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1.

JUST THE GREATEST LIFE

David Schafer
Paperback

Price: $14.95

Just the Greatest Life is a collection of stories that has warmed hearts around the world. Struggling farmers, amazing neighbors, four-legged friends, and an awe of and appreciation for nature make th…

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Just the Greatest Life is a collection of stories that has warmed hearts around the world. Struggling farmers, amazing neighbors, four-legged friends, and an awe of and appreciation for nature make this self-published page-turner a book you'll read again and again. The editor of Country Journal called it a "pure, inspiring treasure" about a "life gone real." Fellow grass farmer, Joel Salatin, says "Schafer captures the exuberance of newly discovering the 'culture' of agri-culture and the satisfaction of a better way."


2.

THE GOOD LIFE

Helen & Scott Nearing
Paperback

Price: $16.00

This new edition of Living the Good Life and Continuing the Good Life brings together the Nearings' classic guides to the theory and practice of rural homesteading. This couple abandoned the city for …

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This new edition of Living the Good Life and Continuing the Good Life brings together the Nearings' classic guides to the theory and practice of rural homesteading. This couple abandoned the city for a rural life with minimal cash and the knowledge of self reliance and good health.

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 to its readers. For more than 30 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.

RURAL RENAISSANCE:RENEWING THE QUEST FOR THE GOOD LIFE

IVANKO/KIVIRIST
Paperback

Price: $22.95

In the '60s it was called the "back to the land" movement, and in Helen and Scott Nearing's day, it was "living the good life." Whatever the term, North Americans have always yearned for a simpler way…

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In the '60s it was called the "back to the land" movement, and in Helen and Scott Nearing's day, it was "living the good life." Whatever the term, North Americans have always yearned for a simpler way. But how do you accomplish that today?

Blending inspiration with practical how-to's, Rural Renaissance, a Mother Earth News Book for Wiser Living, captures the American dream of country living for contemporary times. Journey with the authors and experience their lessons, laughter and love for the land as they trade the urban concrete maze for a five-acre organic farm and bed and breakfast in southwestern Wisconsin. Rural living today is a lot more than farming. It's about a creative, nature-based and more self-sufficient lifestyle that combines a love of squash, solar energy, skinny dipping and serendipity.

Among the many topics explored in Rural Renaissance include:

  • "right livelihood" and the good life
  • organic gardening and permaculture
  • renewable energy and energy conservation
  • wholesome organic food, safe water and a natural home
  • simplicity, frugality and freedom
  • green design and recycled materials
  • community, friends and raising a family
  • independence and interdependence
  • wildlife conservation and land stewardship


An authentic tale of a couple whose pioneering spirit and connection to the land reaches out to both the local and global community to make their dream come true, Rural Renaissance will appeal to a wide range of Cultural Creatives, free agents, conservation entrepreneurs and both arm-chair and real-life homesteaders regardless of where they live.

About the Contributors: Lisa Kivirist is an innkeeper, organic farmer and copartner in a marketing consulting company. A former advertising agency fast-tracker, she and her partner are nationally recognized innovative young leaders in the growing rural renaissance movement who have been featured for their contemporary approach to homesteading, conservation and green living in a variety of media. Lisa is the author of Kiss Off Corporate America (Andrews McMeel, 1998).

John Ivanko is an innkeeper, organic farmer and copartner in a marketing consulting company. A former advertising agency fast-tracker, he and his partner are nationally recognized innovative young leaders in the growing rural renaissance movement who have been featured for their contemporary approach to homesteading, conservation and green living in a variety of media. John is also an award-winning photographer and author of and a travel book and several children's photobooks.


4.

THE SELF-SUFFICIENT LIFE AND HOW TO LIVE IT: Revised Edition

John Seymour
Hardcover

Price: $35.00

This is the key reference to living off the land. Packed with practical information and tried-and-tested tips, author John Seymour's visionary handbook explains how to reap the harvest, respect the la…

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This is the key reference to living off the land. Packed with practical information and tried-and-tested tips, author John Seymour's visionary handbook explains how to reap the harvest, respect the land, stay healthy and waste nothing.

The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It teaches all the skills needed to live independently: harnessing natural forms of energy, raising crops and keeping livestock, preserving foodstuffs, making beer and wine, basketry, carpentry, weaving, and much more.

This new expanded edition includes 150 new full-color illustrations and a special section in which Seymour, the father of the back-to-basics movement, explains the philosophy of self-sufficiency and its power to transform lives and create communities. More relevant than ever in our high-tech world, The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It is the ultimate practical guide for realists and dreamers alike.

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 to readers. For 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.


5.

THE BACKYARD BEEKEEPER

Kim Flottum
Paperback

Price: $24.99

The Backyard Beekeeper, now revised and expanded, makes the time-honored and complex tradition of beekeeping an enjoyable and accessible backyard pastime that will appeal to gardeners, crafters, and c…

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The Backyard Beekeeper, now revised and expanded, makes the time-honored and complex tradition of beekeeping an enjoyable and accessible backyard pastime that will appeal to gardeners, crafters, and cooks everywhere. This expanded edition gives you even more information on "greening" your beekeeping with sustainable practices, pesticide-resistant bees, and urban and suburban beekeeping. More than a guide to beekeeping, it is a handbook for harvesting the products of a beehive and a honey cookbook--all in one lively, beautifully illustrated reference. This complete honey bee resource contains general information on bees; a how-to guide to the art of beekeeping and how to set up, care for, and harvest honey from your own colonies; as well as tons of bee-related facts and projects. You'll learn the best place to locate your new bee colonies for their safety and yours, and you'll study the best organic and nontoxic ways to care for your bees, from providing fresh water and protection from the elements to keeping them healthy, happy, and productive. Recipes of delicious treats and instructions on how to use honey and beeswax to make candles and beauty treatments are also included.


