Mother Earth News Selects Fairfield, Aug 06 | for "12 Great Places You’ve NeverHeard Of"

According to the August/September 2006 issue of MotherEarth News, Fairfield is a progressive little town worth visiting—if not packingup altogether and moving to!

In “12 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of,” writerLynn Byczynski lauds Fairfield’s eclectic, eco-conscious character,describing the community of 10,000 as “a surprisingly sustainableand cosmopolitan town.”

Byczynski’s article highlighted 11 other progressive yet littleknown communities in the U.S., including Ithaca, New York, and Sitka, Alaska. “We[at Mother Earth News] didn’t choose these towns based on a statisticalanalysis or scientific survey,” she writes, “Instead, we brainstormedstandout towns we’ve visited, lived in, or heard about from readers.”

Qualities that met the Mother Earth News seal of approval were “beautifulscenery and recreational opportunities; civic pride and a healthy economy;and a community of people who care about the environment, sustainability,alternative energy and fresh, wholesome food.”

Readers in search of sustainable communities were encouraged to visitand/or relocate to Byczynski’s top 12 picks—or at least drawinspiration on ways to improve their own locales. Here’s what MotherEarth had to say about Fairfield.

Fairfield, Iowa

“Your image of southeast Iowa probably doesn’t include the world’spremier ayurvedic health spa, more restaurants per capita than SanFrancisco, or 25 art galleries on the downtown square, but these are justsome of the many features of Fairfield, a surprisingly sustainable andcosmopolitan town.

“Since 1971, Fairfield has been home to Maharishi University ofManagement, founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. What began as an effortto teach India’s ancient principles of health and peace to Americanshas spread into many aspects of life in the community. Fairfield hostsan Eco-Fair every year, and has the most homes with solar energy or othergreen building features in Iowa. The county has the most acres of organiccultivation in the state. It also has earned praise for its entrepreneurialspirit—many small businesses thrive there.

“Two miles north of Fairfield is Maharishi Vedic City, where allhomes are designed and built according to the principles of ayurvedic architecture,in which each building faces east and has a central silent space calleda Brahmasthan and a golden roof ornament called a kalash. The sale of nonorganicfood is banned in the city, and construction recently began on what willbe 100 acres of greenhouses powered by wind and solar energy for the year-roundproduction of organic food.”

Population: 9,459
Climate: hot summers; cold winters; rainy
Cost of living index: 79.7
Median home price: $96,200
Alternative energy: net metering and renewable energy incentives
Don’t miss: Maharishi University’sGolden Domes

Of the 12 towns selected, Fairfield topped all others for the lowest costof living index and the lowest average home price.

The 11 other 2006 winners are Ithaca, New York (population 19,896), BlueHill Maine (2,345), Athens, Ohio (21,824), Wimberly Texas, (2,724), Decatur,Georgia (18,251), Northfield, MN (18,567), Grand Junction, CO (44,693),La Grande, Oregon (12,371), St. George Utah (59,780), Grants Pass, Oregon(27,195), Sitka, Alaska (8,986).

To read the entire article go to MotherEarth News.