issue 136 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #136

Slow down for grandkids

… Thanks for the many years of advice and ideas. No other magazine covers as much information as yours does. We agree with Dave that we do need to slow down sometimes and enjoy the grandkids.

Barbara Brueggebors
Willow, Alaska

How I found BHM

Our postmistress accidentally put a neighbor’s BHM in our post office box. I called them and they agreed that I could read it if I let them have their magazine back. I did and I did. Five years ago, I think, and I have been a loyal subscriber ever since.

Merrill Dubach
Oldfield, Missouri

BHM puts me back in time

…Your magazine just puts me back in time when things were right, and people were friends and neighbors. I am too old to try to go back and fulfill my dream.

So I did my room the way I would have liked to live. Your magazine sure does fill a lot of dreams. I wish there were 12 instead of six {issues}. I have filled my room with ideas from your magazine…

James (Eddy) Rader
Knoxville, Tennessee

I just couldn’t let it go

This is your neighbor to the northeast. Take the county road up the Rogue River to the community of Agness, then north on the forest service road and you will arrive in the small town of Powers.

This letter is to nitpick the article “Nature’s Compasses” in the May/June 2012 issue of Backwoods Home Magazine. The author, Len McDougall, states, “While the moon and sun move east to west across the earth’s sky, they are directly overhead only at the equator.”

The sun is directly overhead only at the two equinoxes. Depending upon the time of the year it ranges and directly overhead may be anywhere between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. Due to the moon’s orbit it can range further afield. I am sure Mr. McDougall knows this and it is probably not important to anyone living in the temperate zones, I just couldn’t let it go. Sorry!

Joe Johnson
Powers, Oregon

My mom and dad’s house

Mom turns 77 this month and Dad will be 80 in November. The story by David Lee (Journey to the backwoods: Issues #131, 133, 135) reminded me of my Dad, who in the late ’70s bought 7 acres of land, built a sawmill out of mostly junkyard parts and built a split level home that started out as a log cabin. My mom actually built the entire chimney, did the chinking and insulated. Us kids (4 boys, 1 girl) did pretty much whatever was required and in the beginning everything was done with hand tools.

Hell, I thought everyone built houses that way! Anyway, they still live in that same house and still heat with wood in old “Boomer.”

Your magazine is one of a kind. It is a source of information and inspiration.

Jerry Nelson
Alliance, Ohio

Finest magazine on planet

Please accept my 3-year renewal for the finest magazine on the planet!

Your articles on guns, self-reliance, food preservation are all classics to be appreciated and handed down to the uninformed. I can’t throw away any old Backwoods Home magazines and keep them all for valuable resources to return to if times worsen. This is a most critical time for Americans who lose more freedoms with each new administration. Complacency is rampant!

Michael Kendall
Amarillo, Texas

Potato planting

I tried Robert Williams’ fall/winter potato planting (Issue #48, Nov/Dec 1997; Eighth Year Anthology) and they are growing like crazy! I planted a lot of Yukon Golds (they are about 4-8″ high and bushy) and Russets and at first I thought the Russets didn’t make it but then they started growing as well. I can’t wait to see how big the taters are and it’s only April 3rd! BTW, I covered my raised beds with a greenhouse (plastic) but left the flaps up (but protective netting down to deter squirrels) and 15 of 16 Yukon plants are growing well and 2 of 8 Russets (though I think they are just slow growers). I am a believer now and will be winter planting every year now! Thank you!

Tomia MacQueen

Disaster preparedness

I first explored your website because I wanted to read Massad Ayoob’s firearms blog. Eventually, I began to read other articles, because they were there in front of me, and sounded interesting. I have even purchased a book, Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide, and am half way through it. Your articles and the book are fantastic! The ideas I read about strike me as ingenious. Why wasn’t I educated about disaster preparedness in school? This is certainly practical information. I am ready for whatever God sends my way, even death and Heaven, but it sure feels comforting to have plans and provisions ready for “what if” scenarios.

Thanks, and keep doing what you are doing.

Dave Salmon
Sparta, New Jersey

Motorcycle accident

Hey! I’ve really missed my BHM since my subscription expired but I went from working, homesteading & home buying to losing everything when I hit a deer on my motorcycle.

