issue 99 – letters – self-reliance – preparedness – homestead

Letters To The Editor

From Issue #99

John Silveira wrong?!!!

John needs to read up on Baptist history—Baptists have never advocated an establishment of religion. In fact John Leland, a Baptist, moved on Madison to ensure the 1st Amendment would be adopted.

The 1st Amendment was worded to ensure that one of the established religions in the states would not be made the national religion. Most of the states had established (tax supported) religions when the country was founded—up til 1853. This error is in the Best of the First Two Years.

I profit from the books, so keep them coming. I just wish you would admit that they are written from a religious viewpoint. There is no neutrality.

Lucius B. “Cap” Pooser
Marianna, Florida

Stop & smell the flowers

Sorry I’m late in renewing my subscription, but I’ve had a rough winter with unplanned problems and expenses. Things are looking better. The sun is shining and my seeds are ordered and it’s almost time to start the garden. Sorry to hear about your heart surgery, Dave. Hope everything is going your way and you will be good as new or better. Life has a way of telling us we have to smell the flowers and watch the birds fly and sing.

Jeanette Ponzer
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Or go fishing more often.


Mouse problem solution

I read where Carolyn Shepherd was having “mice problems.” I have a good remedy.

I don’t know if her “mice invasion” was as severe as what we experienced here (middle of Nevada). We had an invasion about 15 years ago. Mice in the house, in the garden, in all the sheds, etc. I could see them on my porch while I was drinking my morning coffee, so I decided on a good solution.

I took an old 5-gallon bucket, put 4 or 5 inches of water in it, then I spread peanut butter around the inside of the bucket about 5 inches from the top rim—and I caught lots of mice! They would reach down for the peanut butter and then would fall into the water, where they would drown. That mice invasion was as bad as the “Morman Cricket” attack.

I love your magazine. My son buys it and leaves it for me to read.

Marjorie Reynolds
Round Mountain, Nevada

Living independently in town

Enclosed is our check for renewal. Thank you for a great magazine.

Even though we live in town, we consider ourselves as living independently. We heat our home, water, and a small shop with an outdoor wood furnace—all from wood that otherwise would be wasted.

We have a garden that supplies most all of our fruits and vegetables. We have appreciated the many articles, tips, and suggestions on related matters including canning, wood heat, gardening, composting, and in general living on less.

Some of our upcoming projects include saving rain water, putting in a sandpoint well, and raising rabbits, all from ideas out of Backwoods Home.

Jim & Linda Knight
Evensdale, Iowa

Out of the city

I moved to the country in 2000 where I live in an A-frame cabin with my two dogs.

I was involved in a car accident in 2001. Since then I have been home where I have been able to really appreciate being out of the city. The animals and foliage are wonderful.

I have been interested in solar power, log cabins, wells, and how to live independent from mainstream electric and power.

I recently went to the library to get out of the cabin and was pleasantly pleased to find the Backwoods magazine. I look forward to reading all about how to live independently.

Catherine Forbes
Pine City, Minnesota


I live in Sauk County, Wisconsin and here it is the law that we sign up for Premises Registration.

A lot of people signed up, not knowing anything about it. Then some nut that works for the Premises Registration tells the newspapers that people want to register their premises. That is because they are scared of what the government will do. Kind of like the people that live in Communist China.

I have written letters to President Bush, several senators, and Representative Sheryl Albers. The only one that wrote back was Sheryl Albers (that’s one for Congress), so today I wrote to another Representative. I told her that whoever signed the NAIS (National Animal Identification System) into law should be taken out of the government. That’s Democrats and Republicans.

This is a law so the government and USDA can control everything we do. When I went to school that was called Communism; today it’s called a law to protect us.

If this law gets in all the states, it will be like DNR here in Wisconsin, but ten times worse. So all of us had better fight this NAIS law. If we don’t, it will be our children and grandchildren that will pay for it. They will have no rights at all to raise any animals or have a garden.

So, we need to find a lot of good people to run for the U.S. Congress. May God help us, we’re going to need all the help we can get.

Shirley A. Moffett
Reedsburg, Wisconsin

As you may or may not know, the USDA is planning to implement the NAIS by the fall of 2007. The Draft Strategic plan will be written by July 2006, with a short period for commentary to follow. This is a critical point for all homesteaders and small farming operations who own livestock. We need comprehensive evaluation of the requirements for registration and identification of our animals.

Every animal which could possibly be used for human consumption, from farmed fish to a pet horse, would have to be registered and accounted for through a government agency. Every time an animal leaves your property, for breeding, a show, slaughter, or just to ride your horse on a trail, you will be required by federal law to report it within 24 hours. This is to be mandatory with enforcement by January 2009.