6.

COUNTRY WISDOM & KNOW-HOW

ed. Storey Books
Paperback

Price: $19.95

This 476-page book is a compendium of treasured knowledge from hundreds of small booklets published as "Country Wisdom Bulletins" in the 1970s. Whether you want to build a stone fence, make strawberry…

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This 476-page book is a compendium of treasured knowledge from hundreds of small booklets published as "Country Wisdom Bulletins" in the 1970s. Whether you want to build a stone fence, make strawberry-rhubarb jam or plant an herb garden, this book will show you how.

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 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.


7.

HOW TO BUILD ANIMAL HOUSING

Carol Ekarius
Paperback

Price: $24.95

This 241-page book helps you evaluate the housing needs of your animals and provides dozens of adaptable plans for sheds, coops, hutches, multipurpose barns, windbreaks and shade structures, as well a…

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This 241-page book helps you evaluate the housing needs of your animals and provides dozens of adaptable plans for sheds, coops, hutches, multipurpose barns, windbreaks and shade structures, as well as plans for essential equipment.


8.

AMERICAN FARMER

Katrina Field and Paul Mobley
Hardcover

Price: $50.00

When photographer Paul Mobley set out to capture the soul of America's farming communities, he discovered a culture defined by tradition, integrity and hard work, and comprised of the most authentic …

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When photographer Paul Mobley set out to capture the soul of America's farming communities, he discovered a culture defined by tradition, integrity and hard work, and comprised of the most authentic and generous individuals he'd ever encountered. Traveling across the country from Tennessee to Montana, Mobley and his camera were welcomed into the homes of more than 100 farming families, who graciously shared their personal histories along with the fruits of their labor. To spend time with them was to turn back the clock — to an era when there were no locks on doors, no urban sprawl, and no virtue more prized than common decency. Children still move across the street and not across the state when they grow up, and parents move back in with their children when they grow old. Story after story, visit after visit, Mobley slowly came to know the independent farmer's spirit both from behind the lens and over the dinner table.

The result is a stunning series of portraits and direct quotes that collectively chronicle the life of the American farmer. Each image offers an unvarnished and intimate look inside the hardships and joys of a quickly disappearing lifestyle — one that once defined our national identity and now struggles just to keep a foothold. And even as encroaching cities threaten their livelihoods, these men and women continue to find sustenance in the same basic human values they were raised with. American Farmer is an inspirational reminder of what it means to live with simplicity and contentment, in a world that is driven by excess. This vivid portfolio is accompanied by anecdotes and memories in the farmer's own words that are both a testament to their enduring hospitality and a moving glimpse into their daily routines and family histories. But what you will read first, and foremost, are their faces. From Bruce Crump, a citrus farmer in Florida; to Patsy Fribley, a stockyard dealer from Montana; to Thurston Wilber, a Maine lobsterman, Mobley's intense and beautiful portraits capture the furrows of fields lining their brows, the crevices of drought creasing the corners of their mouths, and the grains of truth in their squinted eyes.


9.

GREEN HOME IMPROVEMENT

DAN CHIRAS
Paperback

Price: $34.95

In a tight economy, this book offers clear financial benefits by helping homeowners immediately cut their utility bills. Many of these smaller home improvements require only a modest investment, and g…

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In a tight economy, this book offers clear financial benefits by helping homeowners immediately cut their utility bills. Many of these smaller home improvements require only a modest investment, and give readers an edge when they sell their homes: Buyers are looking for energy efficiency, and they are also tuned into green health and environmental concerns.

The book's projects include quick and easy, low- or no-cost tasks — like insulating a water heater, sealing foundation cracks or painting with insulating paint — as well as bigger-ticket items, such as installing a new energy-efficient heating system, windows or green flooring. The more than 65 "Go Green" tips highlighted throughout the book give readers ideas to make their homes and lifestyles greener.

Projects include:

  • Green flooring and paint options
  • Environmentally friendly cabinetry and countertops
  • Whole-house insulation and weather-stripping
  • High-efficiency heating and cooling
  • Water conservation
  • Efficient lighting, appliances and plumbing fixtures, including Energy Star and WaterSense models
  • Solar electric and water heating systems
  • Eco-friendly roofing and siding
  • Energy-efficient windows, doors and skylights
  • Green materials for patios, walkways and driveways
  • Landscaping and irrigation for water conservation and energy


10.

THE BACKYARD HOMESTEAD

Carleen Madigan
Paperback

Price: $18.95

With just a quarter acre of land, you can feed a family of four with fresh, organic food year-round. This comprehensive guide to self-sufficiency gives you all the information you need to grow and pre…

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With just a quarter acre of land, you can feed a family of four with fresh, organic food year-round. This comprehensive guide to self-sufficiency gives you all the information you need to grow and preserve a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts and grains; raise chickens for eggs and meat; raise cows, sheep and goats for meat or milk; raise pigs and rabbits; and keep honeybees. Simple instructions make it easy to enjoy canned, frozen, dried and pickled produce all winter; use your own grains to make bread, pasta and beer; turn fresh milk into delicious homemade yogurt, butter and cheese; make your own wine, cordials and herbal teas; and much, much more. It truly is possible to eat entirely from your backyard.

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.

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