issue 141 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #141


Bee sting clarification

I have to disagree with Dr. Joe Alton, M.D. about bee stings (Issue #140, March/April 2013).

If one of the girls gets you, you do not want to remove stingers by pulling it out! You may be able to do so with tweezers but not your fingers!

Generally the venom sacs are still attached to the stinger when she pulls away. The sacs are still pumping venom into the wound. If you try and pull the stinger out you will only inject more venom into the wound.

You should try and scrape the stinger out using a knife, keys will work or a finger nail if you can get in between the sacs and the skin. A quick scrape should get rid of the stinger and the venom sacs without injecting more venom into you. You do want to try and exit the area as soon as you can however. The girls will release a pheromone signalling others in the area of a need for hive defense. Move fast and move far. If you have a smoker with you use it also to try and cover yourself.

Mark Richardson
Brockway, Michigan

When I said “using your fingers,” I meant to scrape it out with your fingernails. It would be an extraordinarily dexterous person that would be able to remove a stinger by grasping it with their fingers. I certainly couldn’t do it. I mention using tweezers in the article and I also advise leaving the immediate area as soon as possible.

— Joe Alton

Electricity from heat

You had a letter in Issue #140 (March/April 2013) about generating electricity from heat.

I am imagining you’ve had responses to this, but it’s up my alley so I will offer this information. There is an electronic component called a Peltier junction or Peltier device. This device manifests something called the thermo-electric effect. Peltier devices are used in PCs to cool the CPU. They are also used in portable coolers for use in cars, etc. Making enough voltage (and more importantly perhaps current) to charge a cell phone might be expensive, but you could directly convert heat from a wood stove or whatever to electricity with these devices. You would need 10 junctions to get 5VDC to charge a cell phone. It would probably cost $100 to get 10 devices to wire in series. I think I’d get a solar panel & gel cell and use that to charge cell phones, etc. instead.

Don Williams
High Ridge, Missouri

Using dry ice

Claire Wolfe’s article in Issue #140 (March/April 2013) talks about using dry ice, how is that done? Seal with dry ice in or wait for it to dissipate?

J.
Georgetown, Pennsylvania

First, test a small piece of dry ice by putting it into a Tupperware or other airtight container. Let the ice dissipate. If the container is dry inside when you open it, you know your dry ice is pure CO2 and doesn’t contain water vapor. Now put a chunk of the dry ice into the container with your firearm (but not in direct contact with it). Seal the container loosely. After several hours, the ice should have dissipated and evacuated the oxygen. Now seal the container tightly and you’re ready to go. Here’s an online article with more detail.

Although the article is about food storage, the principle is similar.

— Claire

Kindle vs. print version

I used to have the print subscription and then last summer I subscribed to the Kindle version. I found that I missed the old-fashioned paper magazine coming in the mail, and so here I am back to re-order.

Heather Bonham
Wappingers Falls, New York

Jackie Clay a jewel

My daughter gave us a gift subscription for Christmas. It was love at first sight. Don’t want to miss any. We read it from cover to cover, but Jackie is a jewel. I want her to know how much we love and respect her. We will be helping our son homestead from scratch and find it very helpful. Even though we have farmed all of our life, we still find new things we didn’t know or hadn’t thought about. Keep up the good work, we really appreciate it.

Dee Scheel
Christmas Valley, Oregon

Using broody hens to increase your flock

I really enjoyed your last issue on chickens (Issue 139). I especially liked the article on Broody Biddies. Thought I would pass on a successful experiment I tried last spring. I had a broody hen that was very persistent. The eggs she was setting on weren’t fertile so I knew she was wasting her time, but she didn’t. I decided to go to our local farm store and purchase 4-day-old chicks that they had for sale, and see if she would adopt them. I had moved the hen and her nest of eggs to a secluded part of the hen house the night before, carefully moving her to a ground level nest. After dark I slipped the babies in under her wing and removed all but one egg. (I removed it the next day.) It worked perfectly. I provided them with the chick feed they needed and access to water. They were already trained to drink and eat at the farm store so it was a piece of cake! She was a great mom and we enjoyed watching them grow up. I plan to do that again, only will increase the brood to 6 or 8 this time. With no rooster or fertile eggs, this is a great way to increase one’s small flock without all the hassle. It worked for me!

