New publications

October 14, 1990

Twenty years ago, Mother Earth News started out on a kitchen table with down-home do-it-yourself information printed on rough yellowed paper. But something strange happened at the dawn of its third decade.

The magazine, now edited in New York City, turned slick and glossy. And in March, the owners fired the entire editorial staff, including many people who had been with the magazine almost from the beginning.

Now the spirit of the original magazine has been reborn in two publications. Former garden editor Pat Stone has started GreenPrints, a quarterly gardening journal that focuses on the spirit of gardening rather than the how-to. And a whole group of former staffers have started BackHome, a magazine that looks -- and reads -- a lot like the original Mother Earth News.

Pat Stone says of GreenPrints, "There's not a single 'Plant 6 inches apart' or 'Don't forget to water' in the whole thing. Instead this little 'weeder's digest' is a garden reader, dedicated to the funny and frustrating, the rejoicing and reflective, the peaceful and poetic -- in a word, the personal sides of gardening."

The first issue of BackHome has articles on getting rid of weeds, wines from wild berries, how to take a kid fishing, building a kitchen island for recycling, a return to simple solar energy and how one town fought an incinerator.

GreenPrints makes for some wonderfully sweet curl-up reading on cool autumn nights. And BackHome feels just as the title says, like you're reunited with friends who moved out of town for a while, but came . . . well, back home.

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