Reflecting on 6 Years as a Mother Earth News Blogger

This post is a reflection on the past 6+ years of my time as a Mother Earth News blogger, and some of the things learned along the way.

Reader Contribution by Fala Burnette
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by Fala Burnette, Wolf Branch Homestead
The author and the family's rescued hen friend, Wally, enjoying a beautiful day outside

This post is just a reflection on the past 6+ years of my time as a Mother Earth News blogger, and some of the things learned along the way. Read on to learn more about some of the most popular articles, and the ones that meant most to me.

My name is Fala Burnette, and I come from a very rural community in Alabama (United States) where I have had the opportunity to share just over six years of my life and passions with you, the readers. My husband and I have been on an ever-growing journey of self-sufficiency and working with our hands since before we were wed, and it has been enjoyable to share some of the things we do. In these past years, the opportunity to see your feedback in regards to these articles has been very valuable, and allowed me to see just what sort of things interest you all. I hope you’ll enjoy a short reflection on some of the articles I’ve written from 2015 to 2022.

My first Mother Earth News online blog post, one near and dear to my heart, was posted on December 7th, 2015. Lessons Learned from Childhood on a Farm as it came to be called was a reflection on the early days of my life spent working and helping at my Grandmother’s farm. In 2022, we marked 10 years since her passing, and reading the post again warms my heart as I remember fondly the times spent with her. My husband and I were about to celebrate our first wedding anniversary a few days after the time of this posting, and we were then building our very first cabin; all things I wish my Grandma Ella could have been there to see. I enjoy seeing the article photo of the two rescue horses at the farm – Cherry on the left, and Tatiana (“Tati”) on the right, and it makes me remember how my grandmother was a big animal lover. She taught me many great lessons, and this very first post was a chance to thank her and share some of those things with you.

We followed up over time with articles about making easy squirrel calls, repurposing scrap wood, and our experiences with our portable sawmill. The sawmill has been quite a big help to this day, still in running fashion and cutting lumber for a variety of projects around the homestead. We also shared more about our animals, including our Khaki Campbell ducks and even the little chicken we had who once hatched ducks. In the post Hatching Eggs Using a Surrogate Hen (featured in GRIT’S 2017 “Guide to Backyard Chickens”) we talked about how this hen came to hatch and raise a group of Khaki Campbell ducklings after she went broody, and the ducks did not. We placed a few eggs under her, and she hatched out a wonderful group of ducklings that she cared for lovingly.

We talked about Hasting’s Prolific corn in a two part series on its growth as we raised the corn in our garden, and even had the chance to introduce people to a few people in interviews over time. Our interviews included Scott Railey of Railey Farm and Field, a hometown man who raises heirloom crops like hard to find corn varieties including Hasting’s. We even had the chance to email our questions to Monty Roberts, a pioneer for non-violence in horse training, which was a true honor. Even Dr. Grant Woods, of GrowingDeer lent us his time for a few questions and answers.

The most popular articles that were shared and viewed by you all included my personal favorite, How to Make a Bone Needle. I never thought this would be as well-received as it has been, and it was a treat to share how a commonly discarded waste product after a deer hunt could be turned into something so beautiful. This was our first full feature article in the Mother Earth News June/July 2020 issue.

In that same issue, part of our post about How to Make a Pine Needle Hand Broom was featured in the Country Lore section! That remains our most-shared article, and also our most popular item to sell in our Etsy shop. A simple holiday craft idea to incorporate the natural world into our family’s home decorations turned into something so many of you have found interesting.

There are so many more articles available on Mother Earth News, not only those written by myself, but by many others who have shared their experiences. I am very thankful to have had the past 6 years to share some of these things with the readers, and appreciate all I have learned from other bloggers as well. I hope that you all will continue to follow along as we share our writing and our videos with you in the future, and truly hope readers will continue to enjoy some of the little things I’ve written for years to come. Thank you all for making this such a memorable time for me!

Fala Burnette is a homesteader with her husband at Wolf Branch Homestead in Alabama. They have built two cabins with their own hands, enjoy milling their own wood, and enjoy raising heirloom crops in Spring and picking up discarded hides to tan in Winter. They have a small flock of rescued chickens, goats, and raise Khaki Campbell ducks.  

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