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Why I Love My MOTHER

Celebrating MOTHER EARTH NEWS' 40th Anniversary

We’re celebrating 40 years of MOTHER EARTH NEWS! Our February/March 2010 issue features articles in honor of our anniversary.

And here’s an opportunity for you to share in the celebration (and get a chance to win a book!). If you remember your favorite article or project from the last 40 years, or perhaps how MOTHER changed your life, we would like to share some of your memories with our readers.

We invite you to post your story in the comments section below. We'll pick the top 10 stories, for which their authors will receive free copies of one of our all-time favorite homesteading books, Carla Emery's The Encyclopedia of Country Living . 

Post a comment below.


Ronda Hobbs_2
4/21/2010 1:00:23 PM
My husband a disabled Vietnam Veteran and I dreamed of a move to the country. We knew to do so would mean learning how to save by doing many things on our own. Though we are both pretty handy, we began reading every copy of Mother Earth news we could get our hands on, including buying older copies at our local library bookstore. We saved every issue as a personal how to library. Not only were we learning, we were keeping references! In 2005 our dream came true when we finally had saved enough to move to a secluded place in the woods. We have utilized over and over the information we have learned from Mothers and learn something new with each issue. Because of limited income, we didn't know if it would ever happen, but thanks to Mother, we have made a dream come true!

Janice Houck_3
4/8/2010 10:22:29 PM
How has MEN changed my life? Only totally! I still remember in 1970 picking up a copy at a friend's house. I had no previous knowledge nor interest in anything along the lines described and discussed in this publication. But I was immediately hooked....and enlightened. I became an avid reader/subscriber starting with issue #2 and just recently purchased the 40 yrs on DVD as my old paper copies are quite worn and fragile by now! Everything I read made so much sense to me. Who wouldn't want to be more self- sufficient?! Of course in those days it was very popular. But then the 80s came along and conspicuous consumption became the name of the game and self sufficiency fell out of favor. But I just kept right on plugging along, even tho I was the lone voice in the wilderness by that time. My first home was in the city. I transformed it into a homestead. Put in a wood stove, got a few chickens, grew fruit and veggies in my front yard, all on my own. It was an oasis in the inner city. All the while I dreamed of having real land. It was another 10 yrs before I found my dream - a 100 yo farm house on 10 acres in the country. I homeschool my daughters, we raise lots of animals, veggies and fruit and continue to plant more. We are beekeepers. We heat with wood and have set up a rain barrel system. We can; we dry; we save seeds. All the things I have learned from Mother; and when we want to learn something new, where do we turn? Why to our Mother of course!

Mary Stenros
4/2/2010 7:45:43 AM
Dear Mother, I can remember the first time I heard your name. I saw a bit on the TV about a new magizine that would fit my life style. The very next day I singed up.I had a great grandmother who always told me to by land wherever I went and that is what I have always done. With that advice and Mother I tackled 20 acres in Northern Idaho where, as a single mom with three kids we built our cabin and barn, raised a garden, and lots of animals. We were snowed in five months out of the year and it was a challenge that we loved. After meeting my husband, a man who shares my ideas and love of the land, we moved across the border into North western Montana where we built a log home using short log construction. My mission was to have all of the Mothers from the very first one and we had them at one time, but due to a wet storage unit they got wet and molded. The day we had to lay them to rest was a very sad day in our lives. Even then we couldn't throw them away we just sat them in front of the dumpster and started collecting again. Your articles have been a great sorce of info and we have spent many cold nights by lamp light reading them to each other. As our nest became empty and the land around us was filling up we sold our home in Montana and seven years ago my husband and I moved to Alaska, and you guessed it, we bought land and are building another log home. The kids and grandkids followed. Thanks Mother for being a constant in my life.

