Dear MOTHER: April/May 2013

Reader letters about calculating garden payback, the resolve to homestead, outwitting wind with low tunnels, sorghum press plans, wind turbines, masonry heaters, contaminated soil, raising pigs, and more.

  • buying land
    Sometimes, it only takes an afternoon drive down a country lane to find the land of your dreams.
    Illustration By Elayne Sears
  • UC Santa Barbara sorghum team
    The UC Santa Barbara sorghum press team with their human-powered press.
    Photo By Kelly Lin
  • windmills
    Maple Ridge Wind Farm in New York.
    Photo By Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.
  • whole-wheat bread
    Whole grains, nuts and seeds add new flavors and nutrients to homemade breads.
    Photo By Tim Nauman
  • masonry heater
    A masonry heater's high thermal mass provides a steady supply of heat.
    Photo By Dale Demary/Masonry Heater Association

  • buying land
  • UC Santa Barbara sorghum team
  • windmills
  • whole-wheat bread
  • masonry heater

Resolved to Find a Homestead

Thank you for everything you do to keep the spirit of self-sufficiency alive and thriving. I am an aspiring homesteader myself, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve referenced a MOTHER EARTH NEWS article while planning my own little paradise.

I feel so fortunate to have MOTHER EARTH NEWS to turn to when I’m feeling lost in a world that doesn’t always understand or accept my homesteading passion. Whether on your website’s home page or your Facebook page, the content you feature is either something I’m already interested in and want to learn more about, or it’s something you’ve managed to get me excited about (such as carving my own wooden spoons, a skill I’m now determined to master). Your articles inspire me to think beyond the limiting factors of now and dream of the fantastic to-be.

I recently found myself buried in the article Guide to Self-Sufficient Living: Advice From Nine Modern Homesteaders (February/March 2012) for more than an hour, trying to glean as much information as I could for my own journey. My husband and I are looking to buy a homestead of our own very soon, and I was feeling discouraged about the whole process. Thoughts of quitting had danced through my head, but as I read the story, I felt a new resolve forming.

Everyone says the road is hard, but they also say the prize is better than they ever imagined. I decided I can’t give up until I’ve had my own taste of the dream.

Dani Hurst Brown 
Excelsior Springs, Missouri  

Outwitting Wind

Thank you for making the terrific video to accompany the article Make Easy, Inexpensive Mini-Greenhouses With Low Tunnels (February/March 2013) that featured Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Long. It was a lot of fun to put a face with the name. 

5/1/2013 10:08:36 AM

Thank you for the article on how plants defend themselves in the April/May 2013 issue.  The intelligence of plants is so frequently ignored. I just thought I'd share a youtube video from the forests of Damanhur in Northern Italy demonstrating that plants have consciousness

Carla Young

Lawrence, KS



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