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


Archive for the ‘Books’ Category


You guys are amazing!

Friday, June 17th, 2011
Dear BHM Staff,

I have been waiting YEARS to be able to purchase the “Whole Shebang” and just last week got the opportunity to do so. I have so many things to thank you for; the fast shipping and delivery, the AWESOME assistance and friendliness of Rhoda, the staff member that took my order over the phone, and the quality of the product delivered. There was NO disappointment when I opened the package just all of the wonderful, helpful info that I had been so eagerly awaiting. Every time I had to return your magazine to the library it pained me as I wanted to be able to re-reference and re-read so many great articles and recipes and design plans. And last, but most certainly not least, to be able to FINALLY have one of Jackie’s books after so long of a wait…

I just simply can not put into words how excited I am to finally have a ‘permanent’ fix of BHM arriving every other month in my mailbox. I am sure that unless something drastic happens I will be a life long subscriber.

Keep up the fantastic work and never change like some others have. Everyone’s ideas and expertise are so wonderful that even an ex city girl like me can get in the homesteading groove and do more to raise my family better.

Thank you for making it so easy for my family and I to learn and become more self sufficient!

Rhoda, thanks so very much for all you did! You made my day with your wonderful attitude, enthusiasm and the above and beyond service you provided!



PS My 13 yr old daughter thinks I’m a ‘dork’ because I did a little dance when the box showed up today. Who cares; it is worth it! :-) Besides, I know her head will be stuck in the magazine and books too.


Hardyville Tales

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Just finished reading Hardyville Tales.  It was great.  I believe Hardyville must be just down the road from Travers Corners.

Dave Godfrey


Praise for Jackie Clay’s books

Thursday, January 13th, 2011


I must write to tell you how much I have enjoyed Jackie Clay’s books.

I just finished reading “Starting Over.” It is a wonderful read, very entertaining but also very educational. On every other page or so, I learned something new. She didn’t just write that some project was accomplished, she explained how it was done, in detail! I expected to enjoy reading about her life and how her homestead unfolded. I never expected to learn so much or be so encouraged by her words.

I also just finished reading the Self Reliance book “Recession Proof Your Pantry“. I thought I knew about all there was to know on the subject, and still learned more. The same with “Growing and Canning Your Own Food.”  I would recommend all of these books to anyone interested in homesteading and self reliance.

“Starting Over” should be required reading for any woman attempting to homestead (or farm) on her own.

Thank you to Backwoods Home and to Jackie Clay,

Mary Hartsock


Flag on book

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

The flag you put on the front of your book is the first MARINE CORPS flag. It is called the Gadsden flag named after the Christopher Gadsden, who designed the flag to be put on the man-of-war ship “The Alfred” and three other ships in the 1776 American Revolution.

This is NOT a tea party flag. For your information, the EAGLE, GLOBE, and ANCHOR emblem was officially adopted in 1868 by Brigadier General Jacob Zeilin.

Thank you for letting me have my say.

Harry Smith


The Whole Sheebang

Friday, January 29th, 2010

I just got my package containing The Whole Sheebang and I’m so excited! It’s like Christmas all over again! There’s so much to read and learn, I don’t know where to begin!

I already have Jackie Clay’s book, “Starting Over” but that’s ok because now I can give it as a gift to someone. :-)

Thanks for the prompt service. You publications are definitely my favorites by far!

Now I’m going to go make myself some tea, grab an afghan and soak in all that Backwoods Home goodness starting with, “The Best of the
First Two Years”

Thanks again and take care!

Rhonda Jurgenson


Jackie Clay’s New Book

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

I really love Jackie’s new book. As a matter of fact, I’m soaking beans right now to can as ham & bean soup. I am also going to can beans because most of mine are pretty old. Then I can get new ones as soon as we use up the ones we have.

Thank her for me, would you please?



Jackie Clay’s new book

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

The new gardening and canning book by Jackie Clay is absolutely top-notch!

It’s practical, understandable even by newbies, and very comprehensive.

Thanks SO MUCH!!!

J Millhorn
Plano, Texas


Jackie’s new book

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Dear Jackie:

I want to congratulate you for another wonderful book!

Your gardening/canning book is the best I’ve ever read. It is really nice to be able to go in find the vegetable or fruit, and have recipes and growing information at your fingertips! Also, I loved the little tidbits of family information you tucked in here and there.  It made me feel a part of your family!

Thank you so very much for all the help you have passed on to us, your hungry-for-information-and-future country living people.

God bless you and your family, especially your sick Mother.

I hope she gets well soon.

