Cheryl Long, editor in chief: 785-274-4319,
Brandy Ernzen, brand manager: 785-274-4304,

Mother Earth News
honors six families who “Live the Good Life”

TOPEKA, Kan. (July 16, 2013) — Mother Earth News, the longest-running publication dedicated to sustainable lifestyles, names its 2013 Homesteaders of the Year in conjunction with International Homesteading Education Month in September. The magazine profiles each family in its August-September issue, on newsstands July 23.

The 2013 Homesteaders of the Year are:

  • Dennis Carter and Anneli Carter-Sundqvist homestead and operate an off-grid hostel on Deer Isle, Maine. They grow and preserve most of their own food, and offer educational workshops during tourist season.
  • Kyle and Katy Chandler-Isacksen of Reno, Nev., share their self-sufficient lifestyle with more than 500 people per year by hosting workshops for students and community members. They also produce much of their own food, glean from neglected fruit trees and redirect food waste from grocery stores, all of which they share with others.
  • Carson and Dawn Combs operate Mockingbird Meadows, a United Plant Savers Sanctuary. They run a medicinal CSA program and sustainable beekeeping co-op outside Columbus, Ohio. The Combs also host farm dinners and workshops a few days per week.
  • Phil Freedman built the home on his 25-acre farm in Frederick, Md. He and his family run an organic vegetable CSA, host canning days and other workshops, and grow most of their own food. The family invites community members to learn via farm hand days and other workshops.
  • Amy and Dan Saunders of Lawrence, Kan., run a vegetable and grass-fed dairy and meat CSA from their family’s homestead, which includes buildings made from salvaged materials. The Saunders also host on-farm workshops for children and families.
  • Gregg and Gloria Varney own the first certified organic dairy in Maine, where they run a farm store, café and bakery. They sell value-added goods made from scratch and almost completely from ingredients grown on their farm in Turner. The Varneys also offer monthly workshops on homesteading skills and work on anti-GMO legislation.

“As people seek more meaningful, eco-friendly and secure lifestyles, our Homesteaders of the Year inspire others to connect with and learn from neighbors seeking a similar path,” explains Cheryl Long, editor in chief of Mother Earth News.  

Mother Earth News sought Homesteaders of the Year nominations from its readers, online audience and through social media. Each winner’s profile illustrates a different way to live a satisfyingly simple, self-reliant lifestyle.

Each Homesteader of the Year wins a selection of books from Storey Publishing, a speaking slot and tickets to attend a Mother Earth News Fair, plus a lifetime subscription to Mother Earth News.

The Homesteaders of the Year award kicks off International Homesteading Education Month in September. Mother Earth News and Grit magazines sponsor this celebration of modern homesteading. They have created an online hub where anyone can register tours, workshops, open houses or other events, and both titles will promote Homesteading Education Month throughout the summer. Everyone is welcome to participate — individuals, organizations and companies offering products for self-reliant living — both by signing up to host an event and by using the online listings to find nearby events to attend. Current and would-be homesteaders can also enter the Holy Hee-Haw! Homesteader Giveaway.

Mother Earth News is accepting nominations for the 2014 Homesteaders of the Year. Nominations with at least 500 words and three photos should be sent to with the subject line “Homesteader of the Year.”

NOTE: Photos are available upon request.

About Mother Earth News
Mother Earth News
( is the Original Guide to Living Wisely. Launched in 1970, each bimonthly issue of Mother Earth News features practical and money-saving information on organic gardening, cooking and food preservation, natural health, do-it-yourself projects, renewable energy, and all aspects of rural and urban homesteading.

About Ogden Publications Inc.
Ogden Publications Inc. ( is the leading information resource serving the sustainable living, rural lifestyle, farm memorabilia and classic motorcycle communities. Key brands include Mother Earth News, Mother Earth Living, Utne Reader, Capper’s and Grit. Ogden Publications also produces environmentally friendly housewares through Natural Home Products LLC, and provides insurance and financial services through its Capper’s Insurance Service division.

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