For more than a decade I have been writing books and articles, teaching classes and presenting workshops on preparing your family for emergencies. I focused primarily on short-term events like fires, floods, hurricanes and winter storms because those were the most likely scenarios. In January, things changed. News reports began to filter in about a novel coronavirus, one with pandemic potential, Early in February, I sent out an email blast to family and friends suggesting it was time to take preparing seriously and get ready for long-term disruptions to supply chains and public services. Some people listened to me. Most didn’t. So here we are. While things are looking more hopeful in some parts of the country, it is clear that this virus is going to be impacting our lives for the foreseeable future. This begs an important question. Is it too late to prepare? To that I say an emphatic no! But where to begin? What are the critical areas to address that can help your family face the winter more comfortably and with less anxiety? Continue reading
Editor’s Note: It’s our pleasure to welcome homesteader and writer Jill Winger as our guest blogger. She’s the author of The Prairie Homestead Cookbook and is sharing with us today her gardening insights. Enjoy!
Gardening in Wyoming is an extreme sport.
Between the violent hailstorms, too-close-for-comfort prairie tornadoes, Mother’s Day blizzards, and early September frosts, I like to joke that our state motto should be “World’s Worst Place to Garden.” Continue reading
I always love spring. Today I found myself crisscrossing a neighbor’s farm, looking over cows. Birds sang. Squirrels foraged. And while we went along ponds, around sinkholes, and along wood and fence lines we found… elderberry! It was once said that you couldn’t go more than a hundred feet in most of the US without running into one. Now, this important plant is far harder to find. But why is the elder so valuable? Continue reading
UPDATE 9/1/20: Due to concerns of large events during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Fall Festival has been cancelled, including John Moody’s visit and hands-on classes at Lehman’s.
“I am not your typical farmer.” That’s the first thing John Moody says when he introduces himself.
In fact, Moody doesn’t consider himself typical in anything. The author of five books on the subject of farming and homesteading, Moody and his wife Jessica are determined to spread the news about the merits of real, honest food and the health benefits that result. (“One fun fact,” he adds. “I am a green belt in judo and performed multiple times in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”) Continue reading
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
Editor’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
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
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
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
- 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.
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!”
Favorite 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Makes 4 loaves.
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.