Local Chapters of MOTHER EARTH NEWS

At the end of 1980, MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine proposed the idea of establishing local chapters through which people who shared the magazine's ideals could network and build a community.

| November/December 1980

  • 066 mother earth news local chapters - Fotolia - SPARROWS
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS proposed the idea of establishing local chapters to establish personal connections between its like minded readers.

  • 066 mother earth news local chapters - Fotolia - SPARROWS

It seems that a lot of the good folks who read this magazine want to get together with like-minded persons to talk about — and become involved in — MOTHER EARTH NEWS-type projects. In fact, we've received any number of letters asking us, "Why don't you form a national network of MOTHER clubs, so we can share our projects, plans, and dreams?" Well, the longer we pondered that suggestion, the more convinced we were that it was a darned fine idea!

But, for a good while now, we simply haven't had the staff or the time — what with our growing lineup of seminars, traveling courses, special issues, and world tours — even to think about such an undertaking. However, all those other projects are finally running pretty smoothly ... so we're ready if you are (and the evidence sure indicates that you are!) to begin work on local chapters of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

That Barn-Raising Spirit!

You know, our staffers often hear from readers who note — with some sadness — the difficulty of finding other MOTHER EARTH NEWS types in their home areas ... and solving this problem, we think, is one of the main reasons for establishing local MOTHER EARTH NEWS chapters. It seems, these days, that many people live in self-created isolation. Such folks are just too busy or distracted — or even plain scared — to make contact with their neighbors.

This situation, of course, has resulted in a breakdown in (and, in many areas, a complete lack of ) any sort of community spirit, since everyone fends strictly for him- or herself. But — as you know — there's a lot to be said for working together. A large group of people, for instance, can complete jobs that would be impossible for one person to accomplish alone, and such work is bound to be easier, quicker, more satisfying, and far more fun when a number of good friends pitch in together to do it!

In addition to simply bringing people together, each local chapter could serve as a clearinghouse for information. After all, MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers are a widely diversified bunch, and just about everyone has a valuable skill to share with others. If there's someone in your area who has knowledge of welding, farming, carpentry, or smithing (or any of a number of other do-it-yourself skills) that you may need to share, chances are your local MOTHER EARTH NEWS chapter would be able to put you in touch with that person (heck, he or she would probably belong to the organization already!).

Furthermore, not only would group members be able to exchange information and instruction in back-to-the-land skills, but they'd also be able to barter goods and services. As most of you swappers know, trading is somehow more satisfying (and usually a lot more fun! ) than simply paying out dollars and cents for the items or labor you need. Better still, such interaction would, no doubt, cause a close sense of community to develop among chapter members ... and that's about the best reason imaginable for starting a club. It would sure be comforting to know that no matter what happened — whether the barn roof collapsed or a power blackout (or worse) threatened the whole neighborhood — there'd be someone nearby who cared and who could be counted upon to help.

linda wisner
12/5/2017 9:24:09 PM

Shame this didn't fly. Looked interesting.

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