Splitting Wood By Hand

Splitting firewood

Photo courtesy of Sarah B. Gilliam

When I have procured my firewood and get it back to the woodlot at my farm, the fun really begins. Despite their necessity in working up a truck load of firewood, I really don’t like using chainsaws. They are loud, heavy, smelly and even in the most skilled and experienced of hands, supremely dangerous. Some people enjoy revving them up and feeling powerful with that big ole saw in their hands, but not me. The saw has the juice, not the worker. However, when I have an axe in my hand and pile of wood, I know that I will be the one powering through this stuff and turning it into a nice neat stack of fuel. Continue reading

Prepare In Advance Meals For Company

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Find the recipe for easy Chicken Noodle Casserole and more below.

There are some days where there is nothing I enjoy more than planning meals and taking my time to cook the kind of meals that require hours of prep and leaves people oohing and ahhing. Sometimes, though, there just isn’t time. Thankfully, I’ve found quite a few crowd-pleasing recipes that I can whip together ahead of time and have ready in no time. Continue reading

How To Host a Vegetarian Thanksgiving

making vegetarian mealsThe holidays can be a hard time for people with restricted diets, whether they’re restricted by choice or by force. To be surrounded by piles and piles of holiday meals, treats, candies, and baked goods while trying to stay on your chosen diet plan can seem impossible. However, you can enjoy the holiday season and its deliciousness just as much with a restricted diet as with a regular one. It just takes some creativity and planning. Continue reading

Heating With Wood: Choosing the Right Firewood

Patrick splitting wood

Photo courtesy of Sarah B. Gilliam

The first real step to heating with wood is to find the wood that is to be processed into fuel. Around half of my property is wooded in various hardwoods, from hickory, oak and locust to softer hardwoods like poplar, sycamore and sasafrass. There is lots of deadfall and lots of trees that can be cut and worked up into dandy stacks of firewood. However, I leave these woods be. I never cut a living tree with the sole purpose of making firewood. Although I heat with wood and have an impressive collection of tools that are made for turning living trees into firewood, I am a bit of a conservationist when it comes to the trees themselves, and feel like it’s much more responsible to plant trees. That means I must seek my fuel elsewhere. This isn’t a difficult task, and I encourage anyone that has ambitions to heat with wood, inside or out, to give it a try. Continue reading

When The Lights Go Out

evening lampEditor’s Note: Shorter days, longer nights? It’s that time of the year! With the time change happening this weekend, we’re sharing with you the importance of having reliable light – not only for the winter season, but for all year long.*

My first experience with an oil lamp was at my grandparents’ house several years ago. We were sitting in the basement playing Scrabble (my grandpa’s favorite game) when suddenly the lights went out. Poof.
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9 Ways to Make Your Home Cozy This Season

cozy homeAs the weather gets colder, one of my favorite things to do is stay cozy in my house. I love watching the cold wind and snow swirl around outside, knowing my family and I are safe and sound in our home. Warm lighting, soft clothes, and lots of blankets are essentials for a cozy night in, as are a good book and some candles flickering. Enjoying a warm bubble bath or sitting by the fireplace are great ways to spend a frigid evening, but you’ve got to have the right atmosphere. Here are some of my favorite ways to make a space cozy and warm for the coming autumn and winter months. Continue reading

Backpacking For Beginners: Part Two

group photo on the trailEditor’s Note: Jennie from Lehman’s recently went on her first backpacking trip ever. Today she’s sharing with us her adventure. If you missed part one (her preparation for the trip), you can check it out here.

I successfully made it to the other side of the trail! I’m tired, a little sore, and am sporting an impressive collection of mosquito bites, but this backpacking trip was one of the most refreshing things I’ve done in a long time. I never thought I would be the type of person to classify climbing uphill through poorly marked woods for 4 straight hours, sweating more than I thought humanly possible, and getting bitten by mosquitos through my clothing as fun. But I suppose stranger things have happened and so here we are: backpacking was FUN! Continue reading

Why Heat with Wood

woodlot

Photo courtesy of Sarah B. Gilliam

Since childhood, I’ve always felt burning wood was a cherished pastime. There are few things I place as much importance in on our farm as I do the cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking of firewood. The entire process is sacred and rewarding to me. Walking out to the woodlot during a warm summer evening as the fireflies begin their nightly show and taking stock of what I have ready for this winter, for next, and beyond, brings great satisfaction. There the firewood is stacked on pallets in rows fifty feet long and as I walk around the woodlot, I know I will have no trouble keeping my family warm, no matter how cold winter will get. Continue reading

5 Amish Country Foods You Need To Try

amish fry pie sampler

Read below to find our top five picks of Amish Country food. Spoiler alert: They include fry pies!

Here in Ohio’s Amish Country, home cooking and baking are a staple. Our area is built around hearty, made-from-scratch meals. (If you ever have the chance, stop by one of the many local Amish food restaurants and you’ll see what I mean – you won’t walk away hungry!) Continue reading

Give The Gift Of A Simpler Life

giving a giftGift giving is a language of love. It is one of my favorite ways to show the people in my life that they are important to me. Giving gifts not only shows affection and appreciation, but also shows that someone was thinking of you during their day. It is an all-around selfless act that makes everyone involved feel good.
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