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May 25, 2008
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Want a more self-reliant lifestyle for you and your family? Backwoods Home Magazine can help you acheive it. Every issue is packed with solid, practical, hands-on information on a wide variety of self-reliance topics.
BHM Anthologies. A Wealth of Knowledge
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From the current issue:

Energy class—Part 1
   By Jeffrey R. Yago, P.E., CEM

      I receive many calls and website questions regarding energy, and most of these questions relate to a misunderstanding of how energy actually works. This is one subject most people were never taught in school, yet we are inundated every day with energy-related ads, products, and government-mandated energy regulations that affect these decisions. Although most people do not consciously think about it, energy is one of the most expensive items in their monthly budget. Energy is...

Moderate power firearms
   By Massad Ayoob

      Let's get one thing straight to start with: I ain't no political pundit. Hell, my candidate isn’t even running. I was hoping Condoleeza Rice would throw her hat in the ring.
      But she’s not running, and we’re left with a pretty sorry crop of semi-finalists to lead a nation of more than three hundred million people. Bearing in mind that I'm no political expert, and I'm writing this a few days after Super Tuesday, here's how it looks for "gun people"...

What’s driving prices up? What can you do about it?
   By John Silveira

      I went to the market the other day and bought a loaf of bread for $4.09. I don't buy bread that often, but I thought the price was a little excessive.
      Gas I could understand, but bread? I began to wonder what was causing it and, more importantly, if there is anything we can do about it? When I began researching the causes, I discovered that there was no single driver sending prices into their upward spiral. A lot of things are happening, on both a national and worldwide scale, and many of them are not easy to reverse. Worse, it looks like the problems may be with us for a long time to come...

Read more from the Current Issue.
 
BHM's Special Preparedness Issue
      This special, expanded issue is intended as a mini-guide to help readers cope with a recession coupled by inflation -- stagflation -- in which jobs are lost while prices for the basics in life go up. While we can't predict the future, we are not optimistic.
      Even if you do not subscribe to the Backwoods Home Magazine print issue, we recommend you order a copy of this Special Preparedness Issue. We anticipated a lot of demand for it, so we printed an extra 15,000 copies. If you are not a subscriber to the print issue, you can order this Special Preparedness Issue for $5.95 by clicking here. If you'd like to get the issue and subscribe to the magazine, click here.
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Get Powered Up!
      Certified energy manager Jeff Yago answers your questions on our Home Energy Information page. New Questions and Answers, posted May 18 on pages 27 & 28 include LED Lighting, Biodiesel in Oil Furnace, Efficient Water Heater, Charge controller, Wind Generator Heating System, PV for hot water, Wood fired hot water, Wood Burning Stove, Reflective materials for solar arrays, Grid Tie Solar, Temperature setback and May/June article, Solar back up water system, Battery Charging Rates, Solar Power Battery Bank, Wood fired hot water, Steam from Solar, Charging Flashlight batteries, & Ultra-capacitors.
      You'll also find quick links to online articles and more.
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   Click to read Hardyville by Claire Wolfe
From the Library — Energy Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide from Backwoods Home Magazine

A small creek provides plenty of power for this off-grid home By Scott Gentleman

      For eight years, Tracey and I lived in a solar powered home and for eight cloudy winters, we ran a small Honda generator every week to recharge our batteries. We understood that the original owner of our home had operated a small hydro system from the property's year round creek but we never investigated this option because the creek ran through dense forest. Besides, we could just tell there wasn't sufficient drop over its course.
      We finally decided to use Backwoods Solar's Site Level just to confirm hydro didn't make sense. Much to our surprise...

For safety's sake, homestead fuel storage must be handled properly By Emory Warner
      Home storage of fuel is a necessity for homesteaders. Even if you are still on the grid, your truck, tractor, standby generator, etc. will still require fuel. Learn how to store it safely.

Waterpower for personal use By Rudy Behrens
      Waterwheels run because "gravity" causes a "mass" of water to fall some distance. This energy is absorbed by the wheel to do work. There is more than one way to absorb the energy, so wheels have evolved into two classes...

Is steam power in your future? By Skip Goebel
      If you’re thinking steam is old-fashioned, consider this: Almost a century ago, steam cars and ships attained speeds and efficiencies which are still difficult to attain, even with today’s modern internal combustion engines.

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From the Library — Making/Saving Money

Get out of debt — stay out of debt By Darlene Campbell
      If you are in debt now, you should be working to clear all indebtedness during the next year. We did it, and you can, too.

