Mother Earth News has inspired a new generation of readers to become self-sufficient.

There are many unexpected surprises in life, such as when you’re taking a shower and hear crashing noises as though someone is breaking into your home, only to discover that your two cats climbed into the pepper planter in order to break the glass vase full of clear marbles on the shelf so that they may remove your thumb tacks from the bulletin board and spread soil, glass, marbles, and tacks all over the floor 5 minutes before an appointment arrives.

But there is also a kind of nice surprise, like when a special life-changing magazine comes to you for free.  Ryan picked up a damaged free copy of Mother Earth News at Ozark Natural Foods last week, and every page caused a reaction of “Wow! Really? Amazing!”

It all started with a VCR eating The Lion King.

Mother Earth News' Advice for Mulching

Upon realizing that our VCR was on its last leg, and that our VHS tapes had seen their golden age and waved to it as it passed them by, what were we going to do with all those tapes??? Mother Earth News had a clever answer: deer fencing.  Yes, use your old VHS copy of Bambi to ward off the real Bambi’s raid upon your garden!  This great idea is from Angie McCutcheon in the Country Lore section (I’m sorry I can’t find which issue because the front cover of the magazine was torn off and I couldn’t find this issue online).  This deer-fencing method has worked for Angie for 10 years, effective because light reflects off the tape, and when it’s taut, the wind creates a buzzing sound to keep critters away.

There are many more exciting solutions in Mother Earth News.  Rain barrels, bread making, recycling, bee keeping, home building, and more for the happy homesteader.  I got pretty excited about the donkey section, and the herbal medicine article increased my hope that, though I can’t do magic like Hermione or become a specialized Native American herbalist, I can probably create some healing concoctions someday soon.

It’s wonderful to meet you, Mother Earth News! I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

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