Molasses Drink, Growing Blueberries, and Other Wisdom from Helen and Scott Nearing

In this installment of their column, Helen and Scott Nearing the molasses drink they used to have at breakfast and the process of growing blueberries.

| November/December 1979

The following are questions readers submitted to Helen and Scott Nearing in their regular column on homesteading.  

Molasses Drink 

Q: In Living the Good Life, you mention a "molasses drink" taken for breakfast. Would you share your recipe with us?  

A: We change our eating habits as we experiment with what seems interesting or better. (However, we'll never turn to the flesh of any creature that walks or wiggles.) As a result of our constant experimentation, we no longer take the "molasses drink" (which was just a tablespoon of the syrup in a cup of hot water). Nowadays, we drink our own dried herbs as a morning tea ... adding a teaspoon of honey per cup. Helen has a new anti-cookbook coming out in the spring, which will have a full section on beverages.

Growing Blueberries

Q: I've been homesteading in West Virginia for over a year now and want to raise blueberries for profit. However, before I make the initial investment, I'd like to learn about the "organic" methods of growing these plants as well as ways to control—without chemicals—insects and diseases that prey on the berries. Any information you can give me would be appreciated.  

A: If you're to have success with hybrid blueberries, you must live in a region that experiences at least 30 consecutive days with freezing temperatures each year. In addition, you'll need acid soil, a well-drained plot, and a moderately rich, sandy loam (though the delicious berries can also be grown on peat land).  

Start with two-year-old plants and—for cross fertilization—have at least three or four different varieties. Since each variety will bear ripe fruit over a picking season of three or four weeks, a plantation including early, medium, and late producers will provide a total picking season of 10 or 12 weeks.  

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