I am very concerned about the ramification of such stringent guidelines for private ownership and use of livestock. As a small-scale beef rancher, I feel my livelihood is in serious jeopardy. Although there are real dangers of food source contamination, these exist primarily in feed lots, where thousands of animals are held in a confined area. The NAIS does not focus on these operations; quite the contrary. Large-scale producers would be allowed to umbrella thousands of animals under one identification code, whereas small-scale owners would be required to register with the USDA each individual animal, a chicken, a pigeon, a rabbit, with large animals requiring an implant or a tag containing a microchip.

In addition, any property where an animal is raised must be registered by owner’s name, address, phone, and keyed to GPS coordinates for satellite-assisted location of houses and farms, to be mandatory by January 2008.

The USDA has admitted there will be a cost to the producers. This means the small operator will bear the brunt of the expense because each animal requires a registration code number!

Possible scenarios: 1) A farmer buys 20 chickens; each bird must have registration and a filing fee paid. A hen hatches a brood of chicks and each must have a code if they might ever leave his property. His wife wants to show her favorite hen at the country fair, so it must be registered and notification given within 24 hours of it leaving the property. He sells, trades, loses a bird to predation, or kills one for Sunday dinner, so it must be declared within 24 hours. 2) His son and daughter want to raise a goat and a rabbit for a 4-H project, so each must have a number and corresponding fee paid. 3) The children ride their horse to grandma’s house a mile down the road every Saturday, so the horse must be registered and must be reported each time it leaves the property.

There can be no justification strong enough to subject a family-run farm to these restrictions. If the NAIS is approved as it is being written, it could signal the end of homesteading and the American family farm. The fees and bureaucratic red tape will make it impractical to continue raising livestock for personal use. After the system for registration proves inefficient, the next logical step will be a permit filed in advance for any sale, trade, breeding, or slaughter. We will need government permission to put our animals to their intended use.

I strongly urge you to notify your readers of the infringement of personal rights we are facing in the near future. We need to organize and fight the obvious persecution of all small-volume livestock owners by the large corporate producers and the makers of high-tech animal ID equipment and their lobbyists, who are endorsing their unrealistic restrictions. Help form a unified force to protect the most unquestionable human right, a tradition as old as civilization, raising animals to feed our families. Once in place, the NAIS will be nearly impossible to change.

Please fight for the revision of the NAIS and save our freedom!

Steven J. Kamin
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

Nutritional & herbal treatments

I read with interest your article Avian Flu in the January/February 2006 issue. As a back-to-basics magazine, I was disappointed there was not a section on nutritional and herbal treatment or prevention. Nutrients and herbs can be used both for the building up of resistance to and treating both bacterial and viral infections.

Sambucol (elderberry) and garlic are two of the top choices, with Sambucol being very useful against viruses and garlic against viral and bacterial infections. Both have been studied and proven in clinical trials.

Sinupret, widely used in German, is an herbal blend that has been used to treat respiratory and sinusitis problems.

Vitamins C, E, and A are immune enhancers. Bromelain (from pineapple) is especially useful for the respiratory system. Another item not related to infections are charcoal capsules, which should be kept for ingested poisons such as food poisoning, as charcoal will absorb poisons/toxins, allowing them to be passed out of the system.

Running an animal sanctuary has allowed me to treat many types of ailments, including respiratory and cancer, with many cures.

Jimmy Carter
Memphis, Tennessee

Suggestions, anyone?

My six-year-old grandson has had psoriasis since he was an infant. It becomes more severe every winter. His hands, arms, and legs are covered with red, dry, cracked patches. The very expensive creams prescribed by his pediatric dermatologist don’t help.

We are looking for information on natural methods to help him. Thank you!

Charles R. Frisoli
Hellertown, Pennsylvania

Country moments

I suppose one of the reasons we parents and grandparents submit photos of our kids is to feel like an active member of the one-big-happy-Backwoods Home-family concept. I’m sure another is for the pleasure of seeing our little darlings in print.

I’ve sent your web address to my daughter in Nebraska in case she can get over to a friend’s house and see it. As for myself, the weather has been so bitter and I’m too much of a pansy to walk the three miles to the home of my nearest friend with internet.

Thanks for a great magazine. Don’t ever quit!

Kate Patrick
La Grande, Oregon

Churning butter

When I was a boy I can remember sitting and turning a gallon glass jar top to bottom, bottom to top, to make butter. I would put one hand on top of the jar and the other on the bottom and just rock it back and forth until the butter formed. Then my Gramma would pour off the buttermilk and put it in the icebox, and she would rinse the butter and add her salt and put it into the molds.

