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Lawrence Family Named Homesteaders of the Year

July 09, 2013
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LAWRENCE,  Kan. (July 9, 2013) — Mother Earth News names Dan and Amy Saunders to its 2013 class of six Homesteaders of the Year. The magazine profiles the Saunders family in its August-September issue, on saleJuly 23.

Dan and Amy, along with their three children, run Amy’s Meats at the Homestead, a vegetable and grass-fed dairy and meat CSA program. CSA members work 10 hours per year on the farm in an effort by the Saunders family to foster community and impart intergenerational knowledge.

The homestead includes a bermed greenhouse heated with a woodstove, and a milking barn and chicken coops made from salvaged materials. In addition, the family emphasizes traditional skills by growing broomcorn to make brooms and wreaths, and tanning animal hides. They open their farm during the year for tours, farm-to-fork dinners and workshops for the whole family.

“Dan and Amy’s hard work and respect for sustainable living, family and community make them exceptional examples of what we look for in our Homesteaders of the Year,” says Jennifer Kongs, managing editor 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.

The magazine also named Dennis Carter and Anneli Carter-Sundqvist, Deer Isle, Maine; Kyle and Katy Chandler-Isacksen, Reno, Nev.; Carson and Dawn Combs, Columbus, Ohio; Phil and Ilene Freedman, Frederick, Md.; and Gregg and Gloria Varney, Turner, Maine, as Homesteaders of the Year.

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.”

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