$50,000 in savings!

On Saturday, April 9, we’re running a giant sale on all the stoves from our Kidron store that got wet when the flash flood hit our store on February 28. The savings are so big that if you bought every stove we have available, you’d save $50,000!

Many are being sold at a loss. So, you’ll never see deals like this again! Of course, this begs the question, “What can a little flood water do to hurt a woodstove?”

I took this picture in the early morning a few minutes after the flash flood receded. Sorry for the poor quality...I didn't realize it then but I guess my hands were shaking. The water in this room reached a depth of nearly three feet.

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From A Country Planet: Smart Ways to Rural Success and Survival by Tim Matson.

Lately I’ve become a connoisseur of mudrooms. I’ve been scanning the countryside for specimens of mudroom design, taking shots, and bringing them home to add to my mudroom bestiary, a collection of photographs I plan to consult as soon as I build a mudroom of my own.  I  say  bestiary  because  the  mudroom  embodies  a  unique architectural species. Rarely will you find two alike. Some are plain homemade,  some  ornamental. Often  they  say  something  about  the people behind the door.

At  its  simplest,  the  mudroom  is  an  enclosed entry  way,  usually annexed,  where you can  stomp  the  dirt  or  snow off your boots,  or remove  them,  and  hang  up  a  coat  and  hat,  before  entering.  More sophisticated mudrooms combine the advantages of the shakedown entry  way  with  an  airlock  for  conserving  heat.  Other  facets  of mudroom  design  can  produce  payoffs  in  refrigeration,  storage space, shelter for critters, solar power, and so forth. Continue reading

Stove Flood Sale at Lehman’s Store!

Huge Stove Sale at Lehman’s in Kidron on SATURDAY, APRIL 9th: Our retail store is hosting a huge sale on wood stoves that were damaged in our recent flood. Many makes and models, first-come, first-served, when they’re gone, they’re gone! Come ready to take your new stove home (no shipping available, but installation is available within Ohio). NO warranties apply on these stoves; buy at your own risk. No returns. In-store sale only; sorry, sale does not apply to web sales.

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The Underappreciated Veggies (and how to love them)

We see them in the store and we use them in our meals but are they truly appreciated?  We look at broccoli as something we have to eat and bell peppers confuse many of us, but these veggies add color, enhance flavor, and are excellent sources of many vitamins and nutrients.  They are such amazing vegetables that they have their own month, March.

Let’s begin our appreciation with broccoli, or “tiny trees” as my daughter called the florets when she was little.  Broccoli is very high in Vitamin C and can help to prevent cataracts and ease the symptoms of the common cold.  As a good source of folic acid, it makes a nice supplement for women who are pregnant or taking oral contraceptives. Potassium helps with high blood pressure and you can help fight osteoporosis with the calcium in it.  Broccoli is good for your entire body function by being high in fiber and beta-carotene.  As if you haven’t already heard enough benefits from eating broccoli, it has also been linked to the prevention or improvement of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, calcium deficiencies, stomach and colon cancer, malignant tumors, lung cancer, heart disease, arthritis and even the aging process. Continue reading

Seeding Community (and feeding them soup and cake)

Gardening has the reputation of being a fairly solitary activity. It has been said it is more addictive than heroin. Some people view it as “nature’s Prozac,” since being outdoors ups our serotonin levels and the activity gets those endorphins going. But gardening is also great as a community building activity, too.

Yesterday we had what we call our Seed Collective meeting at our home.

There are six of us living within the same mile radius. We came to the realisation that some had success with plants that languished for others. We all have fairly acidic soil, but whereas Tony and I have a high ratio of peat, Cliff has clay that is more suitable to starting a pottery. We also had to pay the price of success by dealing with gluts. So we have decided to club our expertise and vegetables.  This way we can share out gluts. Since some of us get results earlier than others we realised that nature staggers our produce so we are in effect reaping the benefits of successional sowing without having to do it ourselves.  William has a polytunnel high up on a hill so he gets results early.  Meanwhile, Tony and I are in a frost pocket. The upside of this is that we can still be picking courgettes in our polytunnel in October. Continue reading

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Severe Weather Safety Tips

After a very stormy and snowy winter, I am not alone to want spring to come – but with the milder weather can come severe weather.  Some can bring very dangerous winds, flooding and even tornadoes.

With some proper planning we can protect our families and property.

