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

The power of two

Marking a line

Now that the coop is nearly done, I'll admit that there were times over the last year when I lost faith in its eventual completion.  Mom says "All ye of little faith" around me a lot, and while Mark disagrees with her semantics (it should be second person singular unless you live in the Deep South), he agrees with the sentiment.  Whenever I despair of farm projects, my kind husband reminds me that he and I together can do anything --- and so far he's always been right.

Holding the ladder

Sometimes, our teamwork doesn't click, but usually a day spent working with Mark is pure pleasure.  We complement each other very well --- I can measure things and hold the ladder while he does...everything else.

Carrying flashing

I guess a real pro could have built this coop entirely by himself, but that seems pretty tough.  That's why the coop languished for most of the summer --- I was too busy in the garden to pull my weight on the building project.  I guess I really am doing something out there even though it feels like I'm not helping much.

Starplate roof

The big picture of the coop is now completed.  All that's left is gutters, a rain barrel, and filling in some holes to complete the anti-predator campaign.  Our chicks (and then ducks) are going to love it!

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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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If it makes Mark feel any better semantically, the original is "oh ye of little faith..."
Comment by Heather Fri Mar 28 10:23:30 2014
Heather --- That makes so much more sense! And that may actually be what Mom says and I just mis-parsed it.... :-)
Comment by anna Fri Mar 28 11:13:11 2014

I've been curious about the Star Plate system for some time, but after watching you build it, I'm wondering if it has turned out to be more complicated than a square building.

Why did you choose to go with this system? Strength? Does it save on wood costs?

How are you feeling about it now? Would you do it again?

Comment by Terry Fri Mar 28 11:15:23 2014
Terry --- Just before seeing your comment, I wrote a post answering that question on our Mother Earth News blog. It often takes them a few days for posts to show up over there, but I'll try to remember to give you a link here when it's live. In the meantime, you might enjoy this post from midway through the process about pros and cons of the starplate coop.
Comment by anna Fri Mar 28 13:05:06 2014
Heck- that's so pretty I wouldn't mind living there!
Comment by agentlabroad Fri Mar 28 22:02:22 2014
So it's just the two of you most days....all day long. You say you compliment each other well. Don't answer if its prying but do you ever irritate each other and how do you deal with that. You can't exactly go run an errand to get space anyone you have a tiff.
Comment by Kathleen Fri Mar 28 23:31:27 2014

Kathleen --- That's a good question. We definitely do have fights now and then, although they're pretty rare --- maybe only one every month or two. Enforced proximity is a good thing because it means we work through the issues promptly, which means the problems don't fester. And since we're together so much, we work hard not to fight, each bending a little so we meet in the middle.

We do each have our own personal space on the farm, though, which also helps. We probably spend over half the day in our own space doing our own thing....

Comment by anna Sat Mar 29 14:59:18 2014

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