Can you imagine being thanked by an international organization for helping to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth? That is the story of Margaret Eyre, who died recently at age 97. John and I had the remarkable luck of knowing Margaret for twenty years, meeting her not long after she became active in her son, Rich Eyre’s, business, Rich’s Foxwillow Pines Nursery, in Woodstock, Illinois. Her specialty was hostas and she propagated the plants and sold them for Heifer International. She raised at least $500,000 for world hunger, allowing Heifer to buy farm animals for people around the world with the agreement that those farmers would give what they received and pass on the gift to others in their community. Some of those funds were donated to Heifer International Foundation, where the funds remain in perpetuity and the interest is given to projects in Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Haiti, and Bolivia. Margaret was known as the ‘Hosta Queen’. Margaret was thrilled when Tom Micheletti, former president of the American Hosta Society, hybridized a hosta and named it ‘Margaret Eyre’. She worked every day at the nursery until she was 93 years old. On December 21, 2015 with admiration and recognition, Mano a Mano International presented Margaret with a plaque for a 4-classroom school in Sora Sora, Bolivia, dedicated in her honor for her years of work on behalf of the people of Bolivia. This school will be completed by April 2016.
Thank you, Margaret, and thank you to all who bought Margaret’s hostas and, in so doing, contributed to BEAUTY AND PEACE ON EARTH. Margaret was a rare and wondrous bird. She will truly be greatly missed.#