How to Save Seeds on a Small Scale

seeds in hands

As I plan my garden each spring, I think forward to what seeds I might want to save, and make sure that my garden is structured in such a way that I can do that. I only save easy seeds — I have not yet bothered with isolation tents or hand pollination — so the ones I do save usually come at me pretty easily. Continue reading

Planting a Tea Garden



It’s a cool, rainy day and the perfect time to clean out my dried food cabinets in preparation for late spring harvests. I’m low on almost everything, but particularly my tea herbs. I use a lot each winter. Some are medicinal, some warming and delicious, and most are both. I have my favorites. Lemon balm, anise hyssop and catmint are lovely as are lavender, calendula and chamomile. Continue reading

8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important

old teakettles

by Gaye Levy, Backdoor Survival
Reposted with Permission

A couple of months ago I was going through some old boxes tucked into the hidden recesses of my garage and I stumbled upon a box of old cookbooks.  Since I learned to cook long before the age of computers, most of my self-taught efforts came by way of these cookbooks. I started to collect cookbooks in high school and little did I know then what I know now: old cookbooks are important. Continue reading

Making Amish Wall Mops is a Family Affair

2015-07-16 10.30.40

High on a hill north of the center of Ohio’s Amish country sits a typical Amish home. White, clapboard siding, manicured yard, flower and vegetable gardens, and neatly organized outbuildings, black buggies parked all in a row. A brown mare munches in the lush pasture. Continue reading

10 Things Jay Lehman Says

Tomorrow (April 21st) is Jay Lehman’s 87th birthday. Jay started Lehman’s back in 1955, as a 1,000 sq ft hardware store in tiny Kidron, Ohio. His first employees were his father, brother and sister. My, how things have changed. But some things never change…like the endearing sayings Jay likes to use. The following examples are courtesy of Jay’s daughter, Glenda Lehman Ervin, VP of Marketing. Please join us in wishing Jay a very happy 87th birthday!

10 Things Jay Says

Celebrate Pecan Month With Sweet and Savory Dishes


Pecan Grove

Pecan Grove

Say “pecans” and most people think of pies and other delicious desserts. But the rich flavor of the pecan makes it ideal for savory dishes, too. And since April is National Pecan Month, it’s the perfect time to enjoy these versatile nuts! Continue reading

Grandma’s Kitchen Garden

spacesaver radish

My Mommy’s people lived on a family dairy farm in Upper New York State. I have wonderful memories of going to see family and the farm as a child. My Grandma always had a small garden surrounded by rocks, just a step away from the kitchen door. Continue reading

Better Butter = Homemade

kilner butter churn

It takes April in New England to fully appreciate a good pair of rubber boots. I slogged through the mud and muck yesterday to reach my neighbor’s barn. The reward was well worth the effort. By the door of the milk parlor were 6 ½ gallon jugs of fresh raw milk, the deep yellow cream already rising to the top. Continue reading

For The Mom Who Has Everything: 10 Fresh Picks for Mother’s Day

Holiday Alert: Mother’s Day is only a few weeks away! For many of us, finding the right gift that says “I love you, Mom!” can be tricky, especially if our moms have everything they need and most things they could want. Here are some unique options we love – and we’re sure your mom will, too. Continue reading