National Geographic : 1992 Sep
Your article made me think of my uncle, W. C. Niemeier, a resident of a nursing home. His window-box vegetable garden is loved by resi dents, staff, and visitors. S. FRITCHLEY Gentryville, Indiana The Buddha taught how truth can be found in the blossoms of a flower or the stirrings of the smallest insect. We are neither nature's master nor servant. Nurturing and cherishing the world so that it nur tures and cherishes us back is the lesson we take from gardening. HERBERT L. ISCHIOS Montreal, Quebec I bow to none in my admiration of gardening as a hobby and therapeutic device. When it comes to food production, however, let us be realistic! Those long aisles of fresh and processed food in our grocery stores are not and never will be filled with the produce of hobby gardens. If those characters who sneer at "dangerous chemicals" and "waste ful irrigation" did not already have full bellies, they would not be able to play around with their mulches and manures and organics. Leave food production to the professionals. That way we will allhave enough to eat. MILTON G. MITCHELL Departmentof Economics University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh I would point out a German contribution of impor tance to every American: the kindergarten. It was the idea of German educator Friedrich Frobel, who wanted every child to get in touch with nature. In his model kindergarten in Bad Blankenburg about 1840, every child had his own little patch. Later Dr. Daniel Schreber in Leipzig developed the idea of setting up family gardens to promote better physical and mental health. Today people in most large German cities have access to quarter acre plots, called Schrebergartens, usually on the outskirts of town. J. C. FROLICH Hannover, Germany The Great Eclipse I was impressed by your story in the May issue on the eclipse of July 11, 1991. Six months later it was my privilege to observe another eclipse, which began at sunrise in western Yap. At Falo Island, Chuuk State (Truk), the eclipse was annular about 8:45 a.m., January 5, 1992. Eclipses often occur in pairs about six months apart. Sometimes they barely reach totality; at other times there are vary ing extents of annularity or totality. Since the July eclipse was near the greatest possible totality length, the eclipse in January was very annular, though still impressive. SAMUEL A. Cox West Chester, Pennsylvania NOTHING OUTLASTS THE ENERGIZER.