Growing up in the hills in southeast Oklahoma was a good life, and I am looking forward to getting back to that kind of life. Soon, though, we are selling everything to buy our 100-acre homestead, and Backwoods Home will always be in my library.

Keep up the good work.

Zeldon Linn
Umatilla, Oregon

National Socialism?

I would like to express my heartfelt pleasure with your magazine. The wholesome agrarian fundamentals on which our nation was established are firmly embedded in your publication.

It is my belief mankind, individually and “en generale,” yearns wholeheartedly for the same object: self-fulfillment, or as the founders of our nation posted once so eloquently, “the pursuit of happiness.”

I believe the course to this end can only be achieved through enlightenment and self reliance.

It is a man’s faculties that set him free and eternal vigilance as well as diligence which will procure liberty for his posterity. “Success always seems to have the smell of sweat about it.”

It is ignorance, fear, and outright sloth currently driving this nation toward the abyss of “National Socialism.”

A major series of irrefutable and poignant usurpations have been perpetrated against the liberty of all men and women in the United States of America over the past century. Covert and subversive at times, blatant and malevolent when the impetus is fear and terror.

I have read many articles in BHM with and on political issues. It is one of the many reasons I hot-foot it to the magazine rack when new issues are released.

Jon Nellis
Poughkeepsie, New York

After the hurricane

We live in a small town in Mississippi. Needless to say, we were strongly affected by Hurricane Katrina. During the nearly five weeks we were without power, leaving most everyone with no drinkable water, lights (which you don’t miss till you can’t just flip a switch), the normal means of cooking, food storage, or sanitary disposal of rotting food and bodily wastes, I’m happy and proud to report that thanks to you folks and all the wisdom we learned after years of reading Backwoods Home we were quite comfortable (all things considered) with our stored water, propane stove and lanterns, hand-crank radio, and lots of stored food stuffs, paper products and cleaning supplies.

We may have not had a roof and the field is still littered with tin and debris, but we’re grateful for all you’ve taught us and pray you’re always around.

Each and every one of you there deserves all the credit for giving us not only the knowledge and training, but the confidence to survive. You’ve helped us to prepare for any Katrina-type disaster with every issue you deliver. Thanks to you, we had stored not only paper products, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food stuffs, a chemical toilet, propane, bottles of water, and even barrels of water we were catching off the roof (when we had a roof).

Not having power didn’t really bother us at all thanks to you guys at BHM. We cooked, washed, bathed, and entertained each other all with a degree of ease because we were prepared. In fact, our little homestead of seven acres is totally surrounded by trees and we’re about ½ mile off the nearest road. Katrina took every pine and oak along the winding muddy drive and laid them down, essentially wiping out any access or hope of a vehicle getting in or out. After six days, some neighbors climbed over trees and mounds of debris to check on us and were surprised we were “surviving” quite comfortably. Had it not been for the generous efforts of those caring neighbors who then cut a path for us, no telling how long these “two old ladies” would have been stranded.

I know many of your subscribers tell you what they’ve learned from your magazine, but the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. We survived and survived well thanks to Backwoods Home Magazine, no bones about it! You’re not just our favorite source of literary entertainment, you’re like a wise old uncle who’s taught us everything we know. Because of you, we did it, and we did it well.

Hope Kuchler (and Sharon)
Carriere, Mississippi

Poker table in the sky

Sorry for the delay in renewing. Some health problems and medical bills set us back a little. We found your great magazine in 1992. Now not having it come regularly is like not talking to old friends. I’ve watched your magazine grow from great in the early years to what it is now, in a class by itself. We’ve learned from your articles and keep all the issues.

My SP101 goes on with my pants in the morning (legally, of course) and is a real comfort. The copperheads are less numerous and the black bears don’t worry me as much.

Keep up the great job and maybe we’ll meet at that big poker table in the sky.

Tony Zurca
Rices Landing, Pennsylvania

Paranoia is a poison

I recently picked up a copy of your magazine and read it for the first time. I found it very refreshing and enjoyed reading the articles.

The proper perspective that you offer throughout your magazine is quite evident. For example, the Avian Flu article in your January/February 2006 issue was very interesting and I agree with your assessment.

Preparation is a key to success in any endeavor, as I know from experience, and we as a country do need to be prepared for a potential outbreak. However, paranoia is a “poison” that can lead you down a path far away from a successful plan. Its destructive forces can tear you away from the goal that you are striving to achieve.

Thanks for publishing a quality magazine as I look forward to reading your next issue.

Doug Howarth
Peoria, Arizona

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