Donna J Miller
Tucson, AZ


The coming American dictatorship

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Dear Editor(s)

After listening to a local radio morning show discussion involving the indoctrination of public school children by our latest president I was left feeling drained and disillusioned with the state of our nation. For many years I’ve known something was wrong in America. I was raised as many of us were. Watching the glorious feats of the one off free nation that never was before and always would be.

I was positive of the greatness of a nation. As I have grown older, learned, read, thought and seen; There is something wrong with our system. I grew up extremely poor, impoverished even. Many nights we went without food, in these United States. Even so, I had faith in the natural rights granted to Americans. Slowly though, it waned as the youthful imaginings were jolted by the brutal realities of our situation.

Needless to say, it is an illusion. So many times in my life I have been presented the opportunity to “Do the right thing,” And, have. I have been honest johnny, I have been even Stephen. I have worked and paid and fought to be a good person. Literally from the depths of homelessness, I have rebuilt my life. I have worked any honest job a man can work and I have not tasted that forbidden fruit. Yet, I am at best lower-middle class. I manage paycheck to paycheck and work like that simpleton on a treadmill chasing the pot of gold that never comes.

Now, beyond those physical labor and minimum wage pains, I am still in the cogs of a giant machine turning with absolute [intent] to enslave. I am angry and irrational, often blaming politicians and the idiocy of my fellow citizens. Sure, I’ve learned to play within the rules. I’ve managed to color within the lines and “Yes’sa,” “No’sa” through a corporate society. For a kid who grew up in Los Angeles dirt poor and never finished High School, I am through pain and persistence struggling upward.

But, it still lingers, that knowing, that understanding of the absolute obscured nature of my goals. The distaste of the sweet fruit of life in the eyes of the greater picture. When I see a man on television proclaiming he will be different, crested by his brilliant star spangled button, I taste that concoction of poison drenched in sugar. And still, I blame politicians, shadow masters with unlimited power, time, influence and money. I am apathetic in the hopelessness. That is, until I searched Google for the only thing I could think to call this situation: “The American Dictatorship.”

On this search I came across your article: The coming American dictatorship – Article by John Silveira from Issue #66. [Editor’s Note: See also The Coming American Dictatorship, Part XI and The Coming American Dictatorship Parts I – XI]

How apt, succinct, honest and sad I found it. The eloquence of the piece was quite frankly refreshing, disheartening and alarming. I know that is a rather odd compliment, but, I assure you it is true. This article struck a nerve of unwavering truth. And so, I have written you to thank you for stating it as such. Also, to let you know, despite my apathy in regards to our system and the extreme disbelief in any real, meaningful change in our country. I will try, honestly try to be “The people” again. I will not let the feeling of utter helplessness against the idiocy of my peers and the massive size of the machine prevent me from getting started. If you can write, I can write and call and sing and kick and scream and no longer be a bystander to the rape of the inherent rights of humans.

I would also like to point out that I have loathed the loud mouthed opinionated political persons and as such, it will be difficult for me to begin on this path, however, it must be done. I thank you.


Isaac N. Acuna


The Coming American Dictatorship

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Well, in spite of some letters I have seen from time to time complaining about the “political” views expressed in Backwoods Home, it seems that you guys were right on in your series about the coming dictatorship.

In the article it was noted that we had set the economy up as a fascist system – well – now the government control’s the banks, the auto industry and the administration has simply done away with the congress by appointing “czars” who can act without congressional supervision, and by claiming executive privilege can refuse to testify and explain their actions to congress.

However, I’m not sure that makes a difference. Our congress is the best that money can buy (and they have been bought) so we see the spectacle of the house voting for huge spending bills they haven’t read, and allowing the president to fire people in private industry, because of his wisdom and vast experience in business.

I am not sure where our government found the “right” to interfere in our every day lives – it seems that we had perfectly adequate bankruptcy laws.

Self sufficiency seems to be a lot more important now that we have decided equality of outcome is more important than equality  of opportunity.

Bob McPherson
Santa Fe, Texas


Updated Foxfire books?

Sunday, August 16th, 2009


Just curious…I just got through reading a book that scared the crap out of me.  It’s called “One Second After.”  The book’s story is that civilization in the US collapses due to an EMP attack.  It got me thinking….How prepared am I if everything melted down? Sure, I have some things set aside for 1-2 months.  However, if I had to rely only on myself, I’d be lost.

I heard about the Foxfire book series.  However, from what I have heard from others, some of the information in the books is either incorrect or needs to be updated.  Is this correct?

Now I come to the reason I am writing to you:  Could you recommend an updated, modern version of the Foxfire books?

Thanks and ya’ll keep up the good work!

Rich Brown
Chesnee, SC

The Backwoods Home Magazine Anthologies contain far more accurate information than the Foxfire books, and they cover most subjects.

Dave Duffy, Publisher



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