Heather Gray_2
3/25/2010 5:53:36 PM
Just last week I was talking with a client who was telling me about her dream to move to the country and to buy some land. With luck she would find the right person to help her build her raw acreage into a sustainable home. I was starting to say how great that sounded when it occurred to me that my husband John and I were living her dream(as well as our own.)We bought land 6 years ago in the Sierra Nevada Foothills in Northern California.While I had no idea where to begin with all the projects needed to make our 10 acres into a sustainable home,John had devoted most of his life learning what was needed to build a ranch.One of the important factors was John had discovered MEN years ago and would sit quietly devouring each article front to back,learning ways to do projects that weren't second nature to him. Our projects ranged from putting in a well, trenching for our water lines, putting in a solar system, and putting in a 340sq ft,8' fenced garden.Working our land has been a labor of love. We have found there's nothing like dream to create our future and Mother Earth News has been a wealth of knowledge with us every step of the way.Our next projects will be to build a greenhouse,put in a chicken coop, and ultimately build our log cabin. You can bet we will be looking for MEN articles to help with our questions. Thank you Mother Earth News for helping to make so many peoples dreams come true.

tami _11
3/24/2010 9:26:49 AM
As long as I can remember (almost 40 years now) my mother has subscribed to the best magazine ever. She was, and still is, always quoting or reading it. My mother will say, “Well, I read in my Mother Earth News Magazine that....”. I can always count on those comforting words during our phone conversations that travel over thousands of miles. One fond memory is back in 1976, when I was five years old, she and I got matching Earth shoes in result from an article she read. I am now a mother of two toddler boys and I just picked up the magazine in search of gardening ideas. I realized I am becoming my mother. We are an organic family who desires a self sustaining, off the grid lifestyle. We just found a hobby farm in Nova Scotia and are picking up and moving there. I got a Mother Earth News to read on the long journey. We arrived at our new place and while meeting the neighbors at their farm house, they saw the magazine in our car window. They said they were just reading theirs at their kitchen table that Sunday morning. We immediately formed a common bond and found it delightful that a family in our age group (30's to 40's) had the same desire to transplant to a location for a more wholesome, organic lifestyle. And Mother Earth News is there to lead the way.

3/13/2010 6:50:37 AM
MEN inspired me to come up with a plan for 2009. A list of ideas that would make better use of the resources we have on our 5 acre property.A list was posted on the frig,(the sight of which made my son think he was living with "hippies") One project was completed. With some help from my daughters, we hauled many cart loads of organic material such as sheep bedding,leaves, grass clippings,etc.. to form a "lasagna garden" in a poor 4'x20' section of lawn that received full sunlight. I planted a medley of zucchini varieties,tomatoes,peppers and some herbs. As you would expect the zucchini was a success! It produced over 200#! As an unplanned benefit we split open the large ones and fed them to the chickens. They devoured them till there were only shells left. The rest of the vegetables were dried or canned. In fact last summer I actually filled all my canning jars and was looking for more. An event that has not happened for a long time. Thanks for the ideas and encouragement.

3/6/2010 11:55:56 AM
I still have issue 2 and many of those early issues. Anybody collecting that needs some old issues? We lived in upstate NY building our cabin with hand tools on virgin land where we put in a large garden. I was a newlywed FL City girl transplanted to snow and country life. I learned lots from Mother Earth News about northern living, various projects and gardening. If you will give the old issues a good home e-mail Thanks, Roberta

Susan Musser_2
2/28/2010 11:51:55 AM
After 40 years of living in military housing and not having a garden, we retired to 2 acres. I found Mother Earth News shortly after that. I have learned so much and after many mistakes and false starts, I have a decent garden. We had to leave our little piece of property for a 6 month stint at the Grand Canyon National Park. No gardening ther. It's rocks and lots of Elk that eat everything. I am getting chickens this spring and have my seeds started. Even with my left hand in a cast, I will get my garden going and have lots of veggies to can (even if I have to buy them at the farmer's market)

Michael Hilliker
2/25/2010 9:02:32 AM
It is hard to believe that the magazine has continued for 40 years. I saw my first copy with edition #44. I began to subscribe with issue #49 and have subscribed ever since. I have watched the magazine go from good times to bad and back again to good times. I have stuck with the Philosophy of sustainability since reading the first issue. I had the perfect homestead and thought my life would be complete till my wife divorced me. Lost the homestead in the divorce but have been able to start over again. The only thing that I miss from the old issues the the humor page that use to be at the end of the magazine. I got a lot of chuckles from those stories. I hope to be around to see the next 40 issues ( I will be 100 yo by then)!

