Sauerkraut class CANCELLED – come make cheese instead!

The “Learn to Make Sauerkraut” class planned for this Thursday at 6pm at our store has been CANCELLED. Our apologies to anyone planning to attend. (Watch our events calender, blog and Facebook for upcoming events.)

We WILL be holding a Basic Cheesemaking class this Thursday at 6pm, hosted by local organic gardener and home cheesemaker Karen Geiser. She will share tips on making soft herb cheese, cottage cheese and demonstrate steps in making a Farmhouse Cheddar. Attendees will be introduced to mesophilic starter, rennet, dairy thermometers, cheesecloth and other supplies all available in the Lehman’s Pantry.

There has been a lot of interest in this course, and it promises to be a wonderful evening. No advance registration required – simply come to the store. The class is free -  see you there!

Lehman’s to host Spring Open House, unveil new food processing area

Spring is just around the corner, and April is National Gardening Month. If you’re a gardener you already know 26669078that nurturing plants is good for you — and growing, as well as eating, fresh food is a healthy lifestyle choice.

In celebration of spring and the increased popularity of gardening and processing home-grown food, Lehman’s is pleased to announce another expansion of its retail store in Kidron, OH.

On April 15, 16 and 17, Lehman’s is hosting a Spring Open House to unveil a brand new food preservation and processing room. “There are three things folks care about today,” said Galen Lehman, president. “First, the economy – they watch their spending so they can get a great value for their money. Secondly, the environment – renewable energy and practical people-powered products are very popular. And lastly – what they eat. Our spring open house ties all three of the E’s together,” he continued. Continue reading

Celebrating a 55 year career

55 years, two months and 21 days ago (on January 2, 1955) a young man with mostly black hair unlocked the front door of a tiny hardware store in a sleepy village in rural Northeast Ohio. There’s been a ton of changes since that day. Lehman’s is now an international supplier of non-electric goods. And the man who opened it now has mostly silver hair! But he’s still down there most every day making a difference.

Jay Lehman at about the time he opened Lehman's

Jay Lehman at about the time he opened Lehman's

Jay (on the left) helping a customer in the store more recently.

Jay (on the left) helping a customer in the store more recently.

Not too many years after Jay opened the store, young President Kennedy made an audacious claim. By the end of the 1960’s, he promised to have a man on the moon. If you remember Kennedy’s promise, you probably also remember thinking it could never be done. (Dad told me he certainly thought it was an impossible dream.)

In fact, when the US finally won the race to the moon, a friend of mine called his Dad and said, “See Dad, I told we could put a man on the moon.”

“Yup, but he don’t belong there!” was the response.

Albert Einstein said, “Problems are never solved by the same thinking that created them.” All progress is a demonstration of of that thinking in action. President Kennedy refused to accept the unacceptable. He was driven to change the commonly held perception that it was impossible to reach the moon. Here at Lehman’s we’ve never accepted things we believed were unacceptable, either.

It wasn’t easy for Dad to start this store. He had no money and the original owner, AB Sommers was reluctant to sell. But, Dad was Continue reading

Home Cheese Creations – Learn How!

Snowdrop the calf arrived the end of February which means it is soon cheese making time again at the Geiser house. DSCF3652Her mother Belle is our family Jersey cow and is again producing abundant milk for us to make yogurt, butter and cheese. Cheese is a beautiful thing since it is essentially a way to preserve an abundance of fresh milk (which is highly perishable) for later use. This is what the Swiss do when they take their cattle up to the mountain pasture during the summer months. Since it is impractical to transport all the fluid milk down the mountain, they reduce it to their famous cheese.

With a fluctuating milk supply from a family cow, making cheese is a perfect way for us to make better use of our dairy  goods throughout the year. We started experimenting with cheese several years ago when Belle had her first calf. We are now completely hooked on homemade cheese and continue to tinker with new recipes and methods. Continue reading

Basic Cheesemaking Class at Lehman’s – Free to all!

Have you ever dreamed of making your own delicious cheese, but been too afraid to try it? (I know I have!) Boy, do we have an upcoming class for YOU:

Learn how to make your own savory, mouthwating cheeses - right in your own kitchen.

Learn how to make savory, mouthwatering cheeses - right in your own kitchen.

What: Basic Cheesemaking Class, led by our favorite local organic gardener and home cheesemaker, Karen Geiser

When: Thursday, April 1, 2010 from 6-7:30 p.m.

