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Nature and Environment

News about the health and beauty of the natural world that sustains us.


Hawley Hamlet: Creating Community by Growing Food Together

If you’re looking for a template for creating a sustainable food system, Hawley Hamlet in Lincoln, Nebraska, is a great place to start. Six years ago, a group of neighbors started talking about creating a community homestead ― a group of like-minded people choosing to live in proximity to each other to share resources and work together in gardens.

At that time, the only garden on the block was a 10-by-15-foot patch of tomatoes. Now, the garden is 6/10 of an acre and the project of creating community food security is shared by 20 families. We first covered this project in our April/May 2014 issue (Homestead Hamlets: Neighborhood Gardens that Create Community food Security). Here’s a video our Editor in Chief, Cheryl Long, shot in July 2015 featuring the article’s author Tim Rinne as he reports on the project’s remarkable progress, plus some plans for the future.

If you have a similar project in the works, please let us know via email. And look for our Homestead Hamlets article spotlighting seven great communities in our October/November 2015 issue.


K.C. Compton is senior editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and formerly was Editor in Chief of our sister publications, The Herb Companion and GRIT. A huge fan of the food chain, from molecules to meals on the table, K.C. is passionate about the idea that most of what we need to be healthy can be found in the garden.