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By ALDEN WICKER

Tomorrow’s Lobsterman

New England’s fabled (and much valued) lobstering industry is struggling with all kinds of challenges: an aging workforce, lobster catches that swing from record highs to depressing lows, new regulations, and warming waters caused by climate disruption. So why would a bright young man in Eastport, Maine, commit to a life fishing the seas?

By BEN SPEGGEN

The Healing Power of “Bello”

On the Northeastern coast of Italy, not far from such meccas of refinement as Bologna and Florence, an unusual drug treatment community named San Patrignano has grown and thrived for more than 40 years. The program’s methodology? Teach people who are struggling with addiction high-level artisanal skills, and slowly but surely, confidence and pride fill what was once a desperate void.

By LAURA FRASER

Listen to “The Hidden Powers of a Sheep”

Not only is wool unusually cozy and durable, but its creators (the sheep) can help regenerate the soil, along with the world’s drying, fire-prone landscapes. The good news: a wool revival seems to be underway.

The Hidden Powers of a Sheep

While the fashion industry continues to produce more and more clothing made from synthetics, with all their harmful effects, we’ve ignored the wonders of wool. The material is natural, durable, and endlessly renewable; more important, its creators (the sheep) can help regenerate the soil, along with the world’s drying, fire-prone landscapes. Fortunately, a wool revival seems to be underway.

By JUDITH D. SCHWARTZ

The Bug Whisperer

Mark Sturges doesn’t advertise and clients have to find him by word of mouth, but find him they do. He’s become a master of an agricultural art as old as agriculture itself: basic compost.

By KRISTIN OHLSON
Photography by MARK STURGES and KRISTIN OHLSON

The Kayak’s Cultural Journey

For millennia, indigenous peoples across the world have built and used wooden skin boats to fish and hunt, for sport and travel, even for warfare. Skin kayaks are the unique product of Arctic peoples, but nonindigenous admirers of the craft are making them, too. Does that matter?

By SIMON MORRIS

Watch “Mike Morgan’s Quest to Make Traditional Skin Boats”

Mike Morgan’s fascination with small, traditional watercraft dates back to the ’80s. Building on his decades of experience as a musical instrument maker and repairer, Morgan set out to deconstruct and understand the ancient kayak designs so he could make his own authentic boats.

Listen to “Argentina’s Textile Crusader”

If you want an unusually cozy scarf or sweater made of natural fiber, merino wool or alpaca are the usual choices. But what about the guanaco, the alpaca’s little-known cousin, which grows even finer fleece? For Adriana Marina, the guanaco’s time has come to be South America’s finest source for sustainable textiles.

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