Where: Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio

Who: Anyone! This class is TOTALLY FREE and advance registration is not required. Just come!

More Info: Watch as Karen demos basic cheesemaking techniques, including tips for making a simple soft cheese and cottage cheese plus a demo of a batch of Farmhouse Cheddar. You can ask questions, chat with Karen and afterwards, explore the cheese shelf and find some goodies to take home to start your own delicious experiments.

Lehman’s is located about an hour south of Cleveland in the village of Kidron. Get directions to Kidron here.

Move Out, Moths!


Most of us regard our closets, drawers, and storage nooks as sacred personal space, so it’s a rude awakening when these private places are invaded — particularly when we find that the intruders have been boring holes through our wool, cashmere and other beloved fabrics. You know the culprits. Small and seemingly benign with their harmless fluttery wings, clothing moths can wreak havoc on a wardrobe before you even realize what you’re up against. Not even bedding, flooring or curtains are safe. Continue reading

The Long Winter

This winter reminds me of the “Long Winter” that I experienced in South Dakota in the mid 1980s.  Now, I am 87491648sure that if you have read the Laura Ingalls Wilder book of the same name, you would have thought, at first, that I was talking about THAT long winter!

But, no!  Western South Dakota had a long winter in 1986 – 1987.  That was the year it started snowing in October and didn’t stop snowing until mid-April.  That was the year that my 80+year-old father-in-law said “I’ve never seen this much snow in my life!”

I do not remember how MUCH snow we got that winter except it was mega, mega snow!

Now, we lived 20 miles east of Rapid City.  The road to our homestead was 2 miles from the main highway and only about 1 mile of that was considered county road.  Our road was a no-maintenance road – the people that lived on the road did any maintenance needed.  And at the time of this big snow, there were 3 families that lived on it.  We had a large 4×4 3-quarter ton pickup with chains on all 4 wheels; Sue had a 4×4 pickup without chains.  The 3rd family, Holly and Michael, had a Suburban but it was not 4×4.  We also had a 4×4 Jeepster but it did not have the clearance that the pickup had.
Continue reading

The Art of Bartering

1001742948As a farm family,  we regularly count our blessings to keep life in focus. We live abundantly and eat well, but cash is often slim. At times this deficiency of dollars and cents felt impoverishing, but now that we have learned to use our resources for bartering we have found a new level of abundance.

Looking back over the year we have swapped garden planning for a gently used set of cloth diapers, seeds we saved from our garden for herb plants, extra garden goodies for a car seat and our children take piano lessons in exchange for handyman house repairs for their teacher. Each week we savor several loaves of homemade bread made with fresh ground flour and our friends enjoy fresh farm produce. We were even able to create a cold framing DVD in our garden last year with the excellent videography work of a friend in exchange for chickens, eggs and several installments of garden produce. Continue reading

For gorgeous Easter eggs, just raid your pantry

When many of us think of Easter, we think of the Easter bunny, candy, pretty dresses, and the endless v87691091arieties of egg dye kits.  Every year we go and buy dyes to color our eggs and a few of us actually manage to use it on the eggs.  Why not shake things up a bit this year?  You have everything you need to dye eggs in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry.  Some time and imagination are all you need.  Plus, this means extra money in your pocket for other important things like chocolate bunnies or jelly beans.  So, go grab the kids and let’s get started. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Amish Family Tree

A recent study shows that nearly all of the 26,000 Amish living in our area descended from the same 100 people. When a handful of families migrated here from Pennsylvania some 200 years ago, I’ll bet they had no idea they were starting a community that would one day be that large!

One of those legendary pioneer Amish families is the Hochstetlers, who were attacked by Indians during the French and Indian War in 1757. After refusing to shoot at their attackers because they wanted to honor the Biblical commandment to love your enemies, half the family was killed and the other half was carried off to captivity. Nearly every Amish person I’ve met claims they are part of the Hochstetler family. At least one of our employees makes that claim as well, and he’s not even Amish. I used to be amused by these claims. How could all these people possibly be descended from one family? Now it turns out that maybe they are all telling the truth!

Amish and Mennonites lionize Jacob Hochstetler for his sacrificial love of others.

Amish and Mennonites lionize Jacob Hochstetler for his sacrificial love of others.

Another famous character from Amish history is White Jonas Stutzman. He was the Continue reading