Prior to the Storm
1. Develop a plan for you and your family for at home, work and school.
2. Have frequent drills on the plan.
3. Know the community you live in, and identify shelters in your area.
4. Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning tone and battery back-up for weather warnings.

Make a Disaster Kit
A disaster kit at a minimum should include the following:
– A three day supply of water and food that will not spoil. Continue reading

Wild Mushrooms

If you’ve ever stepped out into the spring woods in search of mushrooms, you probably understand how a person could get serious about hunting — mushroom hunting, that is. As winter gives way to bustling green growth, the forest floor comes alive. Some of its most dynamic, beautiful and delicious inhabitants are fungi. Tracking down wild mushrooms as they pop up through leaves in a sun-dappled woodland is so much more of a culinary adventure than plodding through the grocery store and picking up a plastic-wrapped carton of portabellas. The expedition lends as much flavor to the mushrooms as the lush soil that grew them.

Wild mushrooms are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, boasting the best non-animal source of Vitamin D. They also contain chitin, a protein that helps the body break down cholesterol, and beta-glutan, a carbohydrate that has been associated with heart health. So, they’re nutritious, thrilling to find and full of gourmet flavor. But before you set out on a mushroom hunt, it’s important to beef up on a few basic facts. Continue reading

The List Maker’s Spring Checklist

Not everybody is like me. My wife would tell you that she thanks God every day for that fact. But I’m a list maker and prefer to make detailed outlines of what I need to do today, tomorrow, next week, next month and so on. She, on the other hand, usually relies on her memory or some random notes jotted down on a scrap of paper. Personally, I couldn’t live like that.

Like I said, I’m a list maker and I like to plan ahead. God has a sense of humor and allows me to make plans like I’m somehow in control – and then he goes ahead and does what’s best for me despite myself. But making lists helps me feel more at ease.

To keep things flowing smoothly around the house and property I have seasonal checklists. As we start to enter each of the four seasons I search out my appropriate checklist and work my way down it making sure our home, equipment and land is ready for what’s to come. Having the tiller tuned up and full of fresh gasoline in the spring makes prepping the garden a much more enjoyable experience when the soil is ready. Making sure to clean the tiller and empty or treat the remaining gasoline come fall is even more important when the next growing season arrives. The same holds true for the wood furnace and gutters, or our cars and trucks and other gasoline engines. If you own livestock there’s some obvious benefit from preparing shelters and water sources long before the first snow flies. Continue reading

Spring Cleaning 102: Tread Lightly

Tread lightly as you disturb spider’s webs, for they have dreams, too.

In all likelihood the spiders have departed outdoors but once the space has been tidied up enough you can now actually dust, sweep, vacuum and mop the cleared decks.

We don’t need a lot of fancy, chemical enhanced cleansers to get our houses clean. Our Grandmothers did not have them, and it would seem that they kept their homes far cleaner than we do now with all our labour saving devices. They may have had the advantage in some cases of paid help ‘to do the rough’, but that was not universally true and homes shone.

You will need:

1.    Plenty of old rags including flannel or terry towelling as well as cotton
2.    Vinegar
3.    Lemons for juicing plus the rinds for scouring
4.    Baking soda and washing soda crystals
5.    Liquid or plain soap flakes Continue reading

Spring Cleaning 101: Turn out the Cupboards, Sweep out the Cobwebs

In autumn the spiders seem to migrate indoors. The light is so low all through the winter that they happily spin away in the dark ceiling’s corners.

Natural Cleaning Supplies from Lehman'sBy February 1st here in Ireland we begin to notice an appreciable increase in daylight. On crisp, cold mornings the sun bursts forth. The snowdrops pop out. The daffodils are beginning to shoulder their way towards the light.

And those cobwebs start showing up in the glare of spring sunshine.

Spring cleaning is a tribal response, one that I am sure is etched in our DNA, linked to the increase in light that brings the grime and dust of the winter months to our notice. Just as winter is the time to rest, spring is the call to action. Time to clean up our acts; short of a life laundry list we can start with the house, garage, and garden shed.

Others of my clan are much tidier, cleaner and better organised than I. When I compare my abode to relatives I feel like a changeling. How did such a clutter bug get deposited in such a tidy nest?

In the 1990s what used to be thought of as a good tidy up began to take on mystical proportions as the first step in ‘feng shuing’ your living or work space. But really what they are advocating is a good thorough Spring Clean, where you open the windows and let the sunshine and fresh air zip around the space after you have had a really thorough clean up.

Cleaning the natural way has to start with dealing with the clutter. Continue reading