Beautiful and Abundant

Publisher Bryan Welch on philosophy, farming and building the world we want.

Add to My MSN

Sustainability, One Step At a Time

2/18/2011 6:10:39 AM

Tags: sustainability, gardening, farm, farms, farming, off the grid, solar energy, solar hot water, tall-grass prairie, beautiful and abundant, Bryan Welch

  Spring Pear Tree 

How do we gain perspective? How do we gain a prospect from which we can visualize a beautiful, abundant long-term future beyond the obstacles? I think we need to climb on top of the obstacles, one step at a time. 

For 40 years the magazine I publish, Mother Earth News, has started millions of people down the first paths of this journey toward a beautiful and abundant human future. The magazine publishes stories about sustainability achieved mostly through the medium of self-reliance. Mother Earth News teaches people how to raise their own food, how to generate clean, renewable energy and how to find joy in a simple lifestyle designed to conserve natural resources. This approach has made Mother Earth News the most widely read, popular and profitable voice for sustainability in the world. 

My own life on our little organic farm is a reflection of the Mother Earth News approach. My wife and I grow much of our own food. We cut our own wood to provide part of our household heat. We’re not “off the grid” but we do use solar energy for electricity and hot water. We live on a healthy, pretty and copious patch of tall-grass prairie that provides sustenance for us and thousands of other species.  

The farm also provides a prism through which my family and I can focus our larger aspirations for the planet. We might donate a few hours a week toward one worthy environmental cause or another, but we’re happy to spend hours a day working in our gardens and pastures. The time we spend on our treasured little piece of the earth enriches our affection for the planet as a whole. We’ve focused our daily attention on these 50 acres and in the process we’ve reinforced a conviction that we want to help make the entire planet healthier and more beautiful. That’s an exciting possibility. It’s the sort of project that should ignite the passionate human imagination.  

Human beings could plan and manage this planet as a beautiful, abundant garden. 

Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future. We can climb on top of the immediate obstacles to a place where we can see the broad horizon of our destiny.  

Bryan Welch is the Publisher and Editorial Director of Ogden Publications, the parent company of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Connect with him on .

For further optimistic discussion about our future, read Beautiful and Abundant by Bryan Welch and connect with Beautiful and Abundant on Facebook. 

Related Content

Sustainability in Practice: Going Back to the Land

Learn how George and Monique Fournier made their dreams come true of going back to the land and prac...

Join the Farmgirl Sisterhood

MaryJane's Farmgirls is a network of women's groups across the country who meet to discuss and share...

The Living Sustainably and Independently, Ready for Rough Times, Hands-on, Solar-Powered, All You Can Grow Workshop Wrap Up

Cam enjoyed a recent workshop he held at Sunflower Farm, and the participants seemed to enjoy it too...

Conserving Water Resources

Conserving water is one of the tenets of environmental sustainability. Learn how making money and sa...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.