High-Yield Organic Gardening, Film on Farming and Concertina Makers

MOTHER's Profiles column celebrates little-known environmental heroes who make a difference. This issue includes a homesteader with a high-yield organic gardening, the film topic about small farms in America and concertina makers.

| January/February 1978

In celebration of little-known MOTHER EARTH NEWS-type folks from all over, including high-yield organic gardening, a film on farming and concertina makers.

Nature Student: Eva Atteberry

If you've never seen a 16-pound rabbit, a blue (yes, blue!) bunny, a 15-foot-tall sunflower, or a kissing goose . . . you obviously haven't visited Eva G. Atteberry's back yard in Salem, Illinois. Eva just seems to have a knack for growing things, and the 75-year-old "youngster" always has time to demonstrate the abundance that can be produced on only a small plot of land.

Ms. Atteberry is justifiably proud of her high-yield organic gardening methods, the large "organic" garden she raises each year . . . and which she keeps wild rabbits from eating by sprinkling "beef liver water" around the vegetables. Obviously, Eva believes that the natural way is best when it comes to plants.

Livestock, too, for that matter. Ms. Atteberry, for instance, doesn't set much store by the additive-laden chicken feeds that agribiz poultry producers currently stuff down their birds. "The chemicals make the eggs and the chickens fill up with water," she says . . . then adds with a shrug, "I guess that's what people want nowadays."

Well, maybe that's what people who don't know any better want nowadays . . . but Eva G. Atteberry definitely does know better. Which is why she feeds her baby chicks a hog starter that contains no chemicals at all . . . but which her chickens thrive on nonetheless (are you listening, agribiz poultry producers?).

But to get back to those 16-pound rabbits and the blue bunny that so many folks stop in to see: Yep! Eva really has 'em right there in her back yard . . . along with about 100 of their brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, and cousins. "I used to sell a lot of rabbits to the grocery stores," Ms. Atteberry explains. "But now I mostly just breed my bunnies for color and size. This grayish-blue one — it looks about like a Siamese cat, doesn't it — took me a long time to develop."

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