MPX chugs from coast to coast pulling a car-factory-on-a-trailer, and we learn how much power we need for a 5,000-plus pound payload.
The first step in our high-mileage pickup project: an "aerocap" streamlined cover for the bed. An aerocap gives the biggest bang for the buck.
During a quiet, pre-dawn moment, an owl hoots softly. Is this connected with the bounty of mice and a big harvest?
MAX isn't just streamlined - MAX has its rolling resistance down to a minimum too, thanks to low-drag tires and lubricants. Here's a video to show how much it matters.
One of our readers made a fiberglass and carbon fiber roof for his own home-built MAX high-mileage sports car, and here's how he did it.
How to grow enough sweet corn for the whole summer, in eight easy steps.
Growing corn early by transplanting may be unconventional, but its a great way to beat the challenges and...eat corn in July!
MAX won an award at the 2014 Maker Faire Bay Area for...gosh, we don't really know, but it was best in its class.
MAX is getting a garage mate. We're building a high-mileage pickup truck for those jobs that a sports car can't do, and this post outlines what we're starting with.
My MAX car got licensed with the local DOT to run on vegetable oil fuel and pay its proper taxes per gallon. Each state has its own rules; here's how we do it in Oregon.
A photo essay documenting imported landraces that I started incorporating into my existing landraces during the current growing season.
MAX doesn't have a front license plate, and here's why Jack would like to keep it that way.
This acorn-shaped wool garland is easy to make and perfect for fall decor.
If MAX is a bit too Spartan for your tastes, here's a homebuilt high mileage sports car that's a bit more plush - a Mazda Miata with a Geo Metro engine - and it's coming to the Mother Earth News Fairs.
How to adjust the moisture of homegrown popcorn so that it pops well.
Joseph Lofthouse shares tips for growing landrace popcorn.
A searchable index for the MAX Updates posts, and a few more thoughts on the Progressive Automotive X Prize.
Our friend Pat Sweeney has built himself an Electric MAX - a DIY Locost with a DIY electric power plant.
A big crowd likes MAXine better than MAX, and I’ll see you soon, at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
Get Floriani Red Flint corn seed from Fedco Seeds, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, or Starke Round Barn.
Talking about carrying in the red roofing tin the old fashioned way due to a broken golf cart and some very muddy conditions. The refrigerator root cellar continues to prove itself as an experiment that seems to be working so far.
The first civilian-built MAXes are nearing completion, and here are a couple of them that are rolling under their own power.
This video slideshow reveals the sacred magic
contained in the Native American corn that sustained many Indian tribes for
thousands of years before professional plant breeders turned it into an
The second attempt at weatherproofing MAX involves a convertible top which flips open to get in or out of the cockpit. Not perfect, but not bad.
Puhwem Native American corn was the mother corn of native people. It's one of the best corns for making corn flour.
Protecting the fig tree for the winter felt like putting it to bed for a long sleep. Chopping wood with the Chopper 1 is a thing of joy and beauty and that's no joke. Do it yourself corn bin helped our neighbor keep the racoons out.
Learn which crops you can grow in your garden to provide protein in your diet.
MAX finally got a deer deflector, after three years of writing about how much it needs one. It'll give a bit of extra rollover protection, too.
Join us in fighting the threat of GMOs: California's Right to Know (Prop 37) for GMO labeling leads the nation, and the Southern Exposure lawsuit against Monsanto continues to push through the courts. Plus, fall gardening can be easier than summer!
Does 100 mpg fuel economy justify cross-country recreational travel? Maybe so and maybe not, but I need to be careful—increasing fuel efficiency can increase fuel consumption if you increase your driving, too.
A single, volunteer potato produces 10 pounds of potatoes in a hot bed. A recipe for addictive, oven-fried potatoes.
Learn how to breed corn in your own corn nursery, plus learn how to properly hand-pollinate corn plants.
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
An introduction to DraftSight, Dassault Systèmes' 2D CAD software. It's professional quality and it's free, and Jack is converting all the MAX fabrication drawings to DraftSight .dmg documents.
MAX gets a temporary mash-up of old and new style body parts (the new nose is at the fiberglassers' having a mold made so we can make more of them) to get road-legal for a trip to Canada.
It may be sweltering hot outside, but we're still busily sowing seeds at the Southern Exposure farms! Learn how to plant your bountiful fall and winter garden, with abundant harvests through Thanksgiving and beyond.
Take a tour of the mills and mountains of the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas, home to some of the finest remaining historic gristmills that still exist in the U.S.A. Based on the popular Historic Ozarks Mills book created by award-winning photographer Mike McArthy. Hydropower's energy-producing capacity is getting well-deserved attention these days, and these old mills provide inspiration.
Jack has dismantled MAX's body and is making molds from the body parts, so other MAX-like car builders won't have to duplicate his work.
