Doing a Little Something for Ourselves

| 3/15/2011 5:59:38 AM

Fruit of the Garden Climb Over the Obstacles 

Most people talking about protecting the environment have trained their attention on what they perceive as looming disasters. As the evidence of habitat destruction mounts, the voices become more strident, “We have to stop living this way!”

The volume and urgency of these warnings make it more and more difficult to discuss positive outcomes. Imagining a positive vision of the future strikes the alarmed mind as a trivial distraction.

We learned a long time ago that we couldn’t attract an audience for our magazines unless we gave our readers tools they could use to improve the world personally. A backyard organic garden is the perfect symbol of positive vision and personal commitment. The gardener visualizes the short-term satisfaction of tending a lovely and productive little piece of the earth, and in the process preserves resources for humanity’s future. The gardens we describe in the pages of MOTHER EARTH NEWS make the world more productive and beautiful today, while they preserve resources and help sustain the world for the next generation. Our audiences come to us for ingenuity, creativity, inspiration and beauty: elements that enhance in their lives. We describe ways people can live more sustainably through personal initiative.

Our readers get a kick out of brewing homemade beer and wine. They generate their own power using the sun, the wind, and homegrown ingenuity. We think they make some pretty important positive contributions in the world. It’s obvious that they have a lot of fun.

In the same way that MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers have imagined, then realized, their gardens and homesteads, I believe we can imagine on a larger scale. We should picture our communal home, the planet, as we want it to be. We can visualize a global garden, as it were, that reflects human aspiration and the human aesthetic, complete with the profusion of life God put here.

2/13/2013 10:24:40 PM

Febuary, 2 feet of snow... seed catalogs, flowers herbs, vegetables, oh my I can't wait to touch that soil and breath life into all growing things.

4/29/2011 4:24:06 PM

I live in a apartment with eastern exposure . I have one bed which is 9X3 where I have planted several varieties of lettuce, radish, leeks, collards and kale. I have had several meals just from the thinnings of the lettuce so far. Along the wall, which gets about 7 hours of sunlight , I have planted tomatoes and squash with basil in between. I also use pots for cilantro, and more basil. Also have a rosemary plant in the 9X3 plot. Next year I shall plant the greens along the wall and the squash and tomatoes in the plot where I have the greens growing, as it gets more sun. I have a row of ac units which is quite ugly to look at and have covered about three feet far from the units with newspaper, black weed liner and mulch. I will be planting 3 Silver Queen okra plants there. Not only will they hide the units, they will also provide shade for them in our hot Texas summers and give me more than enough okra . You really dont need a large space or acres to plant a garden like I used to when I had a family to feed.

4/20/2011 6:37:56 AM

It's a beautiful thing to become more self sustaining and with the state of our economy, I agree that it's the smart thing to do. My husband and I own a city townhouse with a relatively small backyard which our family fondly refers to as our "urban farm". Our backyard has 600 sq. ft. of raised bed organic veggie/strawberry gardens which produced over 1,800 lbs of edible produce last year. This year we have added our front yard as a growing area planting 2 pear trees, 1 apple tree, 1 cherry tree, red raspberries and blackberries. We also have a nice sized herb garden running alongside the entry sidewalk to our home and the other side of the walk is lined with a row of blueberry bushes. Last week we purchased 6 baby chickens for egg laying and are in the process of building the “girls” a coop. Like Marla, we also make all of our own cleaners and laundry, dish and hand soaps. Self sustainment is FUN and it reduces consumerism! It's a joy to watch family and friends beginning to grasp the movement of self sustainment on their own level. We have proven that even if you only have a small “farming area” such as a city backyard, you can still have a dramatic impact on your own bottom line. Personal choices make it truly possible. Commit to it and it will be very rewarding. Happy "Farming"! Now if I just had room for a dairy cow! : )

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