2/20/2010 1:22:11 AM
My wife's story: I recall, as a child, reading my father's Mother Earth News whenever I could get my hands on it. We lived on a very small farm, slightly less than 2 acres. I saw what I was reading turn into reality by my father. Compost piles, rotating what grew in which garden plot to keep the soil healthy, perfectly pruned fruit trees... That is where my own dreams of simple living and homesteading came into being. As an adult who has mobility problems, I am still trying to figure out how to get some things done, but I am blessed with a very creative husband. Drip lines set up for the hanging tomato plants, plans drawn out for raised platform beds that I can reach, more plans for custom made boxes to give our tiny patio some greenery, but also the lovely scent of fresh growing herbs. We currently live on a small lot in suburbia and are not able to have chickens, rabbits, ducks, or any other farm type animals, but we are holding tight to our dream of having our own home on a small piece of rural land where we can do even more to lower our carbon footprint using many of the ideas we've seen in Mother Earth News over the years. When life seems grim and the homestead dream is hard to hold, I turn to Mother Earth. The focus returns and the dream lives on.

2/17/2010 4:53:54 PM
Mother Earth News has been my source for learning how to live a somewhat sustainable life here in the suburbs. I plan to have a bigger and better vegetable garden this year doing my own composting from table scraps,using a rain water barrel, and making and using homemade pesticides. I learned how to bake bread on a baking stone, grow better tomatoes for my area, and use solar panels on top of my trailer. I started becoming interested in trying to become more self sufficient as far as living off the land goes when I began to have medical problems and working for "Corporate America" became a challenge everyday. My husbund is getting older and having health problems as well which makes me nervous about our future. I began to understand that we are out here alone and have to do all we can to make our future possible. The more we can learn to be more independent from relying on city water, electric, and grocery stores the better. Thank you Mother Earth News for helping my husbund and I work towards our goal to be self sufficient and hopefully release us from the corporate slavery jobs that bind us someday.

Sherrie Wilson
2/14/2010 5:20:59 PM
Since leaving 'the big city' for a small mountain town (just 200 of us living here at 9118') 2 years ago, my partner and I have been steadily moving towards a simpler, more self-sufficient lifestyle. The '3 R's' (reduce, reuse, recycle) are second nature around our place, but we've been wanting to do more for us as well as the planet, with less. But where to begin? And where to look? So much material, and who to trust? I happened upon some back issues of Mother Earth News at our local library's book sale and after thumbing through just a few, grabbed every one, thinking 'I hadn't thought of this magazine in years!'. Wow! What a wealth of information we've found! I've bookmarked so many pages, I can't even begin to count, and the website has been invaluable as well. In just a short month-or-so since that library find, I've baked bread again for the first time in years, we've got plans to try our hand at making beer and wine/cider/mead, also for a small garden, eventually a greenhouse, and someday (hopefully soon), solar power and windpower. If our own yard proves not a good garden site (we have limited sunlight in our narrow mountain valley), we'll look at starting a community garden in a sunnier part of town; it seems there was one here years ago but it fell into disuse. I could go on and on how wonderful my rediscovery of your magazine has been, but this will give an idea of our dreams for our near-and-distant future, thanks to your magazine. Thanks, Mother!

2/12/2010 11:22:07 AM
In December, my sisters and I were telling a friend about the raw milk we had started buying. Our friend encouraged us to make butter with the cream. Homemade butter sounded appealing especially because of all the nutrients in butter made from grass-fed cows’ milk. It sounded good and I knew I would enjoy making butter. However, I knew it would take me weeks before I actually got to finding directions on how to make it. I did not need to worry though, because that very night I opened the newest edition of Mother Earth News to find quick, easy, and illustrated instructions for making butter. All I had to do now was skim the cream off the milk and follow the step-by-step guidelines. My expectation of making butter was standing in the kitchen for a few hours shaking a jar of cream. The method I found in your magazine using a blender or food processor is so simple and fast! Since then, my family and I have enjoyed eating the fresh butter. It isn’t even bad for us. On the contrary, our bodies reap many health benefits because the cows are raised the way they were designed to live. Thank you for the encouragement and the easy to follow instructions right when I needed them.

