chapter  2
EXISTENTIAL NECESSITIES
Pages 22

In 1845 Thoreau tested the extent of these necessities by building himself a house of ten by fifteen feet-‘the boards were carefully feather-edged and lapped, so that it was perfectly impervious to rain’—for a total cost of less than US $29, planting two and a half acres of potatoes and vegetables, and earning US $13.34 by surveying, carpentry, and various day-labour. His expenses, washing and mending aside, came to US $62 in eight months.