Hints for harvests all summer long - don't just sow once! Ira helps you plan summer successions for your garden. Plus, discover culinary secrets of okra you never suspected - okra coffee and okra oil - and a recipe for a simple okra lunch.
Popcorn is easy to grow and makes an attractive and delicious alternative to sweet corn, especially in a small garden. Kids will love the cute little ears, and adults will treasure the superior flavor of homegrown popcorn. Plant in late spring.
How much power and performance does a car need for a guy to get a gal's attention? According to MAX fans, not very much.
The tail end of MAX's bellypan (diffuser) gets tuft tested, and the attached video shows the results. This was the finishing touch that got MAX its 100 miles per gallon on the highway.
Learn why systemic neonicotinoid pesticides widely used to grow corn are one of the reasons so many honeybees and other pollinators are dying.
Why pre-1960 race cars were more efficient than post-1960 race cars, and thus a better example for high efficiency highway cars.
To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.
A video demonstration of MAX's windscreen, which deflects air around the driver's face with minimal aerodynamic drag.
Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?
This blog is called Breadcrumbs, because it brings together a diverse set of topics, including the patron saint of bread, sourdough, starters, yeasts, and a recipe for corn pancakes.
MAX at its first autocross. Hey, it's a sports car, right?
A car's electrical consumption adds to its fuel consumption. For MAX, turning off the headlights improves fuel economy by roughly 4 mpg.
Ira Wallace talks about heirloom grinding corns that provide resilience and sustenance to gardener interested in self reliance. Includes a recipe for Southern style cornbread muffins.
A surprising benefit of MAX's streamlining is the increased luggage space.
Robert Zwald talks about farming equipment and selling his harvest in the 1940s. This is the sixth part of Robert's stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
In my 7,500-plus mile adventure in MAX this summer, one lesson really stands out: Haste Makes Waste.
The "High Mileage Car Show" at the latest Mother Earth News Fair, and the pleasure of driving a fuel efficient car.
Cornbread is an essential accompaniment to many good country meals. I think it's best when cooked at high heat in a cast iron skillet. Try out my method and let me know how you like to eat and make cornbread!
Locally grown, homemade, grass-fed, free-range and downright delicious food invades the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
MAX gets a lightweight belly pan under the engine, to further reduce aerodynamic drag.
This is an excerpt from Christopher Nyerges' "Self-Sufficient Home" book (published by Stackpole) where he talks about some of his early gardening experiences and when he learned that the health of the soil is the most important aspect of gardening.
Jack took MAX to a local car show and found that even if they're not looking for high mileage, folks think MAX is cool.
Preserving food was a must during the Great Depression. Doris Zicafoose relates memories of drying corn, canning tomatoes, the necessity of a water bath canner and the joy of acquiring a pressure canner.
On a summertime cross country trip from Oregon to Ohio, I restricted MAX's radiator inlet air a little at a time, demonstrating that very little inlet area (28 square inches) provides sufficient air for cooling.
Rachel describes how to turn her heirloom corn crop into beautiful blue corn tortillas!
MAX ran with the motorcycles in the Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge, with surprisingly high marks--127 miles per gallon. Surprising to the author, at least.
We're cleaning up the details on MAX. One of the finishing touches is clear streamlined headlight covers, and here's how I made them.
MAX got a smog test at an Oregon DEQ Vehicle Testing Station, and passed with high marks.
MAX got some new lager diameter wheels. They should do the job and the price was right, and as a bonus, they look terrific.
MAX has very low rolling resistance, as demonstrated by this three year old kid pushing it around the building.
I had such a great time talking with attendees at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington, this past weekend about how to make green cleaners. As always, I learned a new trick or two, and I promised everyone I’d recap our conversation here for easy access. Today let’s talk about some of the unexpected food items—most of which you already have in your kitchen cupboards—that can be used to clean your home.
Use tea to remove old furniture polish and prepare wooden furniture for polishing. Simply soak a rag in room-temperature tea, then run it over the wood. The tea’s tannic acid makes your wood shine while removing all the dirt. Once that’s done, you can use mayonnaise to make the piece shine. Just rub the mayo into the wood, then follow with a damp rag and a few drops of vinegar to remove any residue. Olive oil is also a great natural furniture
Learning from experience, I've put some impact-resistant structure on the back of MAX.
By making a pattern and a mold, we can now reproduce rear fenders as needed.
Some burglar wanted my Millermatic 180 more than I did, I guess. Here's why I liked it and why I'm going to get another one.
Using MAX to test a tubing streamlining material, resulted in a significant reduction in drag.
A Precision Garden Seeder can make planting seed crops quick and easy!
Engine efficiency depends on rpm (among other things) and slower isn't always better. More wisdom from the Honey Bear.
