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Home > Expert Advice From Our Editors

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1.

BEAUTIFUL AND ABUNDANT

Bryan Welch
Hardcover

Price: $25.95

Order your copy, signed by author Bryan Welch, today!
This groundbreaking book, by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Publisher and Editorial Director Bryan Welch, cuts through the pessimism and denial that perv…

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Order your copy, signed by author Bryan Welch, today!
This groundbreaking book, by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Publisher and Editorial Director Bryan Welch, cuts through the pessimism and denial that pervade today's discussions of sustainability and invites readers to visualize a verdant and prosperous future for humanity and all the living things that share our planet. As a practical guide, it offers a process for making our current lifestyles more sustainable and inspires us to look beyond the immediate obstacles to nurture the "destination fixation" that stimulates all of humanity's greatest achievements.

In the lives and accomplishments of farmers, gardeners, inventors and entrepreneurs, Beautiful and Abundant finds a path toward a world vision we can proudly pass on to future generations – a vision that is aesthetically beautiful, economically abundant, ethically fair and irresistibly contagious.

Humanity is at a turning point. Only one species in the universe can recognize its own impact on its habitat, so far as we know, and we are that species. In the early years of the 21st century we face the definitive human challenge – sustaining our quality of life on this miraculous, but finite sphere we call Earth.

Tragically, a lot of human energy is being squandered in conflict over short-term environmental obstacles. People debate symptoms and solutions but societies persistently fail to offer positive incentives for change. To harness the full power of human imagination and community initiative we need a positive vision for humanity's future. We need a believable collective vision for the beautiful, abundant planet where our grandchildren will live.

Read what people are saying:
"Beauty is the new black. Abundance – for all! – is our North Star. Bryan Welch is a businessman who serves beauty, a rancher who champions interdependence, and a leader who recognizes the sweet spot we're looking for is at the nexus of self-reliance and sustainability." – Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder, B Lab

"This is a book that invites us all to cut through the negativity of doomsday prophets and other 'progressive' thinkers. … Bryan Welch is a rare business leader who writes prose that is nuanced, eloquent and visionary. This luminous call to action will inspire you. … It happened to me." – Wanda Urbanska, author of The Heart of Simple Living: 7 Paths to a Better Life

About the author:
As a boy herding goats in rural New Mexico, Welch formed an intuition for the intricate and interdependent relationships among plants, animals and people. He's developed that intuition into the very model of a productive, balanced and sustainable life.

Before starting Ogden Publications (publishers of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Mother Earth Living, Utne Reader and other media brands) in 1996, Welch worked at newspapers in several states. He graduated from the University of Denver and holds a master's degree from Harvard University, where he studied media policy and management at the Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School.

Welch serves on the board of directors of the MPA (Association of Magazine Media), the Social Venture Network and the Down Home Ranch Foundation. He and his wife, Carolyn, raise grass-fed cattle, sheep, goats and free-range chickens at the farm they call Rancho Cappuccino, which they also share with donkeys, dogs and the rogue mule, Zero.

2.

HOUSING RECLAIMED

Jessica Kellner
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Housing is a fundamental human right. For most of human history, our homes were built by hand from whatever local materials were available. However, since the Industrial Revolution, most housing has…

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Housing is a fundamental human right. For most of human history, our homes were built by hand from whatever local materials were available. However, since the Industrial Revolution, most housing has become little more than quickly constructed, mass-produced, uniform boxes. At the same time, the invention and standardization of the 30-year mortgage and our ever-increasing reliance on credit has come to mean that most of us never own our homes outright.

Housing Reclaimed is a call to arms for nonconventional home builders. It examines how technological advances, design evolution and resourceful, out-of-the-box thinking about materials and efficiency can help us meet the challenge of building affordable, environmentally friendly, beautiful and unique homes. Focusing on the use of salvaged and reclaimed materials, this inspirational volume is packed with case studies of innovative projects including:

  • Phoenix Commotion — working together toward low-income home ownership through sweat equity and 100% recycled materials
  • HabeRae — revitalizing neighborhoods by creating urban infill using modern technology and sustainable and reclaimed materials
  • Builders of Hope — rescuing and rehabilitating whole houses slated for demolition
These projects and others like them demonstrate that building one's own home does not have to be an unattainable dream. This beautifully illustrated guide is a must read for anyone interested in creating quality zero- or low-debt housing, reducing landfill waste and creating stronger communities.

About the author
Jessica Kellner is editor-in-chief of Mother Earth Living magazine (www.motherearthliving.com) and a passionate advocate of using architectural salvage to create aesthetically beautiful, low-cost housing.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books and products to readers. For more than 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

3.

