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Letters and email from readers about Backwoods Home Magazine and the BHM website


Archive for March, 2009


Your website

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009


I just wanted to tell you that your website is amazing!

I have been to web sights trying to figure out what to store and how to prepare for whatever may come our way as we are also wanting to move away from the east coast and the city life.  Your site by far is the best.

You have a great variety of subjects. I don’t think there is anything you have missed.  This is a great service.

I don’t have a lot of time and feel that computers are time suckers but I do come to visit you once a day to glean a little.

Thanks for everything!



Tire gardening

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Love the tire gardening article!

Just an idea: Seems like the sidewalls you’re cutting off the tires could be put to good use.

If you do your best to cut them off in a single piece, then cut a crossways slit to make an open “collar”, you could  put them around the base of young trees. Fill the center with mulch. They should act as a weed-guard, help retain your mulch, and make mowing a lot easier!



Tires for gardening

Friday, March 13th, 2009

To the Editor:

I read in the article, Garden Spaces For Small Places, By Dorothy Ainsworth, about making used tires into small beds for vegetables or flowers.

The only problem is that mulch made from shredded tires leaches chemicals into the soil. A study in an organic gardening magazine mentioned zinc in particular, and suggested that other heavy metals might also be found in quantity.

It would seem to me, that the only difference between tires, and mulch from tires, is the increase in surface area. Shredded tires would leach faster than whole ones. Still, how much faster? Better safe than sorry.

Thank you for your time,

Ben Homer

I googled:  “Are tires safe for gardening?” and found mostly positive answers and why.

Shredded tires for mulch DO have tremendously more surface area for leaching, so I would NOT recommend that, but whole tires are chemically stable. They have been run at high speeds and the inner surface has oxidized so the surface molecules have formed a seal. If worried, a person can always line the tire with gardening plastic.

I personally am not worried at all, especially for short term use, but to assuage any trepidation, simply google the same question I googled and read the answers. Many of the answers are from scientists and they aren’t worried either about the use of whole tires.

The main culprit
would be zinc but in whole tires it doesn’t leach out fast enough to do any harm according to most of the reports I read. One report said the plant will only take up what zinc it needs and that’s it. Our bodies use zinc, so it’s not like a toxic poison, unless we overdose, but that goes for ANY vitamin or mineral.

True, it IS better to be safe than sorry, and Ben Homer’s question was a good one, but by doing some extra research I still feel secure in using tires for gardening.  But after reading all the reports yourself, you are free to draw your own conclusions and make your own informed decision “to use or not to use” tires.

Dorothy Ainsworth


Weapon burial

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

I read the article about the burial of the rifle to keep it away from the gun grabbers. The writer had some good advice I hope I never have to use. I hope the folks wake up and realize that the presidency is not a popularity contest and that elections have consequences.

Ken Hasenauer


Thanks for the articles

Monday, March 9th, 2009


I just wanted to thank you for making your articles available online. It is a tremendous resource to ‘get the word out’ to more people that may not be in a financial position to subscribe. Right now we are one of ‘those’ as my husband works for a small non-profit and I stay home with our four young children.

Again, Thank you for making such valuble information available. Let’s hope we have awhile before the internet is censored!


Courtney Byron


Massad’s ammo choice

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Massad Ayoob, in one of his blogs, said that he carries a Glock 27 most of the time. This is my choice also. I respect his knowledge on handguns and I would like to know what his choice for ammo is.

I am NOT a computer guru and I realize this may not be something you want to answer. If not would you care to point me in the correct direction?

Thanks alot

Craig Medford

Glasgow, Kentucky

I like a medium weight high velocity in the G27, usually use Winchester 155 grain Silvertip these days. Have it in the gun while I’m in Washington state right now, oddly enough.




The house that Dorothy Ainsworth built!!!

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

This article was one of the most inspiring I have ever read.

I just had to write to tell you that I had lost my capability of believing in my dreams and goals. But after reading this, I am back to believing again!!

I must say, I am extremely impressed with what Dorothy has accomplished. She had great determination, fortitude and a hard working attitude. It is amazing what a person can and will do when they have a positive attitude and a dream. Not only did she conquer her dream, she lost it in a fire, but she did not give up, she started all over again.  Wow, what does that tell you about a person? DETERMINATION AND COURAGE!

I love your magazine as there are great articles to read.

Thank you,




Monday, March 2nd, 2009

My hope is that Claire Wolfe who is, and always has been an inspiration to me, will one day know how her “just plain balls” cuts through the political correctness and insanity of our times.

She will probably never know, however, how deeply she has awakened in me a sense that the level of freedom which I was meant to enjoy as an American is unique in the history of the world, and there are those who believe that freedom should be defined and controlled by them, not me.


Robert Elwell
New Hampshire



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