Them That’s Doin’: Reviving the Victory Garden

Check out what MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors and readers have been enjoying lately, from apps and classes to tools and techniques. In this edition, editors are reviving the Victory Garden, learning about herbal medicine, and drinking from an easy-to-use water purifier bottle.

| June/July 2020

Welcome to Them That’s Doin’, a department featuring homesteaders discussing what they’ve been up to. We want to know what’s caught your eye, and how you’ve been spending your time. Have you spotted an unfamiliar specimen, or learned a new survival skill? Expanded your garden, or implemented a new ritual? Tell us at

Photo by Jessica Mitchell

Reviving the Victory Garden

I’m part of Ogden Publications’ Garden Group, a crew of employees gaining firsthand gardening experience. Our vegetable garden is making a comeback, with an emphasis on food grown for a food bank that services our region. We also cut back on okra and cucumbers, so this year’s yield is more diverse. We paid a little more attention to companion planting to help fend off squash bugs and other destructive critters that were a headache last year.

During uncertain times, it may seem like everything is spiraling out of control and there’s nothing we can do to rein it in. A great way to find a bit of solace in the chaos is to turn to a garden. In the spirit of the Victory Gardens of World War I and World War II, we’re focusing on the things we can control. We may have to work 6 feet apart, but not even a pandemic will stop these seeds from being sown. —Tyler Woodcock, online editorial assistant

Photo by Jenny Miller

Suburban Learning

I’ve been temporarily stuck in semi-suburbia, but that hasn’t stopped me from learning all about herbal medicine, including growing my own herbs in containers on my front and back decks, and making my own teas, tinctures, syrups, and the like. The photo below is of some of my creations, packaged in upcycled glass jars. I’m also making my own toothpaste (the jam jar in the photo) and doing self-study courses in aromatherapy and permaculture. I tried my first-ever ferment this summer, garlic honey, and next is sauerkraut. You can always live more sustainably and healthfully, no matter where life puts you. —Jenny Miller, reader

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