The accident shattered my face, both legs at the knees, I broke my neck at C4-C5 & I only had liability insurance so I used my homeowners policy to pay for the 20+ surgeries I needed to put me (sort of) back together! I was unable to return to work so my job was gone, then my house, then my insurance! And suddenly I found myself one of those people “using the system.”

I’ve worked since I was 14 & suddenly, at 51, I’m fighting to get Medicaid & disability — my pride was in the toilet & it took 2 years to get Social Security disability ($950 a month!) until I can heal & return to work!

Living in an old school bus in a wheelchair, unemployed, unable to care for myself — my only joy was reading BHM & Countryside/Small Stock Journal & planning a future garden.

Out of the blue a realtor offered my partner & me a 75-year-old cabin with 1½ acres on a contract for deed, at an affordable payment & my life began a slow climb back up the sanity ladder. I still can’t work but with the help of several braces, medication & gritting my new teeth I WILL put in a garden for the 1st time in 2 years & begin reading BHM again. Money’s still tight & my space is at a premium but someday I will again buy 2 more anthologies like I was doing at renewal the past 5 or 6 times! Bones heal — I’ll watch for deer a LOT more — I’m back on my reading & love of DIRT!

A. Williams
Finland, Minnesota

We’re sending you all the anthologies you don’t have. I hope you’ll be all healed up by the time you’ve finished reading them. — Annie

Your right wing views prevent me from subscribing

I really liked most of your magazine. I love the cooking, gardening and canning articles. However, I’m not renewing because of your political views and can’t in good conscience support your ability to promote right wing viewpoints. By subscribing I am getting some valuable info but also paying for you to advertise extreme literature with which I cannot accept. It’s a shame — if you ever evolve into an apolitical, simply backwoods magazine, please let me know. And by the way, no hard feelings, it’s your magazine and you can do what you want.

Thomas Moore
Linden, California

No hard feelings either way. You have a right to read what you want, just as I have a right to publish what I want. I have never read an apolitical magazine. I don’t believe one exists. I typically restrict BHM to two pages of political views, which is a better record than any other magazine with which I am familiar. — Dave

Enjoying life

Thanks for such an informative magazine. I’m 73 years young and have lived through a lot of what you write about. I’m retired navy. My wife and I keep 5 Icelandic sheep (She uses the wool), 2 goats so I don’t have to mow, 8 hives of bees to give me something to do. Round it out with 3 dogs and a couple cats and we are enjoying life. Keep up the good work.

D.R. Hopps
Senecaville, Ohio

A real magazine

Just received my first copy of backwoods home. I had no idea that there was a real magazine publisher left. It was refreshing to read very fine articles without the magazine slant to the far left (or right). I and my wife loved it, and you can guarantee on my renewal. Can’t wait for the next issue. Please, please, keep up the great work.

Phil Jones
Middleton, Idaho

Someone who listens!

I just sent in my subscription for 3 years. Along with that I was to receive Emergency Preparedness & Survival Guide. As I already have this I asked you not to send it.

Oh my Gosh! Not only did you listen and NOT send it but you sent me a book on wild plant foods!! In today’s world getting someone to listen is hard enough, but for you to be that considerate is wonderful. I feel like I’m dealing with humans!

Thanks so much for being so thoughtful! I never write but I had to let you know it didn’t go unnoticed.

Sue Bastin
Greencastle, Indiana

Master Gardener

…We started a library of your anthologies and other books relevant to a homesteader’s needs… As a Master Gardener, I appreciate the plant articles and recipes. Keep up the great work!

Pat Porter
Pensacola, Florida

Spaghetti squash

I was reading Jackie Clay’s article on squash (Issue #135, May/June 2012) and she mentioned that spaghetti squash didn’t keep well. I have kept it in the house for 2 years and it was still good! The outer skin gets hard as a rock but the meat of the squash was fine. And yes, I kept mine in the living room! (Unfortunately, the house burned down, so until we get another house finished, I won’t have room to store that many squash!)

Karen Pennebaker
Troy, West Virginia

Wow, Karen, your squash was incredible. I’ve never had a spaghetti squash keep over a few months in storage. Congratulations! — Jackie

End of the world

Have finally gotten a chance to start reading #134, the March/April issue. Had to share my amusement at the dichotomy of an issue devoted to apocalyptic scenarios, and a celebration of the reception of the magazine in the Kindle format. Definitely the end of the world as we know it.

Candace Delaney
Sedona, Arizona

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