Shannon Gardner_2
2/11/2010 10:27:13 AM
In 1975 my parents moved fromm a small town to 40 acres in the hills. I was 8 years old and we were homesteading. We got chickens, goats, rabbits, cows, horses, and pigs. We built raised beds, cold frames, and a greenhouse. We didn't have electricity, but we had a generator for power tools, propane for the frig, cookstove and water heater, and woodstoves for heating and cooking in the winter. We also had a subscription to Mother Earth News. Even at 8 years old, I used to read MEN cover to cover. My dad was big into alternative energy and construcion techniques, so he was always getting ideas from the magazine. One of my first MEN memories was reading how to make a whistle out of a willow branch with my pocket knife. I must have made dozens. One of the best tips I learned was to split wood from the bottom up! I immediately tried the bottom up method, and I can attest that it works, and that it was a good trick for a young kid trying to prove his manhood. I still use the bottom up method even though I now have a hydraulic splitter. I lost my dad when I was 13, and eventually moved away from the homestead, but I never lost those homestead roots. My wife and I live on just an acre now, but we have raised beds, cold frames, and we still heat with and cut our own wood. We have plans for a greenhouse, solar, and more, and we have a subscription to Mother Earth News.

Patti Graham_1
2/10/2010 3:03:47 PM
I remember hiding under my covers when my grandmother would come in and wake me up early to work in our garden. I remember the homemade clothes and the smells in the house from canning day not to mention the smell from the livestock across the road. When I went away to college my life was going to be so so far away from all that. With that being said...I live in rural KY I live across from where cattle graze, have a garden, a husband that loves nothing more than to be outside with our big dog Abbey. I take off work to can and freeze our garden giving fresh fruit and veggies to friends and to hear my very earthy daughter complain about the smell of brussel spouts cooking...and the delight on her face when she opens a jar of strawberry jam. I love mother because when I can't get down in the dirt I can read and plan for that wonderful experience...and flash back to those times with my Grammie who knew more about the right way to care for us and our Mother Earth than I was ever willing to admit until now....

Tamisan Soto
2/10/2010 2:06:12 PM
I grew up on 7.5 acres of rural scrub and swamp land in West Central Florida surrounded by chickens and turkeys, rabbits, and dogs and cats 'working' right along side my parents as we built our first house when I wasn't even in grade school. At 16, now living 'in town' but still on a half acre, we did it again and I added sandblasting and installing insulation to my repertoire of diy knowledge. Now as an adult with a family of my own I can barely contain my frustration at being city-locked, as we call it, stuck in a yardless apartment where I can't control the type of power or water we use. We've lived in San Francisco and now New York and yet I still grow some of our own vegetables in three AeroGardens, including a very cool purple bole bean that is 'sparkly' according to my husband, yellow and red alpine strawberries, mini orange pixie tomatoes, and chocolate mini bell peppers. In the last few years with soaring food, gas, and housing prices we've seriously looked at different green housing practices and have finally managed to agree on purchasing acreage and a Yurt, now we just have to decide where to put down roots. Mother Earth News has been a great help in not only seeing what others have done, but in bringing some of the latest environmentally sustainable techniques and breakthroughs to our mailbox (both virtual and in paper). Even my techie husband has jumped on TMEN bandwagon! We sit down the weekend it comes in and read it cover to cover together while fresh bread r

Mary Jane Phifer_2
2/9/2010 8:52:32 AM
Back 25 yrs ago when we were dating, my husband had a stack of Mother Earth News from "back in the day." I thought they were a hoot, but read them all. Life continued on- marriage, as did jobs and a child, followed by retirement for the spouse. Never did I dream that we would actually find ourselves in a position where Mother Earth News had such an impact. Back in 2003 I subscribed to Mother after a move which landed us 10 acres; leading to chickens, goats, and a fine garden. Homesteading Bug was nibbling on us, so we "upped and moved" from suburbia in VA to the Ozarks of MO. We have been here almost 4 years now and Mother has been with us every step of the way. Our Ozarks farm is becoming self-sufficient with our Spanish goats, Dexter cattle, "mobile hens," garden, fruit trees, home dairy and I could go on and on. The pole barn "house/barn" is almost finished and wait till you see the pictures! With Mother's help and guidance we are living The Dream my husband had several years ago and are providing a great environment for our daughter to grow up in. Thank you, Mother.

