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.
And that’s exactly what MOTHER EARTH NEWS’ Community of the Future is all about. And we’re well on our way to making it a reality. And we expect to keep right on financing this work very largely the same way we’ve been financing it in the past: with the revenues we receive from the sale of lifetime subscriptions to this magazine.
So if you’ve ever thought about signing up for a lifetime of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, this is the time to do it (just as 3,003 other good people have already done).
Your investment, remember, does three things: [l] It makes it just that much easier for us to keep publishing still bigger and better issues,  it assures you of receiving every one of those issues that you’re entitled to for as long as there is a magazine (forever, we hope!), and  it helps us finance the Environmental Research Center that we’re already starting to build on our lovely piece of land.
That’s really stretching today’s shrinking dollar and, in return for your non-refundable contribution, you will receive [I] every issue that is printed for as long as you live,  recognition—unless you request otherwise—in this magazine,  a genuine Certificate of Thanks,  your name—unless you request otherwise—listed permanently at the Center as one of The People Who Made This Research Center Possible, and  the satisfaction of becoming part of, we hope, Something That Counts.
ONE FINAL NOTE: Inflation, as you know, is really starting to get out of hand here in the United States (and in other parts of the world) and all signs point to even worse inflation in the years ahead. This, then, is the last time you’ll ever have a chance to take advantage of the current bargain price for yourself or for anyone that you want to give the “best possible” Christmas present to this year.