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

Keep Your Valuables Safe!

gardenveggies-canned-food

I don’t know about you, but for my wife and I, our canned food is one of our most valuable possessions. Many people can their garden produce for a cheap family source of food. That’s what we did for most of our lives. But, with our kids out of the house, our focus now is on quality. 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

Hot Pepper Treats to Can This Summer

peppers on cutting board

Here in the mountain foothills of North Carolina, July and August are the time to start canning and pickling. Many varieties of hot peppers grow like weeds in our hot southern summers. Here are some great recipes you can make to preserve that sweet, spicy deliciousness and enjoy it all winter long. Continue reading

Making It Yourself: Why Bother?

Kathy's homemade soap. Find the supplies you need to make yours at Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Kathy’s homemade soap. Find the supplies you need to make yours at Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

I recently taught a workshop on soapmaking at our local folk school. I was telling a friend about it and she asked a pretty profound question: Why do you bother? Continue reading

Canning/Freezing Prep Checklist

These classic clear glass jars have preserved literally tons of fruits and vegetables over the past 125 years. A true symbol of America's past, they still work great for today's home canning.

These classic clear glass jars have preserved literally tons of fruits and vegetables over the past 125 years. A true symbol of America’s past, they still work great for today’s home canning.

Summer is almost here, and our garden is ahead of schedule. We’re getting ready to put strawberries and jam in the freezer and harvest season will be here before we know it. Since I always seem to find myself hunting for missing supplies or running to the store for freezer containers while a pile of produce wilts on the counter, I came up with the following checklist to better prepare for canning and freezing this year. Hopefully you will find it useful as well! Continue reading

4 Ways to Eat Like a Farmer

canned tomatoes- ball jars

As a vegetable farmer, all season long I’m confronted with too much abundance — it’s absolutely overwhelming. In winter, though, it can feel like the opposite if I don’t prepare. So the question for me is, how can I manage the abundance of summer so that I can enjoy it into the winter?

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The Ultimate Fast Food: How to Can Meat

Pressure canning is the only method recommended safe by the U.S.D.A. for low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats and fish. Our pressure canners are the highest quality and a lifetