issue 140 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #140

“Bok Bok Bok!” isn’t just chicken talk in Turkey

I had to laugh out loud when I read the “Editor’s Note” column in the Jan/Feb 2013 (Issue #139) issue of the Backwoods Home Magazine recently. In it, Annie Tuttle states, “You can put anything you want on the cover, like the big chicken we have on this cover, and then you can make the headline say, “BOK BOK BOK!” Our daughter-in-law is from Istanbul, Turkey and the word “Bok” means (excuse me) “sh-t” in Turkish.

Our family moved to a 70-acre farm/ranch over 25 years ago. We’ve had horses, cows, dogs and cats, but, after getting rooked into cleaning out a neighbor’s chicken coop, my husband declared we would NEVER have chickens. After several years of pointing out the benefits of said poultry, we are now in the process of building our first chicken coop in preparation for a spring arrival of the little peepers. When our son and his wife drew our attention to the cover of your magazine, my husband’s response was “Yes, we’ll be up to our ears in it soon.”

Deborah L. Reed
Mokane, Missouri

Oops! Hope this word doesn’t translate funny. — Annie

How can we use heat to generate electricity?

My wife and I survived “Sandy” quite well — luckily we had no flooding and no loss of power. But it got me thinking when friends needed to power up various battery-using devices.

Heat is a resource. Would it be possible to convert a wood-burning stove into an electricity generator of some kind? Yes, I know about emergency solar panels and gas-powered generators, but what about a system that can use the heat of a woodstove? Some company that produces such a system economically would be a boon to the self-reliance community for powering up rechargeable batteries — or even perhaps keeping light equipment running. Whatcha think?

Tom Evans
Long Island City, New York

I’m sure it is possible. You can use heat to create steam, then harness the steam to do a variety of jobs, including creating electricity. Maybe some genius out there will read this and help us out with a system design that we can print in a future issue. — Annie

Working towards a better level of preparedness

My name is Sue Pullen and I live on the Jersey Shore. I guess you know we had a severe weather event (Superstorm Sandy) over Halloween weekend.

I have to tell you that I was not fully prepared for the devastation — I don’t know how you could be — but I certainly had a better mindset than many people who were affected by the storm.

I attribute a great deal of that to what I have learned from the information in your magazine.

I’m renewing for 2 years and will be working towards a better level of preparedness — in case we are ever in a situation like this again.

Thanks so much for what you do.

Sue Pullen
Bayville, New Jersey

Five-year subscription offer extended through Feb. 28

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. My magazine arrived yesterday, finally. My mailman was just late making his rounds. I’m a LEO (law enforcement officer) retired and, unfortunately, my pension and government pension do not cover much. I had to make some hard choices, but my monthly treat to myself is my Backwoods Home Magazine. I’m digging through my piggy bank to get the five-year subscription before the offer runs out. I’m almost there now. Thank you so much for your kindness and consideration in helping me. I do appreciate it. Us ol’ grannies can be a pain, but you have been very kind and patient with me. I have already devoured the magazine, but it will get a second and third reading this month and next. There is so much useful information. Again, thank you and the rest of the staff for all of us subscribers who panic, then hound you and them when our “Backwoods” isn’t in our mailbox where we know it should be and we’re casting suspicious eyes towards our neighbors and even our poor mail person. That happened to me last March. Needless to say, I was not happy and now watch for it.

Dinah Russell
Oviedo, Florida

We extended the offer on the five-year subscription through Feb. 28. The ad for it is on page 2. — Annie

Homestead in Maine

I wrote a letter to you (published) in 1996 when I first moved to my “Homestead” in Maine — off the sidewalks and off the grid (no solar, no nothing). Well, I’m still here. Loving every bit of this lifestyle. Have enjoyed BHM — wish you all were closer — I’d love to meet you. Thank you for a friendly, helpful voice when I’ve called to adjust my address. Just as a note, I’ll be 70 yrs. old next month. Still out and split wood, big gardens, haul water from by brook, all the good life things. Love John’s history articles (I was a math major, too). Agree with your politics. I’d like to be free to live here another 30 years or so.

