Meet Stacy Lyn Harris (Coming to Lehman’s June 29th!)

Stacy Gardening

Come meet and learn from homesteading expert Stacy Lyn Harris. She’ll be at Lehman’s Country Living Workshop on June 29.

It all started because she had seven children. With nine mouths to feed three times a day, Stacy Lyn Harris was forced to give a lot of thought, time, and energy to the meals she prepared. Continue reading

Amish Woodcarver Displays Work At Lehman’s In Kidron, Ohio

paul weaver carvingsEditor’s Note: This article was originally published in January of 2014. We’re happy to announce that Paul Weaver’s wood carvings are back on display in our store. We’ve added a video and photos below for your enjoyment, but as other customers have told us, the photos don’t do them justice. This is something you’ll want to see in person! Continue reading

Real Food, Real Life: City Girl Churns Butter

Alison and her husband Jacob.

Alison and her husband Jacob.

This might be the coolest blog post I’ve written in a long time, if not ever. It’s all about the magical, real essence of butter. Continue reading

Little Lessons From Anna’s House

amish farm spring_bruce stambaugh

Recently I had the privilege of visiting Anna*, a longtime friend of my grandmother’s. Penpals for decades although they live just a few miles apart, they met in an apple orchard and immediately bonded over their shared frugal ways.

Anna is a 70-ish widow who belongs to one of the strictest orders of the Amish, so I expected her house to be very bare, almost austere. But I was wrong. Like Anna, her house was a delight in the purest and most innocent sense. In fact, Anna’s house taught me… Continue reading

Very Cool Customers … and Their Stories

karen g at may daze

Organic Gardener Karen Geiser enthralls a crowd at Lehman’s May Daze Celebration this past spring.

Organic gardener, author, blog contributor, and mother of five, Karen Geiser, is no stranger to country living. She shares her expert advice with customers just as if they have pulled up a chair on her front porch. . . and all the while shelling peas, pitting cherries, or churning butter (depending on what is in season on her farm). 

We always enjoy hearing about fascinating customer connections that happen in our store. And Karen certainly has the pleasure of interacting with many visitors and hearing their stories!

Here are some recent tidbits she reports:

  • Last week I met folks from Colombia, Costa Rica and Brazil (Must have been Latin America day).
  • A fellow from Pennsylvania visits frequently and always tells me about his garlic (which he got from me) that has won several blue ribbons at the county
    Karen Geiser demonstrates our Dazey Butter Churn, which she uses to make butter with cream from her family's Jersey cow.

    Karen Geiser demonstrates our Dazey Butter Churn, which she uses to make butter with cream from her family’s Jersey cow

    fair.

  • This week there were many good conversations over edible weeds – around the table were an herbalist from New Mexico and a family from West Virginia who really knew their plants.
  • An interesting couple from Virginia who has lived off grid for many years visited the store to finally buy the luxury of a gas refrigerator – mainly to have ice. It’s hard to believe they could live without a fridge for so long, and they described how they can their butter.
  • This week a lady said she was there from Robinson, IL because she heard me speak at the Master Gardener conference over a year ago. She had no idea she would run into me, and we had a good laugh together as she told me about the things she grew because I recommended them (like mouse melons). I helped her figure out other places to hit for her first adventure in Amish country. She said some of her girlfriends have visited Lehman’s after the conference, too. 

Stop by Lehman’s on Thursdays, from April through early November to visit Karen and learn from her wealth of hands-on knowledge. 

Our Favorite 100% Whole Wheat Bread (Glenda’s Secret Recipe!)

Glenda Lehman Ervin, our vice-president of marketing, swears by this ‘family secret” bread recipe.

“My mother baked bread for us each week. How many times I came home to bread still rising in the dough pan, lightly covered with a damp cloth. Better yet, the smell of freshly baked bread, wafting through the kitchen.”

“I don’t have time to bake bread each week,” she says, “but I want my daughter to have those memories.  So I use this recipe and we bake together, on lazy Sunday afternoons or cold winter evenings. Because if I don’t teach her how to bake bread, how will she teach her daughter? The last time we baked bread, the entire loaf was gone by bedtime!”

Our pure Clover Honey is processed just a few miles from our store in Ohio. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron.

Our pure Clover Honey is processed just a few miles from our store in Ohio. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron.

Favorite 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Makes 4 loaves.

2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons yeast
2 eggs, beaten
7 to 8 cups whole wheat flour, warmed in the oven

In a large mixing bowl, pour boiling water over powdered milk, butter, salt and honey. After cooled, add dry yeast and beaten eggs. Beat mixture with 3 cups flour. Stir in 2 1/2 cups additional flour. Turn onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Add flour sparingly as needed to keep dough from sticking. Cover and let rest 20 minutes. Punch down and shape into four loaves. Let rise until doubled. Place doubled loaves into greased bread pans. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes.

