Dear MOTHER December 2017/January 2018

Letters from our readers about alternative tractors, hide tanning, trusted animal companions, and more.

December 2017/January 2018

Dear 1

Photo by K. Uziel

Gifts from the Compost Bin

I’ve been reading your magazine and gardening ever since we moved to my great-grandmother’s homestead in 1996. Although we didn’t plant anything this past year, I was tickled to find dill and epazote volunteers in the garden beds. But the largest and healthiest plants were at the other end of the yard by the compost. Curious as to why, I found your article “Volunteers: A Garden Bonus” (May/June 1980). I learned that plants choose their locations based on where they can get the best nutrients, pH levels, and drainage.

Our volunteer amaranth climbed out of a hole in the black plastic covering the compost box; catnip grew in nutrient-rich cracks around the concrete; and pumpkin and tomatoes sprouted inside the compost bins. Our volunteers are so happy that it’s become a challenge to empty the kitchen scraps — something akin to basketball’s overhead pass!

K. Uziel
Pleasant Hill, Tennessee