by ANNA WILKINS Thu May 9 17:04:55 2013

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.