ZINIO logo

MOTHER EARTH NEWS February/March 2021

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

3 min
unexpected visitors

I can still remember the first time I witnessed a flight of sandhill cranes cruising high over my place in east-central South Dakota in fall. I first heard their “cronking” chatter and thought, those are odd-sounding geese. When I was finally able to locate their high-flying formation, I thought, those are some messy looking patterns. Other than feeling grateful that I had been able to experience such a sight and its accompanying sounds, I went about my life, until the following spring, when a friend and I were hiking to a good fishing slough to load up on pike for the freezer. About halfway to the slough, we heard faint honking and looked up to see drift after drift of snow and blue geese churning northward. My friend commented on…

12 min
dear mother

“Sometimes, we had bees and chickens, and a small greenhouse, and always hard but rewarding work to keep us busy.” Life in a Little House I was recently given an old family photo. When one of your subscribers saw it, she said it looked like a MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine cover. I don’t know about that, but I decided to let you know what a big part your magazine played in my family’s life. My mother had been planting a garden for a few years before we moved from Southern California to Kansas in 1974. She subscribed to your magazine, and she also read The Foxfire Book (edited by Eliot Wigginton) and How to Prepare for the Coming Crash by Robert L. Preston. She even wrote to her grandmother to ask what her…

7 min
urban tree nursery project

In 2018, Savannah received a two-year grant that would allow for “equitable solutions to local climate change challenges.” Nick Deffley, the city’s environmental services and sustainability director, says recipients of the grant were required to mitigate climate change impacts related to either energy or water. Because of its coastal location, Savannah chose water — with a focus on trees. After receiving the funding, Savannah set three goals for its Urban Tree Nursery Project: Grow the urban forest, enhance workforce skills, and engage community youth. According to the city, increased tree canopy can reduce stormwater runoff and soil erosion, reduce water pollution, sequester carbon dioxide, lower heating and cooling costs, and more. To begin, the Project identified three vacant lots that were formerly residential properties that routinely flooded. These blighted city lots…

5 min
a garden with altitude

I’ve always loved gardening. I grew up in a suburb of New York City, where I helped my family garden. So when my husband and I moved our family farther upstate, I looked forward to big, beautiful gardens on our 1-acre lot. What I got instead was an influx of destruction. Every attempt at a vegetable garden turned into a feast for local wildlife. Chicken wire? The deer laughed at that. Wooden picket fencing? The chipmunks squeezed right through, and the groundhogs gnawed themselves an entryway. When I found a chipmunk running away from my damaged garden with a cherry tomato in its mouth, I’d had enough. Our house is roughly barn-shaped, with a deep gambrel roof sloping down to the front and back. As a result, the tops of the house…

10 min
virginia free farm cultivating food justice

If you come to Virginia Free Farm at Spotted Pig Holler, you’ll find many of the typical features of an average American farm. You’ll see chickens pecking away, diligently fertilizing the grounds in preparation for subsequent growing seasons. Ducks and geese will be busily pulling every last weed they can get their bills on, while hard at work gifting the farm with a bounty of beautiful eggs. You’ll notice tangles of polyculture gardens mimicking the diversity of our natural ecosystems, and pigs oinking noisily at anyone who’ll listen, in hopes that a kindly visitor will share a morsel of food. It’s the Rockwellian pastoral landscape many envision when picturing a bucolic farm. What’s different about this farm, however, is that the food produced here is given away — all of…

9 min
my tiny house life

The tiny house movement is currently being driven by demographics. In 1960, the American dream house was a three-bedroom, two-bath, two-car garage to accommodate a married couple with children. More than half a century later, the number of singleperson households in the United States is about 35 million, and expected to increase to 41 million by 2030. The takeaway? The great American dream house is rapidly becoming outdated. With baby boomers entering retirement and more professional single folks in the marketplace, the demand for quality, small, custom housing is rising. People are asking themselves, “How much is enough?” I once asked myself a similar question, and since then have been enjoying life in a tiny home. I learned that “small” in housing can be beautiful, functional, economical, and ecological. A Long, Long Time…