Profiles in Self-Sufficient Living

A log cabin building, glass blower, and community health educator are just a few of the folks profiled here who embrace the spirit of self-sufficient living.

| March/April 1980

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    LEFT: One of the larger log cabins Verlin Jones builds. RIGHT: New Age Community Health Education Services founder Beverly Coleman.  

  • 062 profiles

In celebration of little-known MOTHER EARTH NEWS-type folks from all over the country who manifest an attitude in harmony with self-sufficient living.

Verlin Jones: Log Cabin Builder

 For three-quarters of a decade 27-year-old Verlin Jones has been constructing log cabins that are designed to outlast their builder by a century or more. And the Ozark native has priced his handhewn log shelters which sell in kit form at well under the going rate. "Most all manufacturers today," says Verlin, "don't bother looking for ways to produce their goods for less money . . . they just jack up the price tag every time their costs increase." Jones, on the other hand, keeps cutting his expenses and his fees: Verlin currently charges $850 for a 20' x 20' structure, $750 for a 15' x 20' dwelling, and $650 for a 15' x 15' cozy residence.

What's more, the hill country carpenter extends credit to his customers ($100 down, and $25 per month) . . . and though he's not equipped to deliver his product will store orders free of charge for up to five years. 

Jones figures that the average do-it-yourself should be able to add a roof and floor to any one of his wall frames with a little bit of elbow grease and about $500 worth of used materials. "My cabins," Verlin acknowledges, "are made for folks who have more time than they have money! "

Joseph Maroney: Refuse Recycler 

"Since I moved to Reno in the early 1970's," says Nevada resident Joseph Maroney, "I've never put out so much as a cigarette butt for the garbage company to pick up." But despite that fact, a collection agency for the Reno Disposal Co. has sued the 72-year-old for refusing to pay for its "services."

A city ordinance gives Reno Disposal an exclusive franchise to collect garbage within the city limits . . . in order to prevent the potential health hazards caused by the accumulation of refuse. "But it ain't garbage until you throw it out," claims Joseph, "and I don't make garbage ." Maroney turns much of his food waste into mulch for his garden, burns paper products and potato peelings in his fireplace, and sells aluminum cans and glass bottles for recycling.


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September 12-13, 2019
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