Adell Struble
Aledo, Illinois

Common sense

While I will never raise goats or guinea hens, I find your magazine to be just great. Common sense is in such short supply today. I find your magazine has more than its fair share. I do not know how you get away with this. The government should do something about it. Maybe a value added tax or maybe a redistribution program to level the playing field so that those without would get a little common sense. Oh!! I get it. That is what you are trying to do. Every issue sharing your common sense with us. Thank you!

Keep the preparedness articles coming. I need both the knowledge and the reminder.

Earl Springer
Hunker, Pennsylvania

A great magazine

I have been a subscriber for many years. We pass each issue through the family. I find Jackie’s willingness to share her experience and trials and tribulations very refreshing and helpful. I am an experienced cook/homesteader and my daughter-in-law a beginner, and both of us can gain great advice from your publications. Thank you very much for your time, patience, sharing, and sincere kindness.

Connie White Holmes
Macon, Missouri

I’m now 92½ and keep a milk goat and 3 laying hens. Have a woodburning cookstove and also propane cookstove and furnace. I’ve enjoyed this magazine for years and wish you many more happy readers. A son and I live on 5 acres on the open country where many windmills produce electricity.

Laurel E. Norman
Spring Valley, Minnesota

… I am thankful for that day back in 2004 when an offer for a free trial issue of Backwoods Home showed up in my mailbox. My first issue was #87 (May/June 2004), and I have purchased all the anthologies through the 14th Year.

Thank you for putting out such a great magazine and thank you for not backing down from your convictions and beliefs when someone writes in and complains. Keep up the good work and may God bless you for all that you do for all of us.

Donna Putzier
Brandon, Iowa

Please find enclosed my check for one additional year. As we are sneaking up on 82 years young, I am not so bold to go 2 or 3 additional years of receiving your very fine and informative publication. In fact, we don’t even buy bananas by the bunch anymore.

My bride (60+ years) and I truly look forward to each and every issue.

Lately I have been buying up ammo as much as possible. We hope and pray we never have to use the ammo but feel we can barter for needs we cannot find with other means. We hardly recognize the country we love and have fought for (16 mos. Korean war combat).

Hope to be reading Backwoods for 10-20 years more!

Bruce Hayhoe, Sr.
Naples, Florida

Since I’m visiting my youngest daughter #3 here in Gilbert, AZ, I started reading from her library of books.

I must say — she has near every book you’ve put out. The Whole Sheebang and I love to read Jackie Clay’s stories, along with the most serious stories from John Silveira.

I was raised on a 20 acre farm 6 miles from Hilmar, CA, 15 miles from Turlock, CA; the Merced River runs along the back part. That was our swimming pool, fishing, anything you wanted it to be.

I’m the last of the family, I’m widowed, 78; I can remember the windmill, over my bedroom, and the 500 gal. tank, too. But as I read each story, I find myself smiling and think, “I’ve been there and done that!”

I can’t wait to get back to Kinston, AL, 30 miles above the Florida State Line to share all these magazines with daughter #2 as she is the farmer in the family … daughter #3 is ready to get off the grid and move “maybe” to Oregon.

Rita Amoral Beech
Kinston, Alabama

Your magazine is awesome! I recently just taught an intro gardening class to 5 of our homeschooling moms (from our homeschool group) and I recommended your magazine to them. I will always scrape up the $ for this magazine.

The top 3 reasons why I love BHM Magazine:

  • Realistic articles
  • Not Earth huggers but responsible stewardship
  • Safe for the whole family.

Jeanne
West Virginia

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