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Susan M. Brackney

Susan M. Brackney

A beekeeper since 2003, Susan M. Brackney is a freelance writer and the author of four nonfiction titles, including Plan Bee: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Hardest-Working Creatures on the Planet. Brackney specializes in organic gardening, beekeeping, green living, and nature. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Boys’ Life Magazine, Organic Gardening, Hobby Farms, and Indianapolis Monthly Magazine, among others. When she's not writing, Brackney tends her small greenhouse and gardens. “I'm gradually eliminating my lawn. It's good for bees, but, also, I'm lazy! Mowing's just always seemed Sisyphean to me,” she says.

Posts by this contributor 9 results

Logging, Runoff in 5 Counties Threaten Health of Lake Monroe

The Lake Monroe watershed — the land and creeks that drain into the lake — includes parts of five counties. Writer Susan M. Brackney looks at a group of “friends” who are safeguarding the lake — along with our drinking water and the plants, fish, and wildlife of Lake Monroe — from the effects of runoff and logging. Click here to read the full story.

Changing the ‘Us and Them’ Feeling in Bloomington Is ‘Imperative’

Through the ONE Community Initiative, the Bloomington Volunteer Network and six local nonprofits are trying to change the “us and them” feeling in the community. Susan M. Brackney spoke with the Volunteer Network’s Lucy Schaich about this shift in volunteering. Focusing on this initiative and these organizations, Schaich says, “is imperative for our community.” Click here to read the full story.

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IU Health Addressing Push to Provide Nurse-Midwives

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) help with pre- and postnatal care, but none are available at nearby hospitals. Since a local group petitioned IU Health Bloomington to provide a network of CNMs, the hospital has been “actively addressing this need.” First, it must recruit enough obstetricians to support a midwifery program. Click here to read the full story.

150 Species in Indiana Now Listed As Endangered or ‘Special Concern’

What would happen if the hellbender goes? More than 150 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mollusks that call Indiana home are now listed as “endangered” or “special concern” in the state. Susan M. Brackney shows who decides which animals make the cut — and how. Click here to read the full story.

Even in Dead of Winter, Bike Commuters Fend Off Nasty Weather and Drivers

Hundreds of Monroe County residents hop on their bicycles and commute to work every day, year-round. In Susan M. Brackney’s story, they share tips on how to be safe and comfortable when dealing with snow, ice, subfreezing temps, and hostile drivers who don’t want to share the road. Click here to read the full story.

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Getting Fresher Greens This Winter — Indoor Gardening Is Easier and Cheaper Than Ever

Nothing beats just-picked veggies, and the cold, short days of winter need not stop you from having them. Susan M. Brackney shows how greens, sprouts, microshoots, and vegetables can be grown cheaply and easily indoors. One reason, she explains, is that lighting has become more efficient. T-what?! Click here to read the full story.

Diggers, Dealers, and Appalachian Outlaws: Unearthing Indiana’s Ginseng Trade

Susan M. Brackney explores the often misunderstood world of hunting wild ginseng and how ethical stewardship among the diggers and careful monitoring by conservation officers have kept Indiana’s ginseng population relatively healthy — despite the portrayal of supposed ginseng diggers on reality TV making it look adventurous and lucrative. Click here to read the full story.

Bee-Town Gets Busy: The State of All Things Bee and How You Can Help

While the honeybee population in Monroe County is thriving, studies show Indiana's colony loss is worse than the national average. Bloomington beekeeper Susan M. Brackney addresses the complicated and troubling issue, and she offers advice on helping not only honeybees but also bumblebees, butterflies, and other native pollinators. Click here to read the full story.

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