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

Weekend Homesteader: May

Weekend Homesteader paperbackWelcome to the resources page for the May installment of Weekend Homesteader!  In addition to perusing the resources below, I hope you'll leave a comment to let us know about your experiences with the projects in our ebook.

Planning your summer garden

Good seed companies.  Before you buy your seeds, check out this post about what makes a seed company good for the backyard gardener and which ones are recommended.

Finding space to homestead in the city.  These tips, excerpted from Rachel Kaplan and K. Ruby Blume's Urban Homesteading, will help even apartment dwellers find a bit of earth.

How to make a pea trellis.  You can use my pea trellis technique to make a low cost and easy to move trellis for your pole beans.

Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew has a lot of good information for beginning gardeners working on a small scale.  Bartholomew's system is a bit different from mine, but is beloved by many beginners with little space.

Kill mulch

What's living in your soil?  This series of posts will introduce you to the world of useful critters in your dirt.

How to plan permanent paths
.  Are you sick of your dog running straight through your tomato plants?  Plan permanent paths that are so intuitive that people (and animals) follow them without thinking about it.

Hugelkultur.  Learn to add rotting wood to your kill mulch to increase the organic matter, drainage, and water holding capacity.
Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis.  This easy to read book is a great way to learn more about your soil microorganisms.  As usual, the link will give you my rundown on the top tips from the book.

Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich.  This book is very much worth reading for more information on the whys and hows of no-till gardening.  Or just follow the link to see my summary of the most important information in the book.

Planting your summer garden

Frost free date.  Look up your last frost date by zip code.

Cooperative extension service offices.  Find your local extension agent.

Pruning tomatoes for blight prevention.  The title says it all.

Summer planting chart
.  If you want to branch out beyond the simple vegetables and herbs listed in my ebook, you'll want to check planting dates against this chart.

Turn off the TV

Television addiction and identification self-help guide.  A fascinating peek into the psychology of television.

Kill your television.  More anti-TV commentary.

Rain barrel

Rutger's Extension Service.  More information on rain barrels.

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.

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I didn't realize how much I was addicted to TV until I read your May edition and the resources. I've tried to quit cold turkey but watch the weather guy when there is bad weather. I have a lot more time to do things now, I'm getting caught up on all the things I've wanted to do that I usually save for the weekend and I feel like I am able to spend more quality time with my wife. Thanks for the motivation.
Comment by Brian Thu May 26 11:52:03 2011
Thank you so much for sharing that! I had a sinking suspicion that the TV section of this volume was just too tough for Americans to wrap their minds around, and I'm thrilled to be proven wrong.
Comment by anna Thu May 26 13:14:02 2011
I am so thrilled with your ebooks. I feel inspired to start a no till garden. I love natural cooking and my goal is to be more self sufficient. Eventually I would like to be off the grid, and pursue my art career. My problem is that I am a perfectionist and always get caught up (and overwhelmed) in the planning stages- without even going outside to start a project. By breaking the planning down for me, Your ebooks provide step by step easy to follow instructions, one plan at a time, and I can kiss my habitual paralysis goodbye. I have bought May thru July, and please keep them coming. Right now, we are drought ridden; they just passed a water restriction last week that bans watering livestock. Can you believe that?? We haven't had rain since last October. None is forecast until May. Maybe. And then they are expecting a repeat of this year. Good grief. Your no till, mulching ideas will conserve water so that we can still have a garden next year, I hope. How ironic, isn't it? Here we are in Texas, with no water, and just a few states east, horrific flooding. I love the rainbarrel idea. there is no rain now, but, there will be again, sometime. i will be ready. I am fighting to keep our fruit trees alive. I have two peach trees, a pear tree and two apple trees. Not one fruit on any of them. We had a late frost that killed all the buds in spring. Now, I am trying to keep them alive. I will do the mulching around them that you suggest for trees in your ebooks. It can't hurt. I look forward to reading more. :)
Comment by janelle michonski Sun Jul 24 13:32:09 2011

Thank you so much for your kind words! I can still get bogged down in that overwhelming planning stages sometimes --- the farm just has so many potential projects that it's hard to know where to start.

Mulching should definitely give your fruit trees a hand, although you might want to water around them once before laying the mulch down if it's that dry. Otherwise, the mulch could soak up any rain that does fall and extend the drought.

Comment by anna Sun Jul 24 21:49:04 2011

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