Dear MOTHER: February/March 2010

Reader letters about colony collapse disorder, growing a food garden, used tractors, water heaters, and more.

| February/March 2010

  • Garden Harvest
    Readers reported terrific harvests from modest garden plots — often more than their families could eat!
    ROSALIND CREASY
  • Bee pollination
    Readers wrote about their concern for honeybees and to discuss possible causes for colony collapse disorder.
    ISTOCKPHOTO
  • Farmall Super H Tractor
    Steve Maxwell’s son works on their International Harvester Super H Farmall tractor.
    STEVE MAXWELL
  • Ducklings
    Reader Karen Shepherd recommends ducks for natural pest control.
    MATTHEW T. STALLBAUMER
  • Chouinard in workshop
    Yvon Chouinard’s work with his outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, inspired reader Mary Adkins.
    PATAGONIA
  • Kristof baby
    Fourteen-month-old Mia Bella takes to her favorite spot to catch up on her MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
    TARA KRISTOF
  • Healthy bread
    Reader Jody Preston loves the bread she makes using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook.
    MARK LUINENBURG

  • Garden Harvest
  • Bee pollination
  • Farmall Super H Tractor
  • Ducklings
  • Chouinard in workshop
  • Kristof baby
  • Healthy bread

Our December 2009/January 2010 article about growing $700 worth of food in 100 square feet prompted a report from the Wendell Berry Community Garden in Olympia, Wash. They harvested more than 4,800 pounds of food from just a quarter acre! We welcome more reports on the incredible productivity of your gardens — post a comment to Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet!

We’re also hearing a loud buzz of interest and concern following the recent articles Keeping Bees Using the Top-bar Beekeeping Method and Colony Collapse: Are Potent Pesticides Killing Honeybees?. Here’s hoping more and more gardeners will opt to keep backyard hives, which will provide safe havens for bees, as well as higher crop yields and delicious honey for their keepers.


Monoculture; CCD; Artificial Honey

The article on pesticides harming bees (Colony Collapse: Are Potent Pesticides Killing Honeybees?) brings much-needed awareness about the connection of neonicotinoids to colony collapse disorder (CCD).



Neonicotinoids are synthesized products that kill off various pests that have come to exist in larger numbers because of the practices of monoculture agriculture. Monoculture farming is the real culprit. Neonicotinoids are only one of the newest tools of that system, and I fear what will come next.

I was also very pleased that you had Keeping Bees Using the Top-bar Beekeeping Method. Having read extensively on beekeeping, I found this article of great interest. The top-bar hive is a more practical system, and will probably be far more efficient than the current Langstroth system of hives, unless, as stated, the honey is the only thing you want.






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

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Next: February, 16-17 2019
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