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A Backwoods Home Anthology — The Twelfth Year
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6  Publisher’s Note

7  Editorial:
Goodbye TV, hello constructive time

23  Ask Jackie:
Canning, castrating calves and more.

64  Energy Works

70  Think of it this way…
The coming American dictatorship Part II

48  Irreverent joke page

92    BHM books

36  Ayoob on Firearms:
Taurus plinking rifle: a blast from the past

12  Poem: Mary M. Durel

80  Letters

88   Advertiser Index

89  The last word:
Outplayed & outbluffed

84  Classified ads (pdf)

84  Classified ad form

91  Subscription Info

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Cover 67
Michael Hackleman shot this photo of a newly installed waterwheel at the EcoVillage outside Henderson, NC, while conducting workshops with the staff of the original Mother Earth News magazine in 1978-80. The site hosted campgrounds and solar heated showers for workshop attendees, a variety of projects, and a bookstore all curled up around a big lake with the waterwheel, whose power had not yet been harnessed, just below the dam. To turn the photo into the cover, we scanned it and put it through the “paint daubs” and “rough pastels” features of Photoshop, the program we use to process photos for the magazine.


Energy Works

64  Do-it-yourself hydro survey   By Michael Hackleman

Are you a candidate for hydropower as your independent energy source? Michael Hackleman tells you how to survey your land to see if it’s suitable for hydro and he hints you may even get financial help, through local wildlife and erosion control programs, to help defer your costs.

Farm and Garden

8  Tomatoes! What would we do without them?   By Alice B. Yeager

Alice Yeager provides a brief history of the tomato and discusses several sinfully delicious varieties you won’t find at your local market but which you can begin growing in your garden this spring.

29  The homestead greenhouse   By Charles Sanders

By building a simple and inexpensive greenhouse, Charles Sanders gets a head start on his spring garden by starting his plants inside, where it’s still warm. And, when next winter rolls around, he’ll still be picking succulent tomatoes Christmas Eve.

32  Garden seeds — a great winter pastime   By Jackie Clay

Jackie Clay gives you tips for starting your garden while the snow is still on the ground.

38  Know your goat   By Jan Palmer

Goats can be a great asset to the homestead, but each has its own characteristics and Jan Palmer tells you how to choose among them to meet your needs.


14  Cutting dangerous trees   By Don Fallick

What you don’t know about cutting down trees can kill you. Don Fallick tells you how to take them down safely.

57  Get out of debt — stay out of debt   By Darlene Campbell

Darlene Campbell offers some common sense and easy-to-follow advice that will get you out of debt and keep you out of debt.


44  Dairy treats are easy to make with these low-tech recipes   By Rev. J.D. Hooker

Yogurt, butter, cheese, and ice cream. Reverend J.D. Hooker tells you how to make each of these treats, simply and inexpensively, and provides plans so you can make a simple butter churn and a low-tech ice cream maker.

49  Make hard cider   By Richard Blunt

Roaming the New England countryside Richard Blunt tells how he finds varieties of apples you’re not going to find in your supermarket and fresh sweet cider from which he makes that all-American brew — hard cider.

Country living

43  Death of a farm   By Hugo De Santo