Happenings in and around the store

The second Saturday of each May, Lehman’s hosts an old-fashioned tractor and engine show on the property. Folks come from all over to show off their engines – for once it didn’t rain!
Quilters have invaded the Buggy Barn for the next week to work on a quilt for the Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale. The Sale takes place the first weekend in August.  

What in the world is it?

We have a fun section in our store, titled What in the world is it? There is also a sign, much to the delight of both parents and children, that says Please DO touch. The shelves are right next to our busy check-out registers, so while parents are paying attention to, well paying, the children can be guessing what the items were (and still are) used for.

Today, when you get a hole in your sock, what do you do? Throw it away and buy a new pair? Well, in the old days when you had to raise the sheep, shear the wool, spin the wool and then knit the sock, you didn’t throw the sock away. You fixed it. You darned it. And you needed this round sock darning ball, or egg, as some call it, to ensure a smooth mend. Why? Because the most common place to get a hole in your sock is the heel. And if you don’t have a smooth mend, you will get a blister. So this product, while it takes no batteries, IT equipment, or extension cords, was a much-needed part of every home in the 19th century.

Don’t touch that mouse — tune in next week for the second installment of WHAT IN THE WORLD IS IT?

Interning with Lehman’s

For those of you who don’t know, I’m the son of Galen Lehman (president of Lehman’s) and grandson of Jay Lehman (founder), which means that as I grew up, Lehman’s has always been a large part of my life. As a young child, it seemed natural to me to stop in at the hardware to see my dad and my grandpa, or ‘Poppy’ as I still call him, and to walk with my dad through what was then the stove room, or to watch the model trains from the balcony of the toy room with my grandpa. Some of the employees still remember this, and turn on the trains whenever they see me in there.

The funny thing is, though, I have never had a really good idea of how exactly the store runs and operates. So this summer, upon completing my first year at Hesston College in Central Kansas, I returned home to begin an internship with the hardware. Soon, I found myself up to my ears in information about Lehman’s that I never knew.

While most of what I have been learning is really technical, what struck me the most was the dedication to serving the customer. Whether it was watching the shipping department in the warehouse carefully load a stove hearth onto the back of a customer’s truck, or listening as customer service representatives courteously and calmly worked with customers to resolve even the most difficult issues, I had no idea of the effort that each employee put forth to meet the needs of every individual that came through the store. Just as watching the trains run is forever ingrained in my memory, the courtesy of the people I worked with will stick with me for a long time.

Pottery Demo

Pottery Demonstration at Lehman's

Pottery Demonstration at Lehman's

The store was all a buzz with activity this morning as everyone was gearing up for the busy Memorial Day weekend.  This weekend is the Dutch Oven Cook Off so there is alot cookin’ inside and out!

Mary Ruth Kamp, a local potter set up her potter’s wheel in the Buggy Barn and got busy throwing clay for visitors to the store.   Before she even got a chance to set up people were anxious to see her work.  There are so many things appealing about pottery!  No wonder it is a favorite item in the store.  Lehman’s carries a wide variety of Pottery in their pottery room so its a natural fit for Mary Ruth to demonstrate how it is made.  Mary Ruth will be a regular demonstrator so if you missed her demo today you can check the Events Calendar on this page to see when she will be back.

I have been helping Lehman’s bring in local artists and crafters from the Ohio Arts and Crafts Guild to do educational and entertaining demos on a regular basis.  Last week Dennis Lipp, a Kidron/Dalton resident brought his easle and oil paints to share his beautiful rural landscapes by doing a painting demo.   One of the many treats of a visit to Lehman’s begin during the drive here as you veiw the beautiful farmland in Wayne Co.   As a local resident and artist myself the rolling farmland is a continual source of inspiration. Lehman’s is known for selling unique, locally made products so to bring in local artistic talent is just an extention of their philosopy to support the local and USA workforce.   Thank you Lehman’s for providing this opportunity for us and by the happy faces in the Buggy Barn I  think I can say thank you on behalf of the visitors too!

40,000 Trees (give or take)

Galen with freshly planted black walnut

Galen with freshly planted black walnut

This spring my Dad (store founder J.E. Lehman) and I planted 4,000 more hardwood seedlings in the farm fields around our home and warehouse. That makes 12,000 in the last three years. We’ve now reforested nearly 45 acres.

