Meet the Authors
who write regularly for Backwoods Home
Dorothy grew up in Santa Barbara CA, but always wanted her own place in the country even if she had to dig and scratch to get it, and that she did. Fueled by an extreme desire for security and self-sufficiency, she bought 10 acres in southern Oregon with a farm loan, got started developing the property at age 40, and there was no stopping her for the next 3 decades.
She reared her 2 children by herself, making a living waitressing and prep-cooking for 50 years. By trial and error, and on a very low budget, she became a Jill-of-all-Trades, and is still going at it.
Being a compulsive documentarian/photographer, she constantly took photos of her progress along the way, and since 1994 has been sharing her how-to articles with Backwoods Home Magazine, and on her website: www.dorothyainsworth.com
Joe & Amy Alton
Dr. and Ms. Alton are devoted aqua culturists (currently raising tilapia) and aquaponic, raised bed, and container gardening experts.
As "Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy," they host a medical preparedness website at www.doomandbloom.net, and produce video and radio programs under the Doom and Bloom™ label.
Dr. and Ms. Alton are firm believers that, to remain healthy in hard times, we must use all the tools in the medical woodshed.
Their goal is to promote integrated medicine; in this way, they can offer their readers the most options to keep their loved ones healthy in a long-term survival situation.
Massad Ayoob has been writing the firearms column for Backwoods Home since 1995. His dad first had him bust off a live round when he was four years old. Mas got into competition shooting in his teens and he’s kept it up ever since, winning numerous state and regional handgun championships and a couple of national titles. His first firearms article appeared in GUNsport magazine in 1971, and he has kept that up, too. For more than 30 years, Mas has been handgun editor of Guns magazine and law enforcement editor for American Handgunner. In addition, his work appears regularly in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, and Shooting Industry. He is also the author of some 15 books on firearms and self-defense.
For decades, Ayoob’s primary occupation has been that of instructor in pistols and revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and handguns, teaching nationwide and occasionally in other nations (massadayoobgroup.com). In addition to training and writing, Mas’ part-time obligations include 40 years as a part-time, but fully-sworn, police officer. He spent 19 years as chair of the firearms committee for the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, and is a member of the advisory boards of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association and the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, and a trustee of the Second Amendment Foundation.
Finally, Mas has appeared as an expert witness for the courts for 35 years in jurisdictions all over the country, testifying primarily in self-defense and officer-involved shootings. He served two years as co-vice chair of the forensic evidence committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and teaches management of deadly force cases to attorneys for Continuing Legal Education credit.
Jackie Clay-Atkinson is a lifetime homesteader, living much of it off grid on a shoe string. She and her husband, Will, have a 120-acre homestead in way-northern Minnesota where they raise their own cattle for meat and milk, goats for fun and milk, and chickens and turkeys for eggs and meat. They have a half-acre fenced orchard and berry patch and several large gardens. Jackie cans and dehydrates much of the family’s food, reducing their store-bought groceries to nearly nil. She is a frequent speaker at many events across the country and provides homesteading seminars at their homestead where folks can come learn homesteading skills. Jackie is a continuing writer for Backwoods Home Magazine, both of feature articles and her familiar Ask Jackie column. She is also the author of several books including Growing and Canning Your Own Food, Jackie Clay’s Pantry Cookbook, and Homesteading Simplified: Living the Good Life Without Losing Your Mind.
Linda grew up in rural Ontario, Canada where her family lived a self-sufficient lifestyle, growing and raising their own food and living off the land, a way of life she still strives to maintain today.
She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to garden, fish, hunt, and forage for edible wild foods. She also enjoys camping, hiking, prospecting for gold, and any other activity that dishes up an excuse to spend time outdoors.
Linda has been a freelance writer for more than 30 years, sharing her love for food, cooking, healthy eating, gardening, and outdoor sports and recreation. Her work has appeared in many publications throughout Canada and the USA. She is a full-time cooking columnist and feature writer for a number of Canada’s leading outdoor and general interest magazines and has been a frequent contributor to Backwoods Home for more than 17 years. Over the years she has instructed cooking classes, foraging for wild food workshops, creative writing, and prospecting courses.
Her fish and game cookbook, Cooking Wild, published by Keywest in 2008, was a big success and a second edition is under consideration. Presently, she is working on several other cookbook titles.
Linda moved to British Columbia in 1970 and lived in the rural woods for many years. Today she makes her home in Prince George and continues to enjoy her "old ways" of life.
Sylvia Gist grew up on a small cattle ranch, immersed in a self-reliant culture; you learned to "do-it-yourself" because you had to. Her grandparents were the original homesteaders.
She and her husband have retired in Montana after careers in education which took them from the Dakotas to Montana to Alaska. Hunting, fishing, and berry picking were included in that lifestyle. Now they live on a small acreage where they tend to a large garden, a small orchard, several grape vines, assorted berry bushes, and a flock of chickens.
The challenge of "Can I do this myself?" has kept Sylvia’s life interesting — from sewing beaver and fox hats in Alaska to making sauerkraut from her home-grown organic cabbages. Part of her "prepper" philosophy includes canning, dehydrating, and saving seeds including some biennials like carrots, chard, and kale.