Alta Lawn
Plymouth, Maine

Add dill pickle juice to a Bowl of Red recipe

Mr Blunt, Your “Bowl of Red” recipe (Issue #138, November/December 2012) is missing some ingredients. Take a 2/3 cup of the juice and seasonings in the bottom of a jar of dill pickles and stir it into the pot after about 1 hour of cooking. It needs to cook about 1 hour to blend in. It will enhance the flavor giving it a wonderful added boost and it will not take away from the chili.

Roy Fritz

I have never added dill pickle juice to a Bowl Of Red before. I have added pickled jalapeño peppers, chili salsa, cider vinegar, grated orange rind, green olives, lemon juice, lime juice, sassafras, Portuguese sausage, Wallaroo bacon, and emu ham (both found in chili made in Australia). So, I will definitely follow your suggestion and add some dill pickle juice to my next batch. However, if possible, I need some information about the type of dill pickles that you draw your juice from. Here is why: There are two main types of dill pickles, processed and fresh. Processed dills are heavily salted, then packed in a salt brine and allowed to ferment for a period of weeks. The salt retards spoilage and draws out moisture, while natural occurring bacteria convert the sugars in the cucumbers into lactic acid. All of this contributes a very distinct flavor to the pickles and the juice. Fresh dills are not fermented, and are quickly cured in a seasoned vinegar solution that contains salt. This process contributes a very different flavor to the pickles and the juice. Let me know which of these pickle types you draw the juice from. I will then make a batch and report the results back to you. — Richard Blunt

Cold cure and smoke hams

I really enjoy your magazine. I confess it’s a hand-me-down from my daughter.

I’ve been curing my own country ham for the past 40 years. I’ve come up with an inexpensive fool-proof way to cold cure and smoke country hams at any time of the year. I have the recipe for the Virginia ham cure and pictures of the process if you’d be interested for your magazine. I’ll write it up for approval at no charge.

Gerald Medlin
Sullivan, Missouri

Would enjoy reading such an article. We could always swap your article for a BHM subscription. — Annie

Tasting curry dishes

Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the recipes in the Nov/Dec 2012 Issue #138. Especially the chicken with coconut curry got rave reviews from everyone!

Thanks for a great magazine and fantastic recipes!

D. Knezevich
Miramonte, California

The author of that article, Habeeb Salloum, is one of our long-time writers. He lives in Canada and is 89-years-old. He has a great article about herbs in this issue. — Annie

A “perfect” Libertarian

My husband and I subscribe and I’m giving him “Stupid People” for Christmas (hope we’re still here!) We LOVE your publication and read them over and over, cover to cover. Before the election this year I told my husband I was “libertarian” and I thought he’d have a stroke! I pulled out a BHM and showed him the editorial about Libertarians. I had him do the questionnaire and I bet you won’t be surprised when he said, “That describes me (him) perfectly!” Thanks BHM!

Linda Starck
Port Angeles, Washington

Wattle fence question

Reference the Wattle Fence article by Kathryn Wingrove in Jan/Feb 2013 (Issue #139). The author does not say how the ends of the branches are attached to the posts at the openings. Or is it just one continuous circle that the branches are woven around?

Rose Marie Kern
Santa Fe, New Mexico
(The Practical Environmentalist)

The ends of the branches that are used for the weaving are not attached to the posts. They are held in place by the opposite force of weaving them through the posts. It is a leverage effect exerted against the branch because each post is pushing against an opposite side of the branch. The branches are woven in and out of the posts, only hurdles are woven around the end post and then back through the posts in opposite directions. For building hurdles (small moveable “fence” sections) the material typically used were willow whips, but a heavy vine like wisteria or honeysuckle can also be used and works quite well. For hurdles, the material needs to be light and easily bent and twisted to wrap around the end post without breaking. I hope this helps answer your question. — Kathryn Wingrove

Prepping for singles

Please include some more articles on prepping with some ideas for single people on a limited budget. For instance, what is the first thing one should do to prepare, the second, etc.

