Dear MOTHER: Environmental Epiphany

Letters from our readers about having an environmental epiphany, building garden structures, fishing for food security, and more.

| October/November 2020

Environmental Epiphany

Congratulations on your 50th anniversary! You, along with Rodale's Organic Gardening and Farming, were my bibles back in the day. In 1973, I was in my second year at the University of South Florida, where I belonged to a group that planned a community garden. This project fell flat, since I was the only one willing to work.

From there, I had an epiphany about my future, changed my major to agriculture, changed schools, and became part of the back-to-the-land movement. The early issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS helped me find work in 1974 on a small farm in Tennessee. The information and stories from like-minded individuals also inspired and helped me continue to learn. I saved all those back issues.

Ever since that epiphany, I've grown a significant part of my family's food and generally lived close to the land. From 5 country acres in the '70s and '80s, to a more intensive acre and a half in suburbia since 1990, it's been a mix of joy and hardship. For most of those years, I've had chickens and bees as well as crops.

This lifestyle was also a vocation. I put in 40 years at the same farmers market, retiring at the end of 2018. My wife and I've also used solar for most of that time, including photovoltaics since 2012. For the first time last year, we even produced a little more electricity than we consumed. Keep up the good work, MOTHER! More and more people are "getting it," and I thank you for helping make that happen.

Peter Burkard
Sarasota, Florida

That Time I Met MOTHER

It’s taken a while, but I finally got around to reading some back issues of my favorite magazines. Of course, MOTHER EARTH NEWS was at the top of the pile. In the issue I picked up, you asked your readers to tell you about how we met Mother (“50 Years and Counting,” News from MOTHER, April/May 2019).



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