Dear MOTHER: December 2013/January 2014

Reader letters about seed swaps, garden hoops, drafty windows, health insurance and retirement on the homestead, an adoptive mother hen, farmland, working dogs, cities that inspire, and more.

| December 2013/January 2014

  • Packets of tomato seeds laying out for a seed swap
    A tomato seed swap-portunity at the Florida Panhandle Seed Swap. Seed swaps are upbeat community gatherings sure to introduce you to new neighbors — and promising new crop varieties!
    Photo By Sheri Miller
  • Hoop house construction
    Simple wire hoops slip into several roles around reader Pete Puglia’s property in rural New Jersey, from garden bed protectors to lightweight, inexpensive chicken runs.
    Photo By Pete Puglia
  • Airedale terrier sitting in a field
    Reader Richard Augusta of Antioch, Calif., recommends the Airedale terrier as a homestead working dog.
    Photo By Fotolia/hemlep

  • Packets of tomato seeds laying out for a seed swap
  • Hoop house construction
  • Airedale terrier sitting in a field

Seeds for Change

Thank you for helping us spread the word about the Florida Panhandle Seed Swap! It was a huge success. We are well on our way to creating a culture of seed saving and sharing in our area, thanks to you.

Sheri Miller
Panama City, Florida

Seed swaps are fun gatherings that enable gardeners to share and acquire seeds on a community level. To support growers in their seed-swapping endeavors, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to offer a free Seed Swap Announcement service. You give us the details about your swap, and we’ll send an email notice to MOTHER EARTH NEWS subscribers in your area, inviting them to attend. Seed swaps are sure to introduce you to new neighbors — and promising new crop varieties! See Let Us Help You Organize a Community Seed Swap for details. — MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Talk of the Towns

I recently read your article 9 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of (October/November 2013), and I think it’s incredible what these nine cities have been able to do. They are perfect examples of community members coming together to achieve collective goals.

I was particularly impressed by Grand Rapids, Mich., and how the community worked together to clean up pollution in the Grand River, and by Ava, Mo., which started small and is now like a large family that embraces many cultures.



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