These are interesting times we’re living in, with the convergence of monumental challenges and awesome opportunities.
To mark Earth Day 2009, we've put together special coverage of five different topics that provide unique solutions and innovative ideas to help us live wisely and address the challenges ahead.
First, The Best Crops for Your Garden presents the results of our groundbreaking national survey and provides lists of the top crops for each region of the country, as rated by hundreds of gardeners as easiest to grow, cook with and preserve. To our knowledge, no one has ever collected this kind of region-specific information from such a large group of gardeners. We hope the data will help you grow your best garden ever and become less dependent on the unsustainable and sometimes risky industrial food system.
Turning from fresh, homegrown veggies to meat and dairy, The Amazing Benefits of Grass-fed Meat outlines why raising animals on intensively managed pastures is so much better in so many ways than the industrial, grain-based system. Two under-recognized benefits include increasing soil fertility and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Managed intensive grazing can be practiced on any scale, and in most regions it only takes a few acres to support a cow or a couple of pigs. This means that anyone who has a small acreage could use intensive grazing to produce grass-fed meat (we’ll tell you how to do this in a future issue).
To cover the looming issue of global warming, we have 5 Plans for Action on Climate Change and Renewable Energy and an expert viewpoint on the ambitious steps necessary to build a brighter future, A Plan for the Solar Revolution.
Next up, we’ve launched a new designation — Mother Earth News Tools for Wiser Living. Check out the first three exceptional garden products. We’ll be highlighting other tools and products of special value in future issues. If you want to nominate a classic tool or a cutting-edge invention that you think deserves to be a Tool for Wiser Living, let us know.
Last, we mark this Earth Day with an essay about the need for a collective vision of the future we seek. In a recent issue, we included two paragraphs about population issues in this column (Three Mountains We Must Climb) that prompted an outpouring of unusually passionate responses. A number of readers wrote to say they would tolerate no discussion of population issues and were canceling their subscriptions. Some mistakenly thought we were calling for government-imposed population control. Others thanked us for addressing such a complicated but important issue. Given the strong responses, we decided to explain in more detail why we think it’s vital that everyone respectfully consider the difficult questions posed by our ever-expanding population (read Planning for a Sustainable Human Future).
We look forward to continuing the conversation with all of you about all of these topics and many more.