Kick the credit card habit and learn to stash cash By Claire Wolfe
      I’m not here to tell you The Secret of a Perfect Life Savings Plan....But I have found ways to make saving small, targeted amounts a pleasure. Ways that can make it sort of a game. Ways that yield enough little rewards to keep me enthusiastically stashing cash away for special needs. Because of that, I’ve been able to pay my property taxes without a twice-a-year pinch. When the plumbing broke, I didn’t blink. And when I needed a new DVD player I could buy one right now, today, without approaching the borders of credit purgatory.

Free pallet wood and birdhouses add up to big country dollars By Rick Brentlinger
      If I could show you how to manufacture a product anywhere in the country and if I offered to find you the raw materials free, would you be interested? If so, here is a business plan that works.

Feedback Updated May 1 Click Here To Read Or Write Letters
BHM welcomes your non-political letters that talk about how you live your self-reliant life, as well as comments about the magazine and website.
Click to read Feedback
BHM Web Site Exclusives

Tips for finding your affordable home By Dave Cournoyer
      If you haven't yet made the move to the country, here is helpful information about the cost and availability of land in the U.S.

Tastes Just Like Chicken     By Allen Easterly

      So you want to raise some critters that taste just like chicken? There’s no better critter than the chicken itself. Chicken has become the most sought after meat in the marketplace. Raising your own birds can save you a few bucks at the grocery store. Even more satisfying is the great sense of accomplishment that comes with raising your own food from egg to dinner table and providing this healthy meal to your family.

Is “peak oil” the new end-of-the-world?   By John Silveira

      “Peak oil” is becoming the latest doomsday buzzword. What is it? It’s a well-thought-out theory that predicts that the rate at which we find and recover oil is soon going to fall behind the rate at which we consume it. The point at which that happens is the “peak.” Prior to this peak, prices will have been relatively stable and reasonable, and the economies of the world have grown because the supply of energy outpaced the demand. But there is coming a time, and some say it’s here now, when the world’s oil fields cannot produce as fast as we consume. Demand will exceed supply, oil prices are going to skyrocket, and the world’s economies are going to begin to fail as the oil fields themselves fail...
      ...It’s all very neat, but that doesn’t mean it’s accurate.

We built John Silveira's chicken coop/garden     By Suzy Lowry Geno

      I have what seems like mountains of great “fertilizer” from my barn full of English Angora rabbits. But between my work as a newspaper editor and caring for the bunnies, chickens, and goats, it was hard finding time to spread all that bunny poop in my garden.
      But thanks to Backwoods Home’s John Silveira, now my laying hens (and two very happy roosters!) do all the work for me...

      If, then, the control of the people over the organs of their government be the measure of its republicanism, and I confess I know no other measure, it must be agreed that our governments have much less of republicanism than ought to have been expected; in other words, that the people have less regular control over their agents, than their rights and their interests require.

      — Thomas Jefferson

Get everything we're published - The Whole Sheebang From the Library — Building & Tools

Converting a gasoline-powered rototiller to electric By Glenn Willis, Jr.
      The author did it. So can you!

Stairs: the next level By Skip Thomsen
      A staircase can be so visually inviting that it beckons one to try it out—to see where it leads.

Parge the ugly out of your concrete wall By Bill Leonard
      Learn how to cover ugly cement blocks so they will have a more aesthetically pleasing look.

      It is the duty of parents to maintain their children decently, and according to their circumstances; to protect them according to the dictates of prudence; and to educate them according to the suggestions of a judicious and zealous regard for their usefulness, their respectability and happiness.

      — James Wilson

Click Here for the advertisers who helped bring you this issue of Backwoods Home Magazine. From the Library — Self-reliance

You can become a hardcore forager By Larry Cywin
      Becoming a hardcore forager is not difficult, but it does take some time to learn the basics. This article will get you started.

The art of living in small spaces By Claire Wolfe
      Living in a small amount of space presents special challenges, from what to do with all your "stuff" to coping, to decorating, and more.

Getting logs By Dorothy Ainsworth
      Attention: Would-be loggers. There have been changes in policy at the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. You can no longer go into a ranger station and simply get a permit to cut your own logs in a given area. Now you have to go through a "process".

There are six new photos
on the Country Moments page.
Click Here to see larger versions
and read about them.
From the Library — Animals

How to butcher a chicken in 20 minutes or less By Dr. Roger W. Grim, D.C.
      Learn a quick and easy method of butchering that's been passed down for generations.

