issue 119 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #119


The neighbors can tell that I’m not a city girl

Here is a money order for a gift subscription for my sister. I hope it touches her life like it has mine.

I live in a small town and I have chickens, large garden, berries of all kinds, apple trees, catch rain, on & on!

We used to live on 4 acres and owned a home on a hill. We, like lots of Americans, lost it all 2 years ago. We are starting over now in this small town in a small but comfortable home. If not for the articles in your magazine about people who are living the dream in town on small pieces of earth I would never have had the heart or grace to try it myself but I have and I am making the most of what I have to work with. I do have to say that my neighbors all know that I’m not used to in-town living — pole beans on the front porch, cabbage & broc where bushes used to be, chickens out back. I am not a city girl but have created my own piece of country right here in town.

Love your magazine! Keep it up!

Malinda Wyckoff
Laurelville, Ohio

BHM is my idea of a fashion magazine

Your common sense has helped me so much this past year. I’ve never had credit cards, have always paid my bills on time, yet I lost my house. It was only worth $52,000. At $333 a month I still would have paid $130,000 plus when all was said and done. Yet every year they tacked on higher payments. In ’07 my payments would have been $874 a month. I lost everything.

In ’07 I had a blood clot go through my heart. Only 45% of my heart functions now.

I hate all-electric apartments, yet that is what I have now.

Your magazine gave me the spunk to fight back.

. . . I don’t know if I will make it because of my health but I am having fun trying. Keep sending me Backwoods because you’re my forest in the brick tower of life.

P.S. I have never had a cell phone, most of my adult life no vehicle, nor ipod. My last computer ran windows 3.0. Never a mall-rat. Yes, Backwoods is my idea of a fashion magazine.

Judy Taylor
Marquette, Michigan

BHM library gift paid off

Found you about 15 years ago through your ads in Home Education Magazine and the free subscriptions you gave to a bunch of small libraries. And I’ve sold a lot of friends on BHM, so your gift to our little library in Wisconsin has paid off well.

Susan Gehlbach
Sussex, Wisconsin

Like being back home

Back in the 70s, I was an avid Mother Earth News reader and subscriber. Somewhere through the years, Mother Earth lost her way and forgot about loyal readers and sold-out to commercialism. But, wherever it was that Mother Earth lost the trail, Backwoods Home surely found it—I only wish I had discovered you earlier! I was leafing through Issue 117 and when I came upon the syrup making of Roger Clark, I nearly fell out of my chair. My best (and oldest) friend, Gary Layman, is the nephew of Larry and Mildred Terry who are the parents of Roger’s wife. I have visited that little farm near Obrien, Florida several times over the years and have stood in that very “cook house.” Not only is it a small world for a publisher in Oregon to know about a small town syrup legacy in rural Florida, but the article was keenly accurate. I only wish the author had mentioned more of Mildred Terry as well. She was an incredible woman and was the quiet breeze beneath all their wings. And, if that weren’t enough, there was another article a few pages over about Roger’s son making knives (which I didn’t know.) You had me hooked with all your wonderful bread-baking articles, but when you started writing about people and places that I know personally, well…I was back home!

Randy Harris
Conyers, Georgia

Something for everyone

I found your magazine via a post on frugaldad.com—a frugal guy that found you worth subscribing to, apparently. I am ordering a subscription for myself, my brother, and my brother-in-law since you have a special offer. I came initially just to get one for my brother-in-law as a gift, so you picked up two bonus subscriptions with your special offer. I was waffling on one for myself since I am a city-liver, but you seem to have something for everyone so I’m giving you a try myself, and my brother is mister self-sufficient, so it seems a good bet to send him one too. Kudos to you and frugaldad.com for a great offer.

Jennifer Altmiller
Bridgeville, Pennsylvania

Beacon in the darkness

Even with the poor economy and being short on money, your magazine is of major importance to me. I don’t want to be without it now more than ever before! Thanks for keeping the costs as low as possible. You are a beacon in the darkness.