Another example, if you can only have two firearms, what are the most practical?

Lastly, maybe provide some storage solutions or bug out location ideas. It would help to have this info to get organized.

Thanks for a great magazine, I always learn something and that is important to me.

Lori Teutsch
Dallas, Texas

Our thinking caps are on. — Annie

Prepping is a smart idea

Just a quick note to let you know how excited I am to receive my books and first issue of BHM. I happened to pick up a copy at our local library and instantly felt at home with your writers and self-reliant/sufficient ideology.

My family (3 kiddos & hubby) and I live on 5 acres in the hills near Mt. Rainier in WA. This year was the first I put food up and started a pantry. What fun! I haven’t been so excited about doing something in quite some time. Considering our remote area (washouts & landslides cut us off from town), the idea of preparing is very smart.

Jennifer Peterson
Carbonado, Washington

Mas, Jackie the “best”

Just a quick note to say, I LOVE YOUR MAGAZINE and I am cheerfully enclosing my renewal subscription! Thankfully a family member introduced me to you several years ago and I was hooked immediately! You have THE BEST gun writer in the business in Mas Ayoob. He is someone I’ve followed and respected for years. As a lifetime gun lover there is no one I am aware of that is more knowledgeable about PRACTICAL firearm usage and self defense, than Mr. Ayoob. While I’ve yet to personally meet him, he also strikes me as a classy individual, a trait all too uncommon these days. I feel like Jackie is a virtual “Aunt” to me, you can tell she is such sweetheart and she is surely a national treasure with the information she feeds us. As a financial advisor, I think your political and economic commentary is generally “on” and I enjoy every issue, cover to cover, every time! Thank you for a great product and keep up the great work!

Joel West
Clifton, Maine

Appleseed Project helps us fight for personal freedoms

Today I went to my first gun show and it was great! So many friendly and helpful people. The Appleseed Project had a table there with lots of good information. Front and center on their table was a copy of Backwoods Home (the issue that discussed The Appleseed Project). I told them how I learned about them from you. Everyone at the booth had much praise for Backwoods Home and the work you do.

Thanks to organizations like you and Appleseed we are encouraged to keep fighting for personal freedom here in The Peoples Republic of Illinois (the show was in Wheaton).

Michael Lowery
Dekalb, Illinois

You all are family

I want to thank everyone at Backwoods Home Magazine for their dedication, goodwill, and plain old common sense. The years I received your magazine it was always refreshing and educational. I feel you all are family, including Jackie, Claire, Massad, etc. Backwoods Home changed my life…Regretfully, due to a medical condition, I will no longer be able to get the magazine.

Thanks for being there.

Mark Adams
Santa Fe, Texas

If it’s a financial problem you’re having, we’ll send you a complimentary subscription. — Annie

Bottled up some sunshine

Thanks for all you do! We have really enjoyed your magazine and look forward to every issue. In the coming dark days it’s nice to know we’ve bottled up some sunshine and hope in the form of knowledge & skills to see us through. It’s nice to have fellow travelers along the way! We did our first pressure canning, soap making, etc. It’s such an adventure and it’s such a great feeling!

Jerry & Marie Long
Alto, Michigan

The “free stuff” army

I’ve read you off and on in print through the bookstore and online. Today is 11/7/2012, the day after the re-election of Barack Obama. I think the “free stuff” army is just going to get stronger until it all collapses on itself, hopefully not until I am out of the great dictatorship of Maryland and in a small town in the western half of the Carolinas or even somewhere further west. I have a teenage daughter and I am terrified for her future. I want to be more self-reliant, even at my age, and I want to teach these skills to her. I think BHM is the best source for this information.

Marilyn Liebegott
Catonsville, Maryland

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