Arnold’s Candies: Keepin’ It Sweet Since 1953

It's retro all the way at Arnold's!

It’s retro all the way at Arnold’s!

Come along with Country Life and get a look behind the scenes at one of our favorite vendors: family-owned Arnold’s Candies. This small northeastern Ohio company makes Sugar Puffs, Butter Mints, and the thinnest, tastiest nut brittles ever: we’re pleased that we can share these wonderful treats with you!

Vice-President and partner Kyle Roberson took us into the place where the magic happens–the candy production room. In the big, spanking-clean space, owner and president/partner Greg Dauphin, brothers Paul and Shawn Freeder, and Tommy Bennett make workday ingredients like sugar, cream of tartar and water into out-of-this-world confections. Continue reading

Recipe of the Week: Pancake Making Day!

Lehman's Maple Syrup is from a family member's sugarbush in New York State. In stock now! Click the picture to learn more.

Lehman’s Maple Syrup is from a family member’s sugarbush in New York State.

Sometimes things just come together and the path for the day is clear.

We have had a great sugaring year. The sap flowed early and fast. We aren’t big producers here at Barefoot Farm. We make enough for ourselves and our family and friends with some left over to sell and swap. We manage to cover our expenses but not much else. This year, we even had enough to make up a good size batch of maple sugar.

We get our milk from a neighbor up the road. She runs a very small raw milk CSA and I buy 2 gallons a week. This past week we were away and the milk piled up with no one here to drink it. We also had a lot of eggs as the spring weather has gotten the hens laying again. Continue reading

Home Brewing – Kombucha Style

Split your SCOBY and kombacha in half, and store in two half-gallon jars from

Split your SCOBY and kombucha in half, and store in two half-gallon jars from

Last summer, some visiting friends arrived toting a mysterious bundle. It turned out to contain a jar of kombucha, a fermented tea beverage. The fizzy, slightly vinegary flavor was surprising at first, but quickly grew on us. By the time our friends left, we had a jar of our own brewing on the counter.

Kombucha originated in China over 2000 years ago but has only recently become trendy in the U.S. It is said to detoxify the body, help with digestion and energy and provide probiotics, although the scientific evidence is sketchy. Excessive consumption is not recommended because of high acidity and the potential of detoxifying too quickly. It is also not recommended during pregnancy. Continue reading

Plant Your Favorites In The Family Garden

Maine Garden Hod

Maine Garden Hod with fresh vegetables. In stock now at Lehman’s in Kidron or at

Gardening is a rewarding hobby that can help you eat fresh healthy foods.  But we need to be realistic – gardening is hard work, weeding, spreading compost, watering.  So when you plan your garden, plan the foods you enjoy eating. It’s not too late to adjust your plan, especially for your ‘second season’ crops!

This was a hard lesson I learned when I planted my first garden on my own.  I planted all the foods my parents had grown.  Hard work and food I didn’t like to eat later – I made major changes the following years! Continue reading

Had Your Morels Yet?

A tailgate full of morels!

A tailgate full of morels!

Spring is an amazing time of year. Along with a complete change of landscape, spring brings forth the “lords of the woods” … morel mushrooms. With this year’s cooler spring, morels are still being found, even later than ever before.

The tasty little fungi often show themselves on a warm spring day immediately following a rain. They tend to be found in shady areas, often on north-facing slopes in the northern hemisphere that never receive direct sunlight. But they can be found in other areas where cover provides near-constant shade. Continue reading

Local Family Keeps Chugging Along

From left: Ray Stryker, Peggy Wall Stryker, Deb Wall and Mike Wall.

From left: Ray Stryker, Peggy Wall Stryker, Deb Wall and Mike Wall.

Mike Wall, Peggy Wall Stryker along with their spouses and children, put on quite a show last Saturday.

First, the Wooster family was deeply involved in organizing the Antique Tractor Show at Lehman’s in Kidron on May 11, 2013

Second, and most important, in a small corner in the rear of the show, they put together a display honoring their late father, father-in-law and grandfather, Bill Wall. Continue reading

Recipe of the Week: Fresh Grilled Fruit Mix

Grilled fruit makes a healthy and delicious ice cream topping!

Grilling is by far my favorite method of cooking. I love to be outside and smell the wonderful flavors wafting from the grill. And with the weather starting to warm up here in Ohio, I’m using the grill more and more. Steak, fish, pizza, chicken . . . the list goes on and on. This week’s recipe is a simple one that requires little ingredients and little time, and of course, the grill.

Continue reading

It Was A Great Day For Antique Tractors!

Last Saturday, May 11, I had some friends staying in town, and we decided to drop in on the Antique Tractor Show at Lehman’s. It was a great way to spend the day. (Quite a bit of shopping got done too!)

The day was brisk, but the engine owners were warm and welcoming, eager to discuss their beloved machines.

1924 McCormick-Deering-Farmall 1-1/2 hp
Chris Curtis, Smithville, Ohio
Tiny but mighty! Chris and a friend were tooling around Lehman’s back lot on this little beauty.
SONY DSC Continue reading

Super Easy “Shoebag” Planter Project

The more flowers you have in your yard, the more opportunities you have to feed the bees!

The more flowers you have in your yard, the more opportunities you have to feed the bees!

I love spring projects!  My wallet, on the other hand, is not always a big fan of my projects. This spring, I have become obsessed with repurposing items, and have found a great and inexpensive yard project!  This over-the-door shoe organizer planter is inexpensive to make, quick to put together, and repurposes something that may not be up to the original job.

Get It Together
This project is simple, inexpensive (especially if you already have an organizer), and easy. You can purchase a clear over-the-door shoe organizer for around $10 or less, but check out yard sales for one and make your project even cheaper. Continue reading