Kathy Bauer-Wareham
Billings, Missouri

Joy of your philosophy

Your publications are wonderful, but I’m an antique and so I read for the joy of your philosophy!

Barbara Brandon
Westfield, New Jersey

Low ad percent frees us from advertising slump

Found magazine in Borders bookstore. I was searching for a magazine that was like TMEN was years ago and found it. Way better than The Mother Earth News is now. I cancelled my subscription to that magazine years ago when they got so commercialized. If you ever let your magazine go that route, I will cancel my subscription. We love it like it is!

Greg Troxell
Gladstone, Missouri

We have always been a subscription-driven magazine, as opposed to the very commercial advertiser-driven magazines, which is the business model for most magaznes. If you don’t count the advertisements for our own books, BHM devotes less than 10% of an issue to advertisements compared to more than 50% for most other magazines. This not only allows us great independence in the articles we publish, but it frees us from most magazine economic slumps, such as the severe advertising slump that other magazines are currently enduring. — Dave

Bound for vegetarianism

Here is my renewal for another year of a fantastic magazine! We got “Mother Earth News” until they went yuppie on us. We do get “Countryside” which we enjoy too. But yours mostly beats all of them. Every issue gives us: more information that we didn’t have, or a different way to do a project, or reminders of when we were doing more.

We are both in our 70s and done with farming (dairy) and animals—we had them all. We built a log house from scratch with over 200 poplar trees. Grant even built his own saw to slice 2 sides. We had some cherry too and used those as beams. We’ve gone a few weeks here and there without electric. I still hanker for some Banties.

Had to move from the log house on the hill in the woods down to an old small farmhouse on a dirt road on 3/4 of an acre. Didn’t stop us—we have a larger garden than ever. Potato patch, fenced in garden, red raspberry patch, blueberries, currants, and a small orchard.

We are moving, slowly, toward total vegetarianism.

Grant is restoring a 1948 Coupe right now. He has restored pickup trucks, tractors, even a dune buggy. Did we ever have fun with that! He goes wild foraging with me sometimes. I stick to roots and plants. The only mushrooms I mess with are Puffballs and Morels. I would like to learn about more.

We dry, can and freeze everything. We could survive in the woods if we have to, but we hope it never comes to that…

Keep up the good work.

Karen Nelson
Russell, Pennsylvania

Extra $ for military subs

Enclosed please find a check to include the amount $70.90 for my 3-year renewal as well as an extra $50 to be used for subscriptions for fellow military members or for renewals for whomever you see fit.

I have enjoyed your magazine for the past 11 years. Keep up the good work! God bless us all on this anniversary of our great nation’s independence.

Rod Emmons
Herron, Michigan

Talking to a real person

Greetings from Wisconsin!

This morning I talked to a very nice woman named Ramona. She was very informative on my questions that I had…

I have heard great things about your magazine and can’t wait for my first issue. My husband and I are moving to Western Montana in 2010, and am hoping I can find some tips in your issue about real rural living.

Also, one more thing: Kudos to you! I really enjoyed talking to a REAL PERSON!

Jill Verhagen
New London, Wisconsin

Down-to-earth magazine

This magazine is wonderful! Husband and I are both disabled and doing what we can to be as self-sufficient as possible on our ½ acre of land; have gained more ideas, info, etc. from Backwoods Home. Finally a publication that is also conservative, practical, and down-to-earth.

Carolyn Windmier
Clintonville, Wisconsin

Loved Issue 116

We just loved your May/June 2009 issue; it is the best yet! We especially enjoyed Sylvia Gist’s article on stretching the food budget—it is just what we’ve practiced for years—and excellent advice for younger families; same with Jackie’s Garden Primer. We usually read BHM at the library, but we had to buy our own copy of this issue to keep. When you offer Jackie’s new canning book with a subscription, we will subscribe. We did purchase the Pantry Self-reliance book—I have recommended it to family and friends.