Her first article appeared in 1996 in BHM. She enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with friends, neighbors, and interested readers.
Joe is a lifelong do-it-yourselfer who loves working on projects related to homesteading and self-reliance. He grew up in both rural and urban areas around the United States, but now lives in his rural "homestead" in the Arizona desert.
He and his family live off of 90% rainwater, collected from their roof, and are always looking for new ways to become more self-reliant and live a more satisfying and healthy life.
Joe maintains a YouTube channel called "Homesteadonomics" that chronicles many of his DIY projects and homesteading activities. Subjects include everything from gardening and home economics to craftsmanship and odd projects.
When he’s not working on a new project or spending time with his family you’ll be sure to find the latest issue of Backwoods Home in his hands.
Habeeb Salloum is a Canadian author who grew up in Saskatchewan, joined the RCAF during the Second World War, and then worked for the Canadian Department of National Revenue for 36 years. For the last 30 years he has been a full-time freelance writer and author specializing in food, history, and travel. Besides 7 books and 20 chapters in books, he has had hundreds of articles about culture, food, travel, history, and homesteading in western Canada appear in such publications as the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the Western Producer, Contemporary Review, Forever Young, Vegetarian Journal and Saveur.
Among his most important published books are: From the Lands of Figs and Olives: Over 300 Delicious and Unusual Recipes from the Middle East and North Africa (Interlink Publishing, 1996); Journeys Back to Arab Spain (The Middle East Studies Center, 1994); Arabic Contributions to the English Vocabulary (Librairie du Liban, 1996); Classic Vegetarian Cooking From the Middle East and North Africa (Interlink Publishing, 2000); Arab Cooking On A Saskatchewan Homestead: Recipes And Recollections (CPRC, University of Regina. 2005) – winner of the Cuisine Canada and The University of Guelph’s Silver Canadian Culinary Book Awards in 2006, Bison Delights (CPRC, University of Regina, 2010), and The Arabian Nights Cookbook (Tuttle Publishing, 2010). He has co-authored with Leila Salloum Elias and Muna Salloum two detailed research books on medieval Arab cookery: Scheherazade’s Feasts: Foods of the Medieval Arab World (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013); and Sweet Delights from A Thousand and One Nights: The Story of Traditional Arab Sweets (I.B. Tauris, London, UK, 2013). His newest book published in 2014 is Asian Cooking Made Simple: A Culinary Journey along the Silk Road and Beyond (Sweet Grass Books/Far Country Books: Helena, MT, 2014).
Habeeb was awarded the 2013 Saskatchewan Tourism Travel Media Award by the Tourism Saskatchewan on April 10, 2014 for his literary work on travel, tourism, and the culinary arts of that province
Annie Tuttle, grew up with Backwoods Home Magazine. As publisher Dave Duffy’s daughter, she began working with the magazine at age 6 by helping to stuff envelopes for mailings to potential subscribers.
At age 7 she wrote her first small article for the magazine, and at age 13 originated the magazine’s “Where I live” column for teenage readers.
Since then she has worked in every aspect of the magazine, including writing and editing articles, working in the mailroom, tending the magazine’s booth at the many trade shows we do around the country, and setting articles in the desktop publishing program used for final copy.
Now married and a columnist for Backwoods Home, she, husband Erik, and their three children live on their 52-acre Everfree Farm in Oregon.
Claire has written for Backwoods Home for many years, and occasionally done illustrations for us, as well. Her specialty is writing about freedom — and how to preserve it in our own lives despite everything that politicians and bureaucrats do. She is the author of the spirited episodic novel Hardyville Tales (sold in the BHM bookstore) and blogs regularly on our website.
Claire lives in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. She loves dogs, garage sales, and solitude. When not writing or walking in the woods, she spends her spare time working on her creaky old house and trying not to cuss too much when some new foundation or roof problem reveals itself.
Raised in Texas but moved east to obtain his engineering and industrial management degrees, Jeff stayed on in Virginia where he now lives with his wife Sharon in a solar home they built in 1992. After obtaining his professional engineering license in 1976, his early career included energy engineering positions with several national engineering firms, working up to vice president before starting his own engineering firm in 1990. His specialty in energy reduction studies soon attracted a client list that has included multiple state and Federal government facilities, schools, hospitals, NASA, and military facilities located throughout the states and overseas.
Although he built several small solar systems as a hobby when first out of college, his first major solar project was designing a 10,000 sq. ft. solar hot water heating system for the Fort Campbell Kentucky military laundry. This has led to designing all types of commercial and institutional solar heating and solar power systems over 100,000 watts in capacity, and numerous on and off grid residential solar systems throughout the United States. Jeff is a licensed professional engineer, a certified energy manager, a NABCEP certified solar professional, a licensed electrician, and holds a commercial helicopter pilot rating (now a hobby).
His background in all types of energy analysis has led to writing for several national building code publications and various national solar publications before settling down with Backwoods Home Magazine.