How to buy your first sheep (without getting shorn) By Anita Evangelista
      Sheep are one of the ideal small homestead animals: they can return quality meat and fiber on an annual basis for very little cash input.

Raising quail By Allen Easterly
      Raising quail is inexpensive, easy, provides very healthy low-fat white meat, and supplies the fertilizer you need for your home garden.

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From the Library — Farm & Garden

You can make your own fertilizers By Christopher and Dolores Lynn Nyerges
      There are many low-cost methods for making your own fertilizer.

Use old newspapers to make your starter pots By Darlene Polachic
      Why spend money buying plant starter packs when you can make all you need from old newspapers?

Herb boxes from fence boards By Maggie Larsen
      Recycle old fence or siding boards into free planters.

Recipe of the Week
    from Backwoods Home Cooking


Zucchini custard pie

Cookbook Special!
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of Backwoods Home Cooking for yourself and to share!
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From the Library — Food/Recipes

Making baby food at home By Michele Lightfoot
      Homemade baby food is not only delicious and economical, it is simple to prepare as well.

Traditional trail foods — transportable calories By Brad Rohdenburg
      If you have a need for trail food—storable, transportable, convenient, affordable and palatable calories—maybe we can learn something from the old ways.

The enchanting Chanterelle By Devon Winter
      They’re prized by the world’s top chefs. They’re served in the most elegant restaurants. You’ll pay a pretty penny for them at farmers’ markets. Yet they’re abundant and often free for the taking in forests all over the world.

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From the Library — Country Living

Reflecting on a life in the woods By Marjorie Burris
      It is a good life here on the old homestead. We've worked hard, and we are enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Grandpa’s justice By Tom Kovach
      Having the best vegetable garden in the village might put food on the table and make some money at the market, but it also can cause some problems.

The saga of Benjamin, the backwoods, homeschool boy who wanted to get a job By Margaret Wright
      Raised in the woods of Northern Idaho, home schooled by loving, protective parents, he was a happy, carefree child for the first sixteen years of life.

      All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.

      — Sir Winston Churchill

From the Library — Firearms/Hunting/Self Defense

Armed and Female By Massad Ayoob
      I remember one of my first female students. She was in her sixties, an accomplished academician and author with strong roots in what was then called “women’s liberation.” She had considered the gun to be a hideous side effect of testosterone poisoning. Then, she was assaulted by armed criminals and nearly died. “It occurred to me,” she told me later, “that I had neglected one element of my empowerment.”

Get a piece of history: an M1 Garand rifle By Mike Blank
      We’ve all heard about getting government Garands, but personally I never knew anyone who had, so I thought I would give it a try and document my experience.

Here are some answers to often asked questions of anti-gunners By Massad Ayoob
      When your beliefs and values are challenged, you want ready answers. The following have worked for me when debating the civil rights of gun owners in this country.

BHM's Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide
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From the Library — Commentary

America, land of the free...ha, ha, ha! By Dave Duffy
      Here are two stories that should scare you. They are about what happens in America when we have stupid laws, overzealous prosecutors who want their conviction rates up, and too many prisons that need to be filled.

Why we have no “constitutional” rights By John Silveira
      Our rights are not constitutional rights. Our Founding Fathers never intended them to be.

Just Say NO! to the Federal Government By Oliver Del Signore
      The real target of Nancy Reagan's “Just Say NO!’ campaign should have been the Federal government itself.

From the Library — Other Articles

Homeschooling through high school By Janet Leake
      Whether you’re experienced or inexperienced, whatever your situation, you already know why you want to homeschool your kids through high school. Now, what about how?

Gather rose hips for health By Gail Butler
      Vitamin C-rich rose hips can be found in dried form in most health food stores, but why not gather your own? You’ll save money and you’ll know where they came from.

Some farinaceous folly By Lucy Shober
      Try this experiment. The next time that you are served rice, potatoes, noodles or corn for supper, take a big bite but don’t swallow it until you have chewed one hundred times.

Here's how to make a musical bamboo flute By Robert E. Kramer
      Make a real flute the old-fashioned way.

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      The problem in Britain and the rest of Europe -- and increasingly in the United States -- is that we have forgotten [our values and our way of life.] We have subordinated them to the nonspecific to avoid offending a particular group or culture not endemic to the host country.

      — Cal Thomas

 
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