How To Harvest Fruit Without A Ladder

ladder-and-apple-tree

My Dad was born in a tiny bedroom a few steps from the kitchen in our fourth generation Lehman farm.  Grandpa’s original apple trees were still thriving there until just a few years ago.  Some of the nut trees my dad planted with his own hands there are now more than 60’ tall! Continue reading

5 Ways to Sink Your Teeth Into Apple Season

apples at market lisa amstutz

Is it possible to have too many apples? It’s been a bumper year for apples on our Ohio homestead. We’ve made enough applesauce for ourselves and our extended family, shared some apples, and they still keep coming. Fortunately, there are lots of other great ways to preserve this versatile fruit and enjoy eating it all winter. Here are a few delicious solutions to try. Continue reading

Fall/Winter Household Checklist

amish-wood-cart

What’s not to love about fall? Leaves turning red and yellow, and then turning loose. The comforting sight of wood smoke curling up from a chimney. The tidiness of a well-stacked woodpile standing firm along a fence row. A well-stocked pantry lined with colorful jars of home-canned food. But scenes like this don’t happen automatically. They take preparation, because it won’t be too long until winter will arrive with all its fury. Continue reading

Top 11 Reasons to PREPARE

big berkey girl

Welcome to National Preparedness Month! Prepare for what, you ask? Well, the list is long and can include both natural and man-made crises: hurricanes, ice storms, thunderstorms and disruptions to the power grid among them. These kinds of events can strike at any time, at any place on the planet. Continue reading

Summer Into Fall: How to Enjoy it With Children

nature walk 2Here in Ohio, we’ve entered that in-between season of not quite summer, not quite fall (my husband’s favorite frugal time – we don’t need the air conditioner or the furnace). It is the perfect time for outdoor activities: the heat and mosquitoes have largely abated, but there’s no need for heavy coats and snow pants yet. We’re simply enjoying gorgeous, eye-popping blue skies, the gradually brightening colors of the leaves and a curious, hurried feeling in the air, probably because we all know what’s coming. In our family we take every opportunity to savor the last days of summer while welcoming fall as it arrives. Here are some simple ways you can, too: Continue reading

Applesauce Day

apples in bowl lisa amstutz

Late summer means it’s time for one of my favorite traditions: Applesauce Day. For years, the kids and I have spent a day or two each summer making a year’s worth of applesauce with my mother. It’s a family tradition that grows sweeter every year.

This year, the day was extra-special because for the first time, we did not have to buy any apples. Our young trees produced a bumper crop of chemical-free, mostly worm-free apples. We did a batch of Transparent apples and a second batch of Summer Rambos. Continue reading