THE FEAST NEARBY

Robin Mather
Hardcover

Price: $24.00

Within a single week in 2009, food journalist Robin Mather found herself on the threshold of a divorce and laid off from her job at the Chicago Tribune. Forced into a radical life change, she returned…

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Within a single week in 2009, food journalist Robin Mather found herself on the threshold of a divorce and laid off from her job at the Chicago Tribune. Forced into a radical life change, she returned to her native rural Michigan.

There she learned to live on a limited budget while remaining true to her culinary principles of eating well and as locally as possible. In The Feast Nearby, Mather chronicles her year-long project: preparing and consuming three home-cooked, totally seasonal, and local meals a day -- all on $40 a week.

With insight and humor, Mather explores the confusion and needful compromises in eating locally. She examines why local often trumps organic, and wonders why the USDA recommends white bread, powdered milk and instant orange drinks as part of its “low-cost” food budget program.

Through local eating, Mather forges connections with the farmers, vendors and growers who provide her with sustenance. She becomes more closely attuned to the nuances of each season, inhabiting her little corner of the world more fully, and building a life richer than she imagined it could be.

The Feast Nearby celebrates small pleasures: home-roasted coffee, a pantry stocked with home-canned green beans and homemade preserves, and the contented clucking of laying hens in the backyard. Mather also draws on her rich culinary knowledge to present nearly 100 seasonal recipes that are inspiring, enticing and economical -- cooking goals that don’t always overlap -- such as Pickled Asparagus with Lemon, Tarragon, and Garlic; Cider-Braised Pork Loin with Apples and Onions; and Cardamom-Coffee Toffee Bars.

Mather’s poignant, reflective narrative shares encouraging advice for aspiring locavores everywhere, and combines the virtues of kitchen thrift with the pleasures of cooking -- and eating -- well.

Robin is the senior associate editor of Mother Earth News.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books and products to readers. For more than 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

4.

LARD: Cooking with Your Grandmother's Secret Ingredient

Editors of GRIT Magazine
Paperback

Price: $24.99

Using lard in cooking dates at least as far back as the 1300s. It is prized by pastry chefs today, and it is an excellent cooking fat because it burns at a very high temperature and tends not to smok…

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Using lard in cooking dates at least as far back as the 1300s. It is prized by pastry chefs today, and it is an excellent cooking fat because it burns at a very high temperature and tends not to smoke as heavily as many other fats and oils do. Rediscovered along with other healthful animal fats in the 1990s, lard is once again embraced by chefs and enlightened health-care professionals and dietitians.

Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother's Secret Ingredient offers you the opportunity to cook like your grandmother, while incorporating good animal fat into your diet once again. Lard is the key to the wonders that came from Grandma's kitchen, and with lard, you can turn out stellar Beef Wellington, Bierocks, or crispy Southern Fried Chicken. Serving your family the 150 treats you enjoyed in your younger days when you visited your grandparents' farm is as easy as flipping a page in this great cookbook. Try your hand at creating fluffy Grandma's Homemade Biscuits, tasty Spanish Corn Bread, delectable Fried Okra, sweet Chocolate Kraut Cake, a Perfect Pastry piecrust for a delicious Butterscotch Peach Pie, or Rhubarb Dumplings.

You will never regret adding Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother's Secret Ingredient to your cookbook collection. Don't be afraid to bring a little lard back to the table; your taste buds will be glad you did.

5.

PLOWING WITH PIGS

Oscar H. Will & Karen K. Will
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Order your copy, signed by authors Oscar H. Will III and Karen K. Will, today! Fueled by a failing economy and a passionate desire for a return to simpler times, a new wave of homesteaders is seeking…

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Order your copy, signed by authors Oscar H. Will III and Karen K. Will, today! Fueled by a failing economy and a passionate desire for a return to simpler times, a new wave of homesteaders is seeking the good life, and the kind of true satisfaction that can only be built, not bought. Many of these modern pioneers are cash poor, but rich in energy and creativity. Plowing with Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions offers them a set of fresh ideas for achieving independence through sweat equity and the use of unconventional resources.

This highly readable and entertaining guide brings together answers to common problems faced by homesteaders young and old, urban, suburban, and rural. Traditional knowledge is combined with MacGyver-style ingenuity to create projects that maximize available resources, including:

  • Animal management strategies for the yard, garden, and field
  • Pole building and construction techniques from woodlot materials
  • Replacing farm machinery with homemade hand tools and implements
  • Leveraging increased self-sufficiency into a home-based business
Whether you are a dreamer or a doer, Plowing with Pigs will inspire, challenge, and enable you to do more with less (and have fun doing it).

