Input from you, our readers, has led us to choose newsletter topics that cover the essentials of homesteading.
ILLUSTRATION: JULIEN EICHINGER/FOTOLIA
We try to make the most of the pages of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, but we know that certain folks out there seem to have an insatiable appetite for gardening, or herbal remedies, or alternative and inexpensive forms of construction. This kind of information, the kind that you can't find anywhere else but in the backyards and living rooms of MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers and contributors, is what our newsletter series is all about.
We will fill a dozen pages, 10 times a year, on topics that you ask for specifically. No more wasting money leafing through a peck of magazines in an attempt to find the few pages you want. We've chosen our newsletter topics with you in mind. The content will be tailored by you and for you.
New Shelter Ideas
Since MOTHER EARTH NEWS first threw her weight behind Buckminster Fuller's Geodesic Dome in 1971, finding new ways of thinking about basic shelter has been one of our central missions. In each New Shelters Newsletter, we offer one full plan of an alternative home, complete with a list of necessary materials and tools, as well as articles on the newest in insulation, log cabin construction, and how to get the most from your building tools.
- The latest on building code changes.
- The lowdown on new insulation products.
- Undiscovered materials for building (everything from paper bricks to tires).
- Building resources (schools, workshops, newsletters, and videos.)
There are about six dozen gardening magazines out there, but none seem to appeal to the kind of gardeners we are. If you need simple and authoritative advice on what to plant where, new developments in seed and soil care, and the kind of harvest and storage tips that can make a difference between a failed crop and a full table right through the cold season, look no further.
- Beneficial bugs and natural pest controls.
- A guide to essential garden tools.
- Readers' favorite homemade fertilizers and pest controls.
- Bed gardening.
- Gardening in containers.
- Gardening resources (from heirloom weeds to how to find the best tiller).
No other feature in MOTHER EARTH NEWS can compare to the universal appeal of Country Lore. Is has placed first in nearly every reader survey we have ever offered, and small wonder. Who can resist the appeal of readers sharing their best time-saving and money-saving hints with other readers? In the Country Lore Newsletter, we will share thirty years of the best of their advice with you.
- How to reuse building pallets.
- Secret ways to keep snakes out of your garden.
- Wives' tales that work to keep your chickens laying.
- Wash your hair with whipped cream.
How you power your homestead is as important as the beams that support it. With a little thought, some low-consumption appliances, and a couple of solar cells or wind turbines, you can make your utilities pay you money! If a real remote home is more up your alley, the Home Energy Newsletter will detail the very cheapest way to plug in, pump water, and get your phone system up and running, without using a cent of utility power.
- Resources for wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal energy (manufacturers addresses, relevant newsletters).
- New products.
- Home energy system advice: ask our expert.
Eating for Free
There is a world of information beyond the backyard garden which will save you hundreds of dollars on your yearly grocery bills. Buying in bulk, proper storage, canning, freezing, pickling, and bottling; which store to frequent and which to avoid, the hidden language of nutrition labels, and the best and least expensive foods for each season are just a few of the topics that we will address.
- Tips on canning, drying, and storing.
- Recipes for old-fashioned pickles, jams, and preserves.
- The proper way to smoke meats.
- Resources for canning, smoking, and cellar-storing.
- Ball jars and other containers.
Natural Health and Home Remedies
In an age of skyrocketing health costs, the interest in finding a way to sidestep the doctor's office has never been greater. MOTHER'S Natural Health Newsletter will detail the best herbal treatments for seasonal ills, the best natural pathways to preventive care, and the unexpected healing properties of common flowers, fruits, and other plants.
- Recipes for herbal tonics, infusions, and essential oils.
- Recipes for immune-boosting dishes.
- The latest info on organic foods.
- Gathering and preparing wild edibles.