MOTHER Makes a Land Purchase

In 1978, MOTHER EARTH NEWS made a land purchase in western North Carolina that became home base for its experiments in community self-sufficiency.

| November/December 1978

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    A view of the lake through the trees.
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    Streams, a lake, forest, hills—our nearly square mile land purchase has it all.
  • The property already had a cabin with a stone fireplace.
  • This old spillway has the potential for a hydroelectric power installation.
  • Wildflowers frame another view of the lake.
  • Taking a slow spin around the property.
  • Open space like this has many potential uses.

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Yep! After years of scrimping and saving every penny (many of which came from MOTHER EARTH NEWS' Lifetime Subscribers), we have finally made a land purchase—622.4 acres of beautiful mountains and valleys and streams and lakes and clearings and shady groves and ferny dells and pastures and woodlands and old log cabins not very far from our home offices in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  

The variety of elevations (running from 2,080 to 2,720 feet above sea level), soil, native flora and fauna, etc., that you'll find on this nearly-mile-square piece of property is incredible. 

And if you've been reading this magazine any length of time at all, you've probably already got an inkling of the passively solar heated underground dwellings, biodynamic gardens, self-contained hydroelectric systems, wind plants, and other environmentally-oriented installations that we'll soon be making on this land.  

The idea, in short, is to tap the best and most inventive minds of the world (many of whom you've already seen featured in this magazine's pages) to construct a showplace "Community of the Future:" a food self-sufficient, energy self-sufficient village that "rests lightly" on the surrounding countryside; a delightful place in which to live, filled with inhabitants who couldn't care less if the Arabs shut off the oil, the coal miners go on strike, or the nation's truckers refuse to haul food across state lines.  

Or, to put it another way: We (and you) already know that $100,000 homes can be constructed for $20,000, and that once you move into such a dwelling, the house can be heated and cooled forevermore for no more than $15 or $20 a year. And that it's extremely fulfilling (rather than a chore) to grow far more healthful food for your family yourself than any supermarket will ever sell. And that it's better (and easier) to set up your own home business than to punch a time clock. And that communities—once again—can be designed and built for people instead of cars. And we (and you) know many other related things for no other reason than that we've all read about them in this magazine.  

But just publishing a story about a passively solar-heated house here and a successful home business there and a new wholistic gardening breakthrough somewhere else isn't good enough anymore. If we ever hope to rub this society's nose in the fact that life can be different, and better, and more environmentally oriented, and more satisfying in the bargain, we're just going to have to bring all of these good things together in one spot at the same time for everyone to see firsthand.  


Fermentation Frenzy!

September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pa

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


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