About the authors:
Oscar H. Will III is a farmer, scientist, and author, known for seeking and implementing creative farmstead solutions. His commercial agricultural production experience includes alfalfa sprouts, hay, beef cattle, free-range poultry (meat and eggs), native perennial plants, trees, cut flowers and vegetables. The editor-in-chief of Grit Magazine, Hank has published hundreds of articles and 5 books on a range of topics including antique farm machinery.

Karen K. Will is editor of The Heirloom Gardener magazine and operates Prairie Turnip Farm in Osage County, Kan., with her husband Oscar H. Will III. She is a freelance writer, photographer and blogger, and the author of Cooking with Heirlooms: Seasonal Recipes with Heritage-Variety Vegetables and Fruits.

6.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS WISER LIVING VIDEO SERIES, VOLUME 1

Mother Earth News
DVD

Price: $19.99

This first installment of our new Wiser Living Video Series DVD features some of our most popular workshops, taught by leading experts on do-it-yourself, sustainable projects. From learning the basics…

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This first installment of our new Wiser Living Video Series DVD features some of our most popular workshops, taught by leading experts on do-it-yourself, sustainable projects. From learning the basics of pickling vegetables to making your own all-natural household cleaners to extending your garden season with easy-to-build mini-greenhouses, the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Video Series features a broad spectrum of information. Recorded by professionals, each 10- to 20-minute workshop is brought to life through vivid imagery, crisp audio and step-by-step instructions that will guide you on your path to self-sufficiency.
DVD Menu:

Gardening and Backyard Chickens

  • Poultry 101 – Hank Will
  • Gardening With Chickens – Cheryl Long
  • Cover Crops – Cheryl Long
  • Season Extension – Cheryl Long
  • Raised Bed Gardening – Cheryl Long
  • Herbs for General Wellness, Herbs for Health Pt. 1 – Jessica Kellner
MOTHER’s Kitchen
  • No-Knead Bread – Karen Will
  • Pickled Beets – Jennifer Kongs
  • Chicken Stock From Scratch – Robin Mather
  • Bread Made Easy – Karen Will
  • Herbs for Skin Wellness, Herbs for Health Pt. 2 – Jessica Kellner
  • Rendering Lard – Robin Mather
  • Making Bacon – Robin Mather
  • Fermentation and Sauerkraut – Jennifer Kongs
  • Herbs for Mental Health, Herbs for Health Pt. 3 – Jessica Kellner
Healthy Home
  • DIY Household Cleaners – Jessica Kellner
  • Medicinal Oils and Salves – Gina DeBacker
  • Making Tinctures – Allison Martin
  • Herbs for Nausea, Herbs for Health Pt. 4 – Jessica Kellner
About the talent:
As a writer, farmer and the Publisher and Editorial Director of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Bryan Welch is well known for his optimism, sense of humor and his commitment to empowering people to live their own versions of the good life. His work demonstrates unequivocally that it’s possible to do well in business without destroying natural or human resources.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Senior Associate Editor Robin Mather grew up in a rural village in Michigan, where her classmates at school were the sons and daughters of farmers. She frequently stayed with friends whose families ran farms, and loved everything about their lives — from bucking bales of straw and hay to bottle-feeding calves.
Cheryl Long is the Editor-in-Chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., that is powered in part by solar panels. There, she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of Welsummer chickens.
Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief of Grit magazine, has been farming and selling farm products for almost 30 years and believes that demand for heritage breeds is poised to explode. His family’s seed company and nursery business inspired his academic career in genetics, while childhood experiences instilled a fascination with animal husbandry.
Mother Earth Living Editor-in-Chief Jessica Kellner is enthusiastic about sharing the simple, commonsense ways we can connect with nature to better our health, homes and lives — including using herbal remedies to prevent or treat common ailments and cleaning our houses with affordable, natural ingredients.
Karen K. Will is editor of The Heirloom Gardener magazine and operates Prairie Turnip Farm in Osage County, Kan., with her husband, Hank Will. She is a freelance writer, photographer and blogger, and the author of Cooking With Heirlooms: Seasonal Recipes With Heritage-Variety Vegetables and Fruits.
Allison Martin is Managing Editor of Mother Earth Living, and previously spent five years on staff at The Herb Companion magazine, where she learned about plant medicine traditions. She lives in Lawrence, Kan., with her family, two bulldogs and cat.

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