Shared Earth is a magazine I’ve been eagerly looking forward to laying my grubby green paws on since I first found out about its imminent creation back in August…

And, folks, I’m happy to report that it has now arrived – and ecstatic to add that it is everything I’d hoped for, and more.

Before I go into gushing details, though, let me first admit my own potential bias… one of the articles featured in the first edition is written by yours truly: “In Search of Good Food” (yeah, I got to wax lyrical about food and farmers’ markets – how unusual of me!).

But, whether my article was there or not, I’m certain I’d feel the same way about this fabulous magazine…

It’s practical, it’s useful, it’s well-designed and it’s bursting with well-written, hands-on articles I’ve been reading and re-reading with absolute relish since I got my first copy a couple of weeks ago (yeah, yeah, I’ve been a bit distracted or I’d have reviewed it a whole lot sooner!).

The cover is fresh and inviting (man, I can’t WAIT for tomato season to kick in…) and the inside is beautifully laid out, from pretty contents page all the way through to the adverts at the end.

The colours are well chosen, and consistent, and their images superb.

As for the content, I’ve already admitted to reading it several times over. And I’ll likely read it again, consulting their handy information tables – it’s that kind of magazine.

There’s everything from how easy it is to make your own bread (instead of buying chemically-treated supermarket loaves), to how to become a flowerpot farmer (you’d be surprised at how much you can grow) to practical advice on how to go about setting up a renewable energy system.

You can also learn how to build your own working sunstove using an old cardboard box and aluminium foil (the instructions do seem a little mind-boggling, but then I’m not that good at that sort of thing!), get handy comparisons on the various home wind turbines available at the moment (with a useful-looking table comparing their various specs) and even find out how to dry foods at home (I wish I could grow enough to try it out!).

Well, folks, Shared Earth said they would provide ‘practical ideas for self-sufficiency and sustainable living’ – and I think they have done a fantastic job.

I think editor, Steve Venter, says it best:

Living sustainably does not just mean sorting your own recycling – it is a way of looking at the world and thinking about our place and actions within it; a lifestyle that attempts to reduce our use of the Earth’s natural resources by altering the way we travel, our energy consumption and the food we eat, in balance with Earth’s natural ecology and cycles.

And, here’s the part I really like:

The journey to self-sufficiency does not mean “going back” to an idealised past and doing without the conveniences and technologies of modern living, it is to travel down the path towards freedom from the economic pressures which keep so many of us tied to desks and in unrewarding jobs.

Fact is, you don’t have to be a tie-dye-wearing sprout-munching hippie to be green and become more self-sufficient (no offense intended – it’s just a stereotype that seems to influence so many potential green beans out there) – and this magazine will help you find out how.

So, if all of that sounds good to you, it’s time get your hands on a copy of Shared Earth Magazine – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Subscribers have already received their first edition, but the magazine should be on the shelves of Exclusive Books and CNA by now (if not, ask them why the hold up!). The retail price is R28.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Shared Earth is no longer publishing its magazine, owing to financial constraints.

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