Dear MOTHER: Coming of Age

Letters from our readers about leaving the corporate world for sustainable agriculture, growing heirloom beans, and more.

| December 2020/January 2021

Coming of Age

I’m writing to you from my farm in South Africa. We don’t have many books or magazines for the homesteader who wants to live more sustainably, so I’ve resorted to modifying the American way to suit the African one. To this end, and besides the mountains of books I’ve read, I started subscribing to MOTHER EARTH NEWS for its wholesome, balanced, and highly informative articles.

You’re celebrating your 50th anniversary in my 50th year, and I feel like I’m finally coming of age. I started this journey three years ago after burning myself out in the corporate world. I looked back on my 33 years in the workforce and couldn’t find a single thing that made me want to carry on, not even the big paycheck. So I quit. Now, I work equally long hours, but for far more reward. I even enjoy my sore back at the end of the day!

I have two backyard flocks of native chickens (Boschveld and Potchefstroom Koekoek), five beehives, two donkeys, a small flock of sheep, a large veggie garden, and my pride and joy: a herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats that I’m learning to milk (for making our own dairy products). It’s a lot! But I’m not afraid of hard work or long hours. It’s all made easier with MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Thank you for an excellent publication, and thank you to all the contributors for sharing your knowledge and experience. It’s much appreciated!

Warm regards,



Bella Milner
Mae’s Folly Homestead
South Africa






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