Editor’s Note: This recipe was originally published in October 2013.

Craft An Upcycled Christmas in 2015

I loved how the jar lid tags came out! Underneath, you can see my festive gift bag fabric.

I loved how the jar lid tags came out! Underneath, you can see my festive gift bag fabric.

It’s no secret that our landfills are overflowing. I take every opportunity to reduce the amount of waste I produce by reusing and repurposing whatever I can. Over the holidays I get to exercise my creative muscle to make beautiful wrappings and tags from what would otherwise be junk into decorative items that can be reused year after year.

Canning Jar Lids:

One thing I have an abundance of canning jar lids. They can only be used once, no matter how perfect they look. This year I also had a huge supply of jar labels.

Put the two together with some spray paint and you have lovely gift tags. These were so much fun to make; the process became a family affair akin to making gingerbread houses and Christmas cookies.

I gathered several dozen jar lids and gave them a good wash then let them dry completely. I had a lot of cans of spray paint left over from other projects. I found the color really didn’t matter. Although red and green are festive, the black chalkboard paint looked great too. It can be written on to which is a plus but I had trouble making the letters small enough with the large chalk I had on hand. I preferred the look of the labels. I considered poking holes in the tops so I could string ribbon or raffia through them but decided to go with some rolled tape I had that was losing its stickiness.

Make Gift Bags
I scored a bolt of red and white striped fabric at a tag sale so I now have a collection of cute gift bags that look sweet with my upcycled tags. They were easy to sew. (Editor’s Note: Pick up lots of great ideas on making your own gift bags via this Pinterest page!)

This week, I will pack up the leftover bags and the tags. Like Christmas snow, they’ll make an appearance at Christmas 2015, bringing some magic and happy memories to this special season.

The Coming Storm

Metal and plastic lantern bird feeder, red

Made from real lanterns (the globe is hard plastic), these charmers light up the yard! At Lehman’s in Kidron and at Lehmans.com.

Even without the relentless warnings I would know a storm was coming. The air is damp and heavy. The sun peeks out from time-to-time but the light is weak and watery as though it isn’t willing to try too hard.

Birds are scuttling about, filling up on the seed from the feeders, while the squirrels haul off the last of the acorns.

I’m preparing too. Wood will be carried in from the outside pile and one final load of laundry washed. I will check the fuel levels in the hurricane lamps and make sure to have a box of matches at the ready. We run off grid as well as on grid, so a storm poses no hardship. I will confess however that, as a Nor’easter barrels up the coast, I am mighty glad not to live in Buffalo. Continue reading

Let’s Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jingling!

Authentic Solid Brass Sleigh Bells

Handmade, with a full, rich tone, these brass bells on a leather harness strap are available from Lehman’s in Kidron and at Lehmans.com.

I always wanted to have a horse and cart. The idea quietly thrilled me. Whenever I would catch a driver and his trusty mare in a movie or documentary part of me felt a tiny ache. It seemed like the perfect pace to take part in the world. Slower than a car, faster and gentler than a country stroll, and unlike seeing the world on horseback you could bring along a few friends and pack a picnic lunch as well. What could be a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon in pleasant (or even snowy) weather? Only two problems with this dream. First, I didn’t own a horse or cart. And secondly, I had no idea how to drive a horse and cart. This does not a teamster make… 

 
So I let this dream sit on the shelf in a tiny box I knew I couldn’t open. Horses and carts were for movie extras and county parades, not for everyday people. I had a station wagon that smelled like wet dogs and the idea of someday parking a horse cart next to it in the driveway seemed as realistic as a space shuttle. 

Continue reading

Upcycle Old Tshirts for Thoughtful Gift!

Children's Tshirts

Sure, they may outgrow them, but you can make cute quilts with them afterwards!

If you’re like the folks who work here at Lehman’s, you like to make things with your hands. And for the holidays, you really like to make gifts for those few people who make your life complete.

This year, you might need their cooperation, a few Tshirts, and some basic sewing skills. We love the idea of a quilt made from well-loved or outgrown Ts that aren’t really past their prime.

In fact, one of our own staff members, Elaine, created a beautiful, very warm comforter using the Lehman’s t-shirts she wore to work for years!

Elaine's "Lehman's Ts Quilt."

Elaine’s “Lehman’s Ts Quilt.”

See the tutorial here:
http://www.favequilts.com/T-Shirt-Quilts/Classic-Memories-T-Shirt-Quilt