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"Free" land for planting.

COUNTRYSIDE: Here in western Nebraska the drought and increasing tax load, and just a doctor visit went up 100% this last year. I had an elderly woman tell me that she was just going to have to live on less. If you're in the same boat, consider this.

For almost 30 years I have been gardening in town after I lost my farm due to getting hailed out three years in a row. (Bankers don't have a sense of humor!) My town garden was nice and pretty, but didn't fill the shelves for the winter. I read some place way back about the clans that would scatter seeds in the spring while following the herds, and then on the return trip in the fall pray to the gods that there would be food enough for the long winters. Seeing our own local river banks going unused, I figured why not? So I scattered maybe a dozen different packets of seeds, then just walked away. I spread them out over a good couple miles of a hiking trail. In the fall I saw most did not make it. But just a few had produced--and produced very well. My $1 in seed packs gave us over 200 pounds of herbs and squash. Since then it is a yearly migration, planting and then harvesting.

Some years are great, others are a bust. But free land and water allows even those of us on the bottom of the pay scale to eat well.--Bill Donze McCook, Nebraska
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Title Annotation:Country conversation & feedback
Author:Donze, Bill
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:May 1, 2004
Words:253
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