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

Winner and wildcrafting

Wildcrafted pearsFirst, before I forget --- congratulations to Jill from Knoxville, the winner of our easy flower giveaway!  And thanks to everyone who entered too --- I always love to hear from you!  Now back to your regularly scheduled navel-gazing....

Lucy and I walked up the holler this morning to check out an old homestead just across the property line.  I'm terribly nosy and couldn't help myself from investigating the results of my neighbor's clearing operation up there --- he told me he was going to be opening up a bit of land to attract deer for his son (who hunts.)

True to his word, he'd rooted up a bunch of blackberries and sown grass over perhaps a half acre or acre.  As Lucy and I headed home, our curiosity satisfied, we nearly tripped over a  big pear at our feet.  My memory --- dubious at the best of times --- finally kicked into gear and reminded me that I'd seen a fruit tree blooming up here by the homestead this spring and had meant to come back and check on it.  Then I'd forgotten, of course.

Most of the pears had already fallen, but shaking the tree dislodged five more which thudded to the ground around us.  (I remembered, almost too late, that it's not such a bright idea to look up while shaking a fruit tree.)  The pears were sweet and gritty --- the old-fashioned kind you find growing around old homsteads in our area, pears which will mellow in the root cellar over the course of a few months into true ripeness.  I like them hard, though, so chomped my way through one, giving Lucy the core.

I love the idea of wildcrafting, but I like the taste of most cultivated fruits better.  Hunting down abandoned fruit trees by old homsteads is the best of both worlds!

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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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