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MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine is the Original Guide to Living Wisely. Launched in 1970, each bimonthly issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features practical and money-saving information on cutting energy costs; using renewable energy; organic gardening; green home building and remodeling; fun do-it-yourself projects; and conscientious, self-sufficient lifestyles

United States
Ogden Publications, Inc.
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
a bit of preparedness

Time is flying faster than I can ever remember, and I’m sitting, somewhat unexpectedly, in front of a woodstove beating back subzero temperatures and a snowstorm outside. Our part of Kansas has rarely seen zero degrees Fahrenheit in the past seven or eight years, much less minus 13 degrees. It’s been so long that we’ve had to dig deep into the recesses of our memories to construct the list of things that need doing to keep the farm running in the brutal cold. We’ve had to run the dryer in the barn bathroom to keep the pipes from freezing. We just never got around to installing a proper heater in that space, and we’ve made it through most cold snaps unscathed. We’ve been hauling in extra firewood, even as the woodpile…

2 min
new national park and preserve

Legally, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve has been under the protection and management of the National Park Service (NPS) since 1978 as a National River. In her statements, Capito has emphasized economics as a key component of the decision to designate the area as a National Park instead, a classification that imparts new signage, additional parking, and increased media attention. Based on figures from other monument and park designations, Capito hopes for a 20 percent increase in annual visitors to the area. According to the NPS, the new law allows for the possibility of purchasing an additional 3,700 acres of land from private landowners to add to the preserve in the future. While the update and potential expansion promises a boost to adventure retailers and tour guides in…

1 min
america’s diverse family farms report

A majority of the approximately 2 million American farms are still family businesses, in one finding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual report “America’s Diverse Family Farms,” which contains the latest government statistics on U.S. farms. According to the report, “Family farms as a group, across type, accounted for 98 percent of farms and 86 percent of production in 2019.” Of those, 90 percent are “small” (grossing less than $350,000), but are responsible for only 22 percent of production, while large-scale family farms account for 44 percent of production. The report covers production, financial performance, and farm household characteristics by farm size through 2019. Other key conclusions from the report include: • Women act as operators in more than half (51 percent) of all farming operations, with the largest share of…

1 min
sweet potato biodiversity for climate resilience

Sweet potatoes are one of the most-grown crops globally, making them a staple of diets around the world. They’re also hardy and highly nutritious, stocked with vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, dietary fiber, and protein. Recognizing their importance, the International Potato Center (CIP) hosts thousands of sweet potato genes in its genebank in Lima, Peru, making its supply one of the world’s largest sweet potato cultivar collections. CIP maintains more than 5,500 accessions in vitro to conserve overall diversity and to create a cache from which researchers and breeders can pull. Almost 2,000 of those cultivars, from 50 different countries and comprising both traditional and modern varieties, were examined in a recent study undertaken by CIP and several other research institutions to analyze the role of sweet potato’s genetic diversity…

1 min
native plant trust online courses

Plant conservation organization Native Plant Trust has long offered educational opportunities, with partnerships and programs throughout New England. But at the start of the pandemic, like so many others, the organization began to transition its programs to virtual platforms — a move that attracted additional learners. According to Courtney Allen, director of public programs, Native Plant Trust saw a 20 percent increase in registration as a result of the increased accessibility. Allen says some of its still-current courses were already online, which gave the organization a foundation to work from in designing three new self-paced, facilitated certificate courses that it launched in early 2020: Plant Form and Function; Plant Ecology; and Plant Families. These three online courses will be offered again this year for the May to September term. Registration…

1 min
editors’ pick

Sharing the Knowledge This year has been hard on everyone. Our small city in Massachusetts was hit with COVID-19 and the unemployment and food shortages that came with it. Meatpacking facilities shut down. Trucks stopped rolling. Each family, no matter its size, was limited to one package of meat per visit to the grocery store. There was a chicken shortage, and eggs were hard to come by. My husband and I have a small urban farmstead, two blocks from downtown. We raise chickens and meat rabbits, and we have our own gardens and fruit trees. All of it is on less than ½ acre. What was intended to feed our family has become a source of food for many families. We provide eggs to our neighbors and a couple of elderly…