Gina Hunnicutt_2
2/8/2010 3:09:02 PM
To whom it may consern, this is for the 10th annvesary edition, " how mother earth made a diffrence in my life " section. I am a southren girl, living in the north these past 7 years. I am relativity a Horticulture nut, and love to work with my hands. Recently due to the economy I have lost my two jobs, that went out of business, so with the time I had this summer, I decided to try my hand at gardening. I am a long time gardener, back home in the south ( Zone 4 ) which I had many successful gardens in the past.This time around would prove a challenge in zone 7. With the limited growing time and short season, I found out just how diffrent gardening is up north. Since I discovered Mother Earth News, I have found several time and step saving idea's and alot of new items that I would have never thought of. In the end, this year, with money being so tight I had not too bad " experimental garden " , next year will prove to be alot better, for soil and seeds! In short, with things being tough on us all, and having to make those pennies strech far beyond you can imagen, its always nice to pick up mother earth news and find alot of ways to cut conners and read about some down right strange but true things that you wouldnt think of, but hey it does work!!! And its a great way to pass the time durring the long long winters, in Wisconsin !!! Thank you, Gina Hunnicutt

Adria Beach
2/6/2010 9:21:12 AM
For 3 decades Mother Earth News has been a guiding force in my life. Principals of passive solar heating and cooling learned between the pages of MEN influenced each project in the gradual rebuild of my first home. My small, dark cottage grew to a light filled, cheerful place - easy to heat with a wood stove in winter, and cool with open windows and cross breezes in summer! Intensive gardening on my small lot helped to feed my growing family. Composting was such an easy and sensible concept, it was hard to understand why everyone didn't do it! Repurposing materials is a passion ignited by MEN and its readers. So many uses for items that otherwise would have ended up in landfills! It inspires my creativity, and saves us money! I've remarried, and we now live on 25 acres. We've built a small energy efficient home (thanks for info on ICF basement walls...they are incredible!)and chose a wood fueled furnace for heat. With Mother's help we've planted orchards, gardens, wind breaks, added chickens, and have plans for more livestock in the future. It is with pride and gratitude to MEN that I now see my oldest son choosing a sustainable, off grid life with his young family. My youngest son is putting his heart and back into our acreage now. I'm sure he'll carry these lessons through his adult life too. Thanks for making sustainability do-able!

Rosemary Page_2
2/5/2010 2:18:05 PM
I have a paperback copy of Mother Earth News Almanac from 1973 that I simple adore! It is the most fabulous book (aside from the good Book) that I own. I love the tidbits of info in the book. Each Spring, I read it and I never tire of the valuable information. It epitomizes what back to the land is. Mother has been THE source for me throughout the years for good, solid advice on country living. I have used so many ideas from Mother, such as raising a big garden, canning, craft ideas, etc. Keep up the good work!

Polly Saxon_1
2/5/2010 4:55:49 AM
I have love Mother for so long, where do I start? As a kid I remember my parents buying the occasional copy of M.E.N. When I married and moved across country to Tucson, I didn't know anybody or anything. I came across old issues of Mother in a used bookstore and I quickly became obsessed. I bought everyone I could find and read them cover to cover, over and over again. When we moved back to Indiana, I lost my precious back issues of Mother. Felt like losing an old friend. Now, I have a subscription and my dear son and daughter-in-law gave me the Mother Earth News on CD rom. Hurray!! I can't begin to tell you how Mother has changed my life. From learning how to garden, to saving money, to dreaming of the day I can live off grid, I am forever indebted to Mother Earth News. Now, I give subscriptions to all my family and friends so they can become as obsessed as I am! Thanks Mother, I love you!!!

2/4/2010 12:40:07 PM
How many times in our lives have we thought, there has got to be a better way? For us it was after scouring the grocery store for healthy, local produce that we didn’t have to take out a loan to purchase. It was after having heart palpitations over the ballooning electric bill. It was that sneaky sensation that despite all the feelings of ownership and possession, that none of it was really “mine”, and that if the plug was pulled, how would our family survive? We found the answer to that rhetorical question between the pages of Mother Earth News. Although just a newcomer compared to many of your loyal readers (I’ve been reading Mother Earth for five years), I have found myself referring to the magazine and the website at least a dozen times a week. I read it from cover to cover and find every article has value, whether it is immediate or to reserve for another time. So, clutching several Mother Earth magazines in sweaty palms, we made the leap. We packed up the family and our menagerie of critters, moved from our close quartered mini home to a 55 acre spread covered in old growth maples and wildlife of every description. We tapped our trees and made our maple syrup according to valuable information in Mother Earth. Our children developed an appreciation for game and the night view of country stars, and our dogs, an appreciation for porcupines and manure piles! Mother Earth has allowed us to regain control of how our family lives and how we will proceed to live in our following years. It has provided us with better health, laughter, tears, and debate material. But most of all it has offer the answer to that driving question, that yes, there really is a better way.

