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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

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United States
Ogden Publications, Inc.
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
one person’s weeds

When I arrived at our farm in 2007, about 60 acres of it was enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The contract ran for a few years after I bought it and offered a small bit of income in the form of an annual government check. I wasn’t happy about the contract, as I had plans for the acreage, but you do what you do. The plant matrix in the CRP wasn’t impressive — there was little diversity, other than perhaps five species of grasses. Oddly, there were almost no broadleaf plants in those acres, and there were some bare patches. Weedy species, such as nodding thistle and Lespedeza cuneata, known as “sericea lespedeza,” were the most prevalent non-grass plants out there. After some research,…

2 min
india farmers strike

In late November, Indian trade unions claim that 250 million people in India joined a 24-hour general strike to support the farmers’ demands, and over the past six months, people throughout India and around the world have held rallies in solidarity. Such widespread and consistent participation makes this the largest ongoing demonstration in the world, and, many sources say, likely the largest in human history. The three bills together, according to the Government of India’s Press Information Bureau, would allow for intra-and interstate trading and online trading; enable farmers and buyers to enter exclusive contractual agreements; and restrict the government’s ability to regulate the production, supply, and distribution of certain commodities. With those restrictions in place, markets and prices for certain commodities would no longer be regulated. In their response to…

2 min
citizens’ climate lobby

For years, Kyle Chandler-Isacksen and his family have lived a life mostly free of fossil fuels and full of farmstead projects. They also developed the nonprofit Be the Change Project, an urban homestead and learning space dedicated to service and sustainability. These hyperlocal actions have inspired his friends to adjust their own lifestyles, and those friends in turn have invited him to participate in their nationally focused organizing. So, in early 2021, Chandler-Isacksen joined a local chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on national policies to address climate change. CCL chapters grow support for climate solutions through lobbying Congress, offering trainings on media relations, providing local educational outreach, and building relationships with community leaders. Nationwide, CCL is primarily advocating for a type of carbon tax called a…

1 min
emerging pesticide research

Systemic pesticides, such as neonicotinoids (or “neonics”), are absorbed by plants and transferred into their tissues to poison the insects that feed on them. These widespread chemicals have been linked to detrimental sublethal effects on bees and other beneficial insects, and further evidence of unintended impacts is continually emerging. Research published in Scientific Reports in January 2021 shows that neonics disrupt the memory and sleep patterns of bees and butterflies, limiting their ability to forage, pollinate, and reproduce. Treated seeds can also find their way into other creatures’ diets, and recent studies have shown that neonic insecticides can negatively impact mammals, birds, and fish. Because of these extensive impacts, neonics have been restricted in some places — but bans give rise to new formulas that may be no safer. In an…

1 min
nocturnal pollen transport network

Bees are well-known pollination agents, but recent research published in Biology Letters in May 2019 points to nocturnal moths also playing an important, though less well-known, role in pollination. These moths are part of what the study calls a “nocturnal pollen transport network,” containing more than 100 moth species that carry pollen to dozens of plant types. According to the study, the moths transfer pollen on the fronts of their bodies rather than with their mouthparts (or “proboscises”), which is why their dissemination might’ve been overlooked, as scientists commonly swab an insect’s proboscis for traces of pollen. The study suggests that these moths’ services are essential for several wild plant families in agricultural landscapes, especially those that aren’t visited by bees, butterflies, and hoverflies during the day. Because of the moths’ contribution,…

13 min
dear mother

“All those years, I’d been competing with nature. I began to wonder if there was a way for me to cooperate with her instead.” EDITORS’ PICK Cheese Made Easy When our local library reopened following the COVID-19 lockdown, I found some old issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS in a recycling bin. With delight, I took as many of them as I could. In the April/May 2018 issue, I found instructions for easy homemade cheese (“3 One-Hour Cheese Recipes”). No offense to YouTube, but I’ve found written instructions to be a lot more valuable than videos, in some cases. With my on-hand ingredients list and the recipe, I made absolutely delicious farmer cheese with no difficulty at all. A jelly bag made a great substitute for cheesecloth, and it was easy to clean afterward.…