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MOTHER EARTH NEWS December - January 2020

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

2 min
50 years and counting

I can still remember the eagerness with which I awaited the arrival of my first issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS toward the end of 1969. I had sent off a check that I’d convinced my mother to write for me after counting out cash from my snow-shoveling, lawn-mowing, paper-route stash. The first issue arrived sometime that winter, and I read it cover to cover. My 13-year-old mind couldn’t fully grasp some of the environmental advocacy stuff, but the gardening, wood and metal projects, business ideas, and philosophy topics truly shaped me. The magazine completely reinforced my ingrained skepticism of virtually everything I read, particularly what was provided by “the establishment.” MOTHER EARTH NEWS wasn’t a “hippie” magazine, as it’s often characterized today. It was an instrument of mind-opening possibilities that, in…

1 min
editors’ pick

Alvada, Ohio MOTHER’S Past I remember MOTHER EARTH NEWS from the 1970s. I wish I would’ve kept every issue. I’d like to know more about its history, and where it’s printed now. Keep up the wonderful magazine, especially the articles focusing on DIY projects. Theresa and other readers, we’re happy to give you some background on the anniversary of our 50th year in print. John and Jane Shuttleworth published the first issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS in January 1970 in Ohio. They wanted to embrace the back-to-the-land movement and promote self-sufficiency while connecting with environmentalists around the country. From its birth, MOTHER had a strong do-it yourself bent, advising readers about gardening techniques, as well as how to build structures, care for livestock, and install renewable energy on their properties. After a few years,…

6 min
dear mother

“We love our Mother and teach others to do the same so, one day, we can all live fruitful, sustainable lives.” Springs of Sustainability 50 Hello to all readers! You’ve helped make Earth a better place. I’m writing in response to the article “A Wellspring of Ingenuity” (August/September 2019) about digging a well to collect spring water. Back in 1997, my wife and I purchased 12 acres of land in western New York, about 8 acres of open land and 4 acres of woods. For 17 years, we’d been living in a city with our two kids in a 1,000-square-foot house. Not only were we tired of city life, but we’d outgrown the house. It was time to build a real home. I started by building a 24-by-32-foot pole barn workshop. Then, in…

3 min
thinking (and living) independently

Readers, we received a number of responses to Editorial Director Hank Will’s “Outside the Box” editorial (June/July 2019). Here are our favorite letters from you.— Mother Pigweed as Panacea I find thinking “outside the box” a very interesting notion. Our “outside the box” idea with hair sheep happened last year. We have around 40 ewes in three groups on our small farm. Several of the small pasture areas have an abundance of pigweed in summer. We noticed that the sheep seemed to prefer the young, tender leaves over other weeds and grasses. As the weeds became taller (12 to 15 inches), we mowed them short again. The new tender leaves were a real treat for the sheep. We repeated the process for the remainder of summer into fall. The sheep always had…

5 min
states set 100% clean energy targets

A handful of states have passed laws; others have set goals. According to online solar marketplace EnergySage (www.EnergySage.com), some states are reaching for “100 percent renewable energy,” or energy only from renewable sources, and others are pursuing “100 percent clean energy,” indicating their acceptance of nonrenewable but carbon-free sources of power, such as nuclear. The deadlines for these policies vary from state to state, with most states aiming for the 2040 to 2050 range. Hawaii was the first state to make headway on state specific renewable energy goals, passing a bill in 2015 that mandates 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. In 2018, New Jersey’s governor issued an executive order for 100 percent clean energy by 2050. And in January 2019, Washington, D.C., did the same, committing to 100 percent renewable…

3 min
soil to sanctuary

In Baltimore, Maryland, the Black Church Food Security Network has built an alternative food system that supports black farmers and historically African American congregations. At Soil to Sanctuary Community Market at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, producers gain the support of regular customers who come by after worship services, and those customers, in turn, receive increased food security. Plus, the church serves as a hub where food donations are processed and distributed around the city. The Network’s efforts are directed at food-insecure communities and fueled by the conviction that food and land sovereignty is essential to the empowerment of black communities. In addition to operating the market, the Network’s mission also includes creating and expanding church gardens through its Operation Higher Ground program, and leading educational sessions on environmental stewardship and food…