DIY





Finding Free Apples

Finding free apples growing wild near their property enabled one New Hampshire family to supplement their diet with apple butter, apple jelly, pie, and other apple-based food items.

| September/October 1973

Above the 45th parallel
Clarksville, N.H.
Dear Ma:

Got to thinking of you ... lent a copy of MOTHER EARTH NEWS to a local game warden who told us about some peregrine falcons nesting up here in the spring. Maybe he'll write you, too. It's this kind of country: moose in the pasture, fox running, great horned owl scaring the night and me with it, dairy farmers, paternalistic old factories with non-caring wages in an area where prices are as high as in high-income regions. A place where we had a fight over our children's hair and they didn't go to school for two months ... and where I taught swimming this summer to the same kids (and loved them) that had taunted and tormented my kids. It's a country we're trying to hold a piece of. We must be into dream number 357 by now and still trying. If childhood is the time you feel dreams will come true, then we're still young.

Sweat equity: We got some geese to protect the one hen left from a raccoon banquet and they're a delight ... so we bought some chicks to raise in the room where most of our books are. Maybe this year our eggs won't come to $10.00 a dozen.

Our youngest son helped out a farmer, earned a Holstein heifer he watched being born ... and he's still working to pay for feeding her. She's a week old and he's nine. The other boy is clearing three acres of woodlot to get $60.00 from the Agriculture Department. Our daughter is trying to figure out ways to get a horse or two. (She can babysit kids but prefers equines.)



The old man, 40, has been working in a factory for the past few weeks ... 50 hours excluding lunch and travel time. And I'm home, hoping to substitute-teach during the sickness season (December to May). Somehow we've managed to survive, not too cleverly and not too philosophically. It's grubby, grinning survival, something I reckon we'll be doing forever. But I figure watching the sunset from our porch, through tears, is an OK thing too.

And I'm into apples, partly because there's a lesson to learn from them.






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