Susan Doty
University Park, Iowa

Like-minded folks

Our family so enjoys receiving your magazine in the mail. My husband and I aspire to be as self-sufficient as possible, but sometimes I feel a little lonely in our quest. It is therefore SO refreshing to read of other folks who are like-minded, and who are eager to share their solutions to the various situations they encounter.

Enclosed is a check for a 5-year renewal of our subscription. Because we had already received the books offered as a bonus for subscription renewal, we would like to have you send them to someone who maybe can’t afford to purchase them. We would very much like to give back to this hardy self-sufficient community of folks.
Ann SeCoy
Beatty, Oregon

Best issue yet

Man this last issue was I believe the very best one yet. Ya’ll are doing very good work there and anyone with eyes can see that ya’ll are honest. Jackie, Ilene, John, Ayoob, Linda, and Claire (and many others I can’t list) are all such good writers. I esp. love the articles on herbs and Ayoob is always right-on in my book and I’m not even a gun owner. Anyway ya’ll keep plugging along and please don’t compromise your integrity. I get the feeling BHM and the lifestyle it promotes will go more mainstream soon.

Rodney Jenkins, Jr.
Italy, Texas

Thank you Claire Wolfe

A very big thank you to Claire Wolfe for bringing back a little bit of the Wolf fire. I’ve missed her directness since her two books of a few years back — “101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution” and “Don’t Shoot the Bastards (Yet).” We need many more people who are willing to tell it like it is. . .

We are a short ragged breath away from total dictatorship via the United Nations communist masters.

I was afraid that Claire had been threatened with mysterious disappearance by unnamed politicos if she continued to write. Welcome back to the world of true Americans.

Gene Tindall
Klamath Falls, Oregon

Like the Libertarian slant

Log prices weren’t good this winter, but things are picking up now for this self employed logger/arborist.

Keep up the good work. I especially like your conservative Libertarian viewpoint.

John Lamanna
Rangeley, Maine

I subscribe largely for your editorial content, but a surprising amount of your articles have some applicability this far north, too.

Nels Tomlinson
Juneau, Alaska

Your magazine has been a great wealth of information for the past year. I fully enjoy every article and look forward to Libertarian principles, and knowing there are like-minded people out there.

Pam Boyer
Driggs, Idaho

Radical political views

As I have previously advised you, I will not be renewing my subscription. I subscribe to a number of homestead magazines, and yours was always my favorite—that is until you started filling it with your radical political views. . .

I will probably check an issue at the newsstand sometime in the future to see if you have realized the damage your outspoken “baloney” has done to a previously wonderful magazine, and if so I may renew my subscription.

Patti BearPaw
Albuquerque, New Mexico

I have been preaching and teaching Libertarian philosophy among the how-to articles of this magazine for 20 years. Nothing has changed, and nothing will change. The Libertarian message of individual freedom, personal responsibility, and limited Government is not radical to those who believe, as I do, that America needs to return to its Constitutional beginnings and get off the Big Government train our misguided politicians — both Republicans and Democrats — have had us on for the past several decades.

If America’s founders were able to muster the great courage to sacrifice their lives and fortunes to the cause of winning freedom from a tyrannical Government, I can muster the tiny courage to sacrifice a few subscriptions to the cause of preventing the return of another tyrannical Government. — Dave

Straight honest advice

I depend on your magazine for straight honest advice in a time when most only want to give politically correct bull. I wanted to let your readers know that there are still a few conservators of the peace that believe in the Constitution and try hard to live by it. I and my officers hand out copies of the US Constitution to anybody and everybody. I have the Bill of Rights on our police department walls and it still says to serve and protect on our patrol cars. Once again thank you for educating the public and let me know if I can ever help.

Chief Clyde Zelch
Gerald Police Department
Gerald, Missouri

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