Backwoods Home Magazine (BHM) was founded in 1989 by Dave Duffy as a how-to homesteading magazine for anyone wishing to pursue a self-reliant lifestyle. It contains articles on gardening, livestock, canning, building, cooking, and guns. It is currently a 116 page quarterly publication.
In January of 2018, when Dave retired, BHM went digital-only on Amazon’s Kindle platform, but a year later, Dave’s youngest son, Sam Duffy, reopened the print edition under the auspices of Self-Reliance Publications, a company he co-owns with his sister, Annie Tuttle. Self-Reliance Publications also publishes the print magazine, Self-Reliance.
I have a print subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine and love it. It is one of my favorites of homesteading/farming magazines that I still subscribe to after letting a few other subscriptions go. One quality I really appreciate about the publication is the writing of original content, as compared to magazines I used to read whose articles were paragraphs taken from books for example, that were reprinted with permission of the publisher and used to fill the pages with content along with the advertising. The information was good in those, but after years I began to read the same reprinted material in other publications with different photos. For me, BHM has authenticity that I value along with information that I not only find enjoyable, but I learn from. It's always a good day when I open the mailbox and see the latest issue waiting for me. I recommend it to anyone pursuing homesteading and a self-reliant lifestyle.
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
This magazine has a special place in my heart. You see, I've been obsessed with self-sufficiency my whole life, but until I was a teenager I didn't have a word for it. My family was always the opposite, and certainly none of the kids I knew were ever interested. I was the freak, at home and at school.
Then I stumbled across a copy of Backwoods Home in the grocery store.
FINALLY! This thing in my brain had a name! And there were other people out there with the same obsession! They knew things and were willing to share, I didn't have to stumble around figuring everything out from scratch!
I subscribed almost immediately. And when one of my summer jobs paid enough, I bought a lifetime subscription, which they have honored even through their own difficulties. I can honestly say that without this magazine, I would be a lot worse off right now. Jackie Clay taught me to save seeds, and how to preserve my harvests. Massad Ayoob taught me not to be afraid of defending myself. And Claire Wolfe taught me that it's ok to tell my self-appointed "rulers" where to shove it!
If not for their guidance, I would have driven myself crazy by now.
The emails from BHM have a joke section. Today's email had five jokes and this was one:
A drunk man who smelled like a beer sat down on a subway seat next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was smeared with red lipstick, and a half empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began to read.
After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked “Say Father, what causes arthritis?”
The priest replies “My son, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap wicked women, too much alcohol and contempt for your fellow man”
“Well I'll be darned” the drunk muttered, returning to his newspaper.
The priest thinking about what he said, nudged the drunk and apologized. “I'm sorry to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?”
“I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does.”