50 Years of MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Joel Salatin helps us reflect and celebrate 50 years of Mother Earth News magazine while honoring our back-to-the-land, and self-sufficiency roots.

| December 2019 / January 2020

Has it really been 50 years? As a 13-year-old in 1970, I remember my straight-laced dad devouring this new magazine, all in black and white on rustic paper. It was called Mother Earth News, and it was filled with every kind of back-to-the-land and self-reliance idea you could imagine. John Shuttleworth steered the visionary team that cranked out counterculture issues.

plowboy

Post-Woodstock, Mother Earth News embodied both the frustrations and the hopes of the first wave of baby boomers questioning the foundations of the World War II generation. Readers were introduced to many icons of the environmental movement through the Plowboy Interviews, including Allan Savory, Bill Mollison, and A.P. Thomson. In each issue, those of us desperate to redirect the course of our culture received a bonanza of information and new guides.

What a joy to find others who thought like we did. In those early days, I was but a fledgling teenager raising chickens without vaccines. I even had them on pasture in movable shelters. As an active member of 4-H, I received a steady dose of orthodoxy from the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences at Virginia Tech. In fact, those professors mounted an aggressive campaign to enroll me in their program. They sent me on trips, introduced me to Colonel Sanders (that was memorable), and performed all sorts of arm-twisting.



But every time I came home from their activities, there was Mother Earth News, a beacon that called the industrial mechanical orthodoxy into question. It and another title, Organic Gardening and Farming, had iconic status in our house, alongside the Bible, which I now realize was quite unusual.

In my formative years, Mother Earth News was the antidote to conventional establishment thinking. It dared to question everything. I remember one especially fascinating story titled “Kon Tipi” (May/June 1982). The exploits of Kon-Tiki were hot at the time, so a title like “Kon Tipi” caught my attention. The article was about a homesteading family who built a house using only poles and heavy canvas. Although it would require a new skin in about 20 years, the entire structure cost only $1,421. Even if we adjust for inflation, who can’t see the financial value of living in a house that costs so little to rebuild every 20 years? What’s not to love?






mother-audience

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

February 15-16, 2020
Belton, Texas

Join us in the Lone Star state to explore ways to save money and live efficiently. This two-day event includes hands-on workshops and a marketplace featuring the latest homesteading products.

LEARN MORE






Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me