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

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

TOPEKA, Kan. (July 24, 2012) — Mother Earth News, the longest-running publication dedicated to sustainable lifestyles, names its first 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 31.

2012 Homesteaders of the Year:

  • Jim Strickland and Laurie Freeman live off-grid in Meco, N.Y. They hand-built their home with recycled materials and timber harvested, milled and joined on their property. Relying on solar energy, Strickland and Freeman paid their last utility bill in 2000. They raise chickens, keep bees, tend a large food garden and store excess harvests in a root cellar.
  • Mark Boyd and Charlyn Ellis turned one-tenth of an acre in Corvallis, Ore., into a productive homestead, complete with a vegetable garden, a chicken coop, beehive and an energy-efficient house. They diligently reduce, reuse and recycle – to the extent that they only need to have their trash picked up twice a year. 
  • Alan Steinberg, Barbara Heller and daughter Rebecca Heller-Steinberg renovated an 1850s house into an energy-efficient, self-reliant homestead in Afton, N.Y. Besides growing their own food, each family member works to strengthen local food connections and shares their knowledge and skills with the Afton and Binghamton communities. 

2012 Runners-up:

  • Jason Trimm and Alison Gannett, Holy Terror Farm; Paonia, Colo. 
  • The Moran Family, Hopewell Farms; Newbury, N.H. 
  • Joseph Graham and Sheila Eskenazi, Sainte Lucie des Laurentides, Quebec, Canada
  • The Conlin Family, Irish Hills Farm; Apsley, Ontario, Canada

“There is a modern homesteading movement developing as people seek more meaningful, eco-friendly and secure lifestyles. Our Homesteaders of the Year offer role models to inspire others, and Homesteading Education Month taps the power of the Internet to help neighbors learn from neighbors,” 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. Entries ranged from rural families living off-grid to urbanites raising chickens and gardening in the inner city. Each winner’s profile illustrates a different way to live a satisfyingly simple, self-reliant lifestyle.  

Winners take home a prize kit, including a selection of books from Storey Publishing and tickets to attend a Mother Earth News Fair. Winners and runners-up also receive a lifetime subscription to Mother Earth News.

The Homesteaders of the Year award kicks off the inaugural International Homesteading Education Month this September. Mother Earth News teamed up with Grit magazine to 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 be promoting 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 Cow! Homesteading Sweepstakes.

Mother Earth News is accepting nominations for the 2013 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; do-it-yourself projects; cutting energy costs; using renewable energy; green home building and remodeling; rural living; and conscientious, self-sufficient lifestyles.

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, Natural Home & Garden, 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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