Anthony V. Santamaria_1
2/4/2010 11:39:22 AM
In 1992, I made a decision to move to a rural area to escape the chaos and turmoil of a rapidly deteriorating city life.I had vitually no experience with homesteading or farm life, but I knew deep within my soul that this change was essential for my wellbeing. I acquired a small ranch house on a 1.25 acre lot bordering on 88 acres of protected wetlands.I had always felt connected to nature (even in the city) and now I was surrounded by trees and endless possibilities; but where do I begin? I wish I could remember the exact circumstances regarding my first exposure to Mother Earth News but suffice to say, it was like manna from heaven. I now had a guide through uncharted territory and I was determined to relentlessly forge ahead. Armed with my new subscription, I tilled the soil, grew an organic garden, collected rain water, pruned trees, contructed a cold frame, then a greenhouse, a chicken coop, storage sheds etc. I then began growing shiitake mushrooms and purchased a dehydrater. Within time, several bee hives were installed - all under the tutelage of Mother Earth News. My life has been far more fulfilling now that I have found my place and Mother has been by my side ever since and always will be - this is why I LOVE MY MOTHER!

Karen S_1
2/3/2010 11:45:31 AM
I am a second generation reader of Mother Earth News. My father was a loyal reader from the very beginning. My father implemented many of the ideas from MEN in our daily lives(even though we lived in the suburbs). I have also been putting into practice many of the ideas from MEN. My father passed away in 1999, but getting my issues of Mother Earth News, reading them and putting into practice the ideas and suggestions makes me feel as if Dad is still here with me!!!! Keep up the great work!!! This year for our wedding anniversary (21 years) I am asking for the entire Mother News Earth on DVD!!!! Thanks!!!!!!!!!

2/2/2010 5:33:25 PM
Having been a reader of Mother Earth News for many, many years, I find the recipe for No Knead Bread from the December 2007/January 2008 issue to be the most helpful to me. I have made my own bread for over thirty years and find the no-knead recipe to be the most reliable I've ever seen for perfect bread every time. And there are so many ways to make the bread with the ingredients you want to use! The recipe is so very simple I have shared it with young people and friends who don't usually make bread. Most of them now use the recipe frequently. I am an avid gardener and put up most of my own food. For me the magazine reinforces my own life style and allows me to continue dreaming about sustainable methods of living I have not yet accomplished. Thanks to all the contributers for letting the rest of us learn and keep our dreams alive.

Judy Federigan_1
2/2/2010 11:28:03 AM
I am new to Mother Earth News, but am I ever so glad I found you!! My favorite part of reading your magazine is learning something new each time I open the pages. I consider myself to be relatively eco-savvy, but I am always amazed and enlightened with each issue, especially comments from other readers. I've gotten more good ideas for those pages than anything! I also appreciate the tools you provide online to help me manage my garden and make healthy choices in other areas of my life. Your contributions are well researched and well documented. As a person who values science as well as opinion, I applaud this! Here is to another great 40 years, keep up the awesome work Mother!!

Stephanie Stephenson_2
2/1/2010 9:25:18 PM
As a new reader of Mother Earth News, I have been reading every issue for the last year and half, and it never ceases to inspire me. I just can’t get enough; I even went to my local library to read the back issues! The magazine has shown me that it’s possible for anyone to become self-sufficient if they really want to be. The inspiration that the magazine has given myself and my boyfriend, has led us to adventure; in May we plan to simplify our lives and give our work more meaning by moving into a big army tent up in his family’s heirloom land. We will be growing and preserving our own food, living with limited electricity and working with our hands to produce crafts and furniture. Mother Earth News will be right by our side!