Growing field corn for livestock, home use and future crops; a grain for sustainable living.
MAX got a new set of high efficiency Goodyear tires, and a second set of wheels so we can do comparison testing. Will the difference be detectable to our low budget testing technology?
A scientists who has studied plant pathogens for more than 50 years warns that Roundup Ready crops could cause "a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure."
Hybrid cars save fuel by shutting the engine off at idle (among other things). Does MAX burn enough fuel at idle to be worth the effort? Our honey bear can tell us.
You don't need vegan recipes to cook vegan. Make delicious vegan dishes out of regular recipes by substituting tofu for meat in chicken-cauliflower salad. In dairy-based recipes, such as wheat berry pudding, use vanilla coconut milk in place of dairy milk. Pair with crusty white bread and avocado-corn salsa for a delicious vegan meal!
Volkswagon's high mileage (1 liter of fuel per 100 kilometers) car is getting closer to production. Expect to see 100 of these available to the public in 2013.
Technology marches on. It comes at a price, but a FloScan fuel consumption and mileage meter could give me instant feedback on MAX's fuel efficiency.
Getting ready for the new garden season is full of anticipation and ideas!
MAX gets a low cost, high accuracy, and none too attractive fuel gauge. Two out of three ain't bad.
MAX gets a couple of cheap and easy thermoformed headlight protectors, to keep light from getting out and rocks from getting in.
We're looking at a handful of low cost improvements, and since MAX is undergoing repairs at the moment, this is a good time to make them.
A treatise on the difference between a gasoline engine throttle and a diesel "throttle," what that means for MAX, and how the difference was overcome.
An after-the-fact analysis of MAX's accident on the way to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair, and the dangers of "getthereitis."
If you’ve never cooked or baked with ‘Floriani Red Flint’ grain corn, you’re missing out! Here are some yummy Floriani recipes, including polenta, pizza crust, hush puppies and corn mush, for you to try.
So here you have it: MAX with a crumpled rear fender, crumpled trunk section, a turn signal bashed out, a door knocked loose, and a flat tire. It's fully reparable, but not today, and not in time to drive to the MEN Fair.
En route to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, Jack listens all too well to GPS and ends up on dirt roads in the Oregon Outback.
MAX is getting prepped for paint, and all the essential bodywork is done for the new, streamlined roadster body.
Craig Henderson and his Avion high mileage sports car went from Canada to Mexico at 119.1 MPG. He plans to produce Avion kits.
MAX is back at the shop, awaiting diagnosis and correction of an overheating problem, plus some additional body work before its next venture.
Jack missed Rally Green and MAX has a mysterious overheating problem.
The right dog can be a very useful member of the family when you are growing corn!
Government subsidies to corn growers results in foods that are less expensive then they should be, resulting in people eating more than they normally would.
Cam shares what he has learned about corn smut in his organic garden.
The clock is ticking and I've been taking some shortcuts on getting MAX ready for Rally Green ... and some have turned into long cuts. I need to work smarter, not faster.
In the interest of making MAX a smidgeon safer, I've added side bumpers to the passenger compartment. Here's why I made them this way.
Results of the long-awaited cooling system test, which shows how little air MAX needs through the radiator.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence discusses a new Princeton University study that demonstrates that high fructose corn syrup causes obesity.
MAX's classic race car skin remains a work in progress. Jack wants MAX to look Lola-esque, but not too Lola-esque.
Is MAX an actual modern-day vehicle, or just a high school shop class experiment? In this update, Jack answers sharp questions from an automotive engineer.
Editor in chief Cheryl Long explains how to find the best-tasting vegetable varieties to plant in your garden, and talks about three of her favorites: ‘Carmen’ sweet peppers, ‘Sungold’ cherry tomatoes and ‘Floriani’ grain corn.
Recipe for Southern-style shrimp and grits, made with superb Floriani Red Flint grain corn.
Try this wonderful corn pancake recipe with flavorful ‘Floriani Red Flint’ heirloom grain corn.
Learn to make grits (polenta) from ‘Floriani Red Flint’ Corn.
Growing the three sisters (corn, beans, squash) in the same plot of land actually helps yield healthier crops of each.
Learn how bats can be beneficial for organic farmers, dramatically reducing the need for costly and harmful pesticides.
If you're considering purchasing a pellet or corn stove to save money on your heating bills this winter, here are some issues to think about before making that investment.
Conservation over corn.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land could be under pressure from the perceived need for ethanol-producing corn.
The Gulf of Mexico's dead zone is growing at a disturbing rate and is estimated to be the largest yet since records began back in 1985. An action plan is in place, but it will only work when and if we actually follow it.
Robyn anticipates the devastation as she prepares to visit her hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the location of recent severe floods but also of hope and rebuilding.