In the 20 years or so since Dad first started this project, we’ve planted some 30,000 trees. Dad does most of the work, when he’s not talking to customers at our Kidron store. Just today, at the age of 80, he was out among the latest batch of seedlings trying to figure out a way to keep the mice from chewing on the bark.

UPDATED – By Spring, 2014, Dad and I had planted another 10,000 trees.

200 years ago, when the first settlers arrived here, the land was covered with hardwood trees. It is said that you could walk from one side of Ohio to the other without seeing the sky.
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Dutch Oven cooks “camping out” at Lehman’s Memorial Day weekend

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE KIDRON, OH – May 12, 2009: Dutch oven enthusiasts from all over northeast Ohio are holding their second annual Dutch Oven Gathering at Lehman’s in Kidron on Saturday, May 23, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Over 30 cooks have already signed up for this fun event but more are welcome. Dutch oven cooks of all skill levels are invited. Individuals as well as groups like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are welcome. Bring all your supplies and a favorite dish or two to cook.

Never cooked in a Dutch oven before and want to learn? No problem: “Dutch Oven” Dave Horton will be here from Buffalo, NY to put on one of his Dutch oven training classes in Lehman’s Buggy Barn. And Lehman’s has a large selection of cast iron pots and accessories for you to choose from.

Last year’s Dutch Oven Cook-off at Lehman’s drew lots of great cooks – and great taste testers! The cooks will begin set up at 10 am – so plan on eating a great pot-luck style meal at 4:00p.m.

For more information on this event or to sign-up, please call or email: Matt Buser at 330-603-7266 or mebuser@neo.rr.com

In addition, the popular local bluegrass band Northwest Territory will be playing at Lehman’s from 11 am to 2 pm. Since 1989, Northwest Territory has been entertaining audiences with unique style and enthusiasm. Bluegrass, gospel, country, fiddle tunes and more are all in the band’s repertoire. It’s foot tapping fun for the whole family!

There is no charge for either event – don’t miss the great food, entertaining music, and fantastic shopping at Lehman’s, on the Square in Kidron, on Saturday, May 23.

“Blast Off” to a healthy summer

Spring has blessed us with some warm days, gentle rains and beautiful colors to enjoy. The days are slipping by and summer activities will be here before we know it. What are your plans for summer? Hopefully the calendar has been marked for a few days of vacation or family fun days. Having something to look forward to is important for adults and children. The planning, saving and anticipation is part of the journey, as is the feeling of fulfillment after the event is over.

As a parent, trying to keep a routine is important. It provides structure and helps children and adults be productive. Brainstorm with your family, what kind of chores can be done through the day or in the evening? Who wants to do what? What can we do when the work is done? The short term things that need daily and weekly attention are a great way to get the kids involved and moving. It is also a great way to improve family communication and relationships, being together doesn’t have to be all fun, working is a wonderful way to share your values and listen to your children. Continue reading

Bats and Squirrels: Balancing Biodiversity

I love my cats. They keep the rat and mouse population36906206 at bay.  But they also have brought in some species that we would rather they did not think were exotic squeak toys.

We live out in West Cavan near the Northern Ireland border. Because of the thirty years of troubles this area became depopulated of humans but the wildlife really moved in.  I have recorded rare damselflies. We rejoice in the frogs that we hope will eat the slugs before they eat the zucchini.

But what has me worried is our cat  Zymina’s latest offering, a horseshoe bat. Continue reading

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Why You Need a Wringer Washer (and How to Use it)

The Home Queen Wringer Washer

On almost any Monday morning, you’d catch Mom in the kitchen, first filling the old wringer washer with hot water, turning it on, then filling the swishing tub with dirty clothes that hit the suds one by one with a satisfying plop and blurble. Like a hungry monster, the washing machine pulled the clothes downward into the steaming, soapy water. After a moment, they’d rise like undersea monsters, pale colors and shades of white, mounded like the smooth back of some creature… then they’d swish and swoop downward, only to rise and do it again. Continue reading

Testing lawn furniture: It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

We’re constantly looking for new product ideas. Funny how they find us sometimes!

Last year I attended and spoke at the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) convention in Columbus, OH. MEDA is a charity that was founded by family business owners like me. Pioneers in micro-finance to the poor, they also provide advice to entrepreneurs.

For the first time, several Amish business owners attended. As is a common practice among the Amish, they hired a driver and van to get from the Kidron area to Columbus.

Unfortunately, one of the women missed the van because she was attending a Continue reading