Tom Fafard
2/1/2010 2:49:25 PM
TMEN (that is what it was first called) has been in my blood since issue #1. I was a "rebel" back then and having a way to live outside the system was a real goal of mine. I knew there were others out that that could hold my hand as I tried to escape. This is what really makes Mother so important. First, that there are others out there that have the same kind of ideas and goals. Second, that they are willing to share that information. Mother is the vehicle that enables this synergy to take place. Without Mother, I would not have taken the step to live on a farmette, I would not have experimented with alternate fuel sources, I would not have been able to have the courage to actually produce my own food, and I would not be looking again to go out on our own for a second time. Most importantly I know that I will not be alone. I am able to create my own world because others have gone on before me and made mistakes so I don’t have to. And I will have a place to share my story so others can cross the bridges that I am able to build. Mother is much more than just a magazine; it is our comfort and friend!

Mary Saunders_3
2/1/2010 2:40:45 PM
I bought a charter membership, way back when. It was a lot of money to me, but I knew I was committed. When I changed my name at marriage, the magazine kept coming, and I donated my back issues for a tax credit that was more than I paid for my life membership. This made me feel pleasantly frugal before frugal was in. I loved the plowman interviews, especially the one with Whatley (I can't remember his first name) and the Domino's guy. Whatley said about city people, "They may seem kinda dumb, out on the farm, but they know how to sue." Those may not have been his exact words, but I always carried insurance in the city, because those words stuck with me. I think there was a Fukuoka interview also. These guys were my heroes, even though I also knew pretty clearly I would probably always be an urban person. I am now back to TMEN with the same name I started with, after my 28-year practice marriage failed. Now I have time to get back into these things I liked so much back then, although I only go on the Tour de Coops for fun; I don't tend chickens. Two over-socialized, high-maintenance cats and some urban fruiting plants are enough. AMEN to TMEN: thanks.

Marie Bartsch
2/1/2010 7:31:30 AM
I am 71 years old. I have been reading Mother Earth News since it began 40 years ago! I LOVE IT! I first started with Mother when I lived in NJ. Now I live in Maine. My husband and I have a country home with a beautiful perennial flower garden and a sizable vegetable garden as well. Thanks to Mother with all the good information about composting, mulching, winter protection, fertilizing, pest control -- I could go on and on, we have been very successful with our endeavors. Thanks to Mother's help in doing the right type of gardening etc. we are listed with the Wildlife Federation as a sanctuary for birds and other small animals that are a delight to us. They are all properly fed and cared for so that they do not attack the flowers and veggies either. The variety of articles, including ways to make our house itself more comfortable and environmentally friendly have won us the accolades of our friends. We have told them all that Mother is the way that they, too, can enjoy such success, and we heartily believe this to be true. I love the new format of the magazine which enables me to save all the copies for reference much easier than the old way. Of course, now I have the computer to help with that as well by scanning certain things in as well as your discs which I can send for. They are of extreme value to us as well. THANK YOU, MOTHER for 40 years of enjoyment. I doubt that I will see another 40 years due to my age, but who knows!

Jason Petersen_3
1/31/2010 9:44:42 PM
Gardening has been a family tradition for many generations. I was always interested watching and helping my grandpa in the garden while grandma, mom and aunts spent many hours canning the fresh veggies. Dad has taught me about herbs and expanded my food knowledge with fun vegetables such as spagetti squash. My wife has had many of the same experiences growing up so it is only natural we want to raise our children with the same interests. MEN has opened our eyes and gives us the confidence to garden and even raise chickens on our family hobby farm. We love looking at the magazine and trying our own versions of the projects. We turned an old swingset into a chicken tractor and now enjoy watching the chickens work while providing farm fresh eggs to our family and friends. Thanks for the tips and we always look forward to receiving each issue in the mail. Here's to another 40 years!

1/29/2010 1:44:02 PM
I was living in upstate New York when I met a man who followed the natural way. A modern mountain man of the Adirondacks, he lived on a wooded homestead in a cabin he'd built himself. He invited me to stay at his guest cabin and I fell in love with the lifestyle the moment I set foot upon his land. The cabin smelled of the forest. Jar after jar of home canned vegetables lined his shelves. A woodstove provided heat. He took deer from the land and smoked it. His life was pure, simple and beautiful, and I wanted to live like that. He had left some copies of MEN in the guest cabin and I delved into them wholeheartedly. Watching how he lived, I was able to absorb some of the skills of plain living, and the magazine taught me the philosophy behind living close to the land and more skills that would serve me later in life. A year later a friend invited me up to his homestead in the Alaskan wilderness and I fell in love with that stark wilderness and set up my own homestead. I met a girl from British Columbia who took up the life with me, and in the wild we had two daughters and a thousand adventures. Fifteen years later, wanting to garden and keep horses, we bought a new homestead in Nova Scotia. Today, after twenty-two years of green living, we have passed on the tradition of self-sufficiency, living gently upon the land and respecting nature to our daughters who are now themselves avid readers of MEN. May the tradition continue in them.

1/29/2010 11:31:03 AM
The 1/28 post below is from my husband, Andy. He, too, was inspired to write telling you his side of the story of Mother Earth News influence on his/our life. We only have one e-mail address, so the post shows up with my name on it, but it is from him, nonetheless. Many thanks to MEN for letting us share our story.

1/29/2010 10:58:13 AM
In the 70’s I lived with my brother, keeping bees and gardening. A childhood acquaintance bought a place close to us and we became friends. One of the things he shared with me was his complete collection of MEN. In 1980 our farmhouse burnt to the ground and we rebuilt inspired by MEN ideas on earth-bermed houses. Soon after, my friend’s sister, Jan, came to tour our "different" house. By the Spring of 1988 I was living at the edge of my own 40 acre woods in a 14x18 cabin built from scavenged material. I had moved 20 miles from home to be on my own and live like Thoreau, only I didn’t have Emerson for a social life. Becoming somewhat lonely I decided to get a “real job” for the first time in my life. I went to work at a car manufacturing plant. Jan’s marriage had ended and she returned home from NM to help with her parents. She was aghast to hear that “such a free spirit” as I, had taken a factory job. One day she and her parents stopped by to see if I had “sold out.” I guess I hadn’t because by Christmas of that year we (along with her own collection of MEN) were married. Today we live in a simple, partially earth-bermed house heated with our own wood and eat mostly from our garden. We live on a very modest income from sale of our vegetables at the local Farmers' Market. My best friend, Gene Logsdon, says Jan and I (Andy) becoming "Jandy's" is the result of magic. I think he's right, but MEN played a major role in uniting and inspiring our "magical ride". Thank you MEN.

1/27/2010 2:04:51 PM
Mother Earth News didn’t change my life … it has been my life. You were with me in the 1970’s as I sat with a group of friends dreaming of starting our own community of simple living. You were with me when I moved to the “big city”, started my first garden in my small backyard, and rented space from a community garden. You inspired me to visit Eco-Village in Hendersonville and experience first-hand earth-rammed and cord-wood building. You were with me when I moved to New Mexico with my best friend and first husband. It was there I discovered raised beds don’t work in the desert and you have to water 3 times a day! You were with me when I returned home to Ohio, divorced and nursing my wounds, looking for a small house to start my gardens over again. You were with me when I met the man I will now spend the rest of my life with. Together we grow a small Market garden and sell produce and fresh flowers at our local Farmers’ Market. We live in an earth-bermed home. We heat entirely with wood. We keep a few bees for our honey, a couple of chickens for fresh eggs and tap the maple trees in the spring to take syrup to Market. You never preached what one “should” or “shouldn’t” believe or do. You simply started doing it and passed along the information to those of us to pick and choose as we saw fit. You are still with me, always reminding me to step gently on the Earth, to consider other perspectives, and to live simply so that other may simply live.

Lucy Newman_2
1/26/2010 5:39:19 PM
Dear Mother, I am a 7th grader, and I live in Pittsburgh, in the city. I have read only three of your magazines so far, and they have changed the way I look at a lot of things. An article about raising chickens convinced me, as well as my dad to raise a couple of hens in the city, crazy as that sounds even to myself. We are also planning to plant a vegetable garden, inspired by Rosalind Creasy's article, Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet!. A family friend who is training to be a landscape architect will help us design our small yard so that it is sustainable and aesthetic. Your magazine has taught me so much. THANK YOU!

10/13/2009 9:31:45 AM
In 1970 I was living with my husband in West Richland, Wash. We were newly-weds caught up in the back to the land, do-it-yourself movement. I remember a friend telling us about this cool new magazine, Mother Earth News, we received issue number 2 in our mailbox. Who would have thought, 30 years later, I would be on the editorial staff of Mother! Life is a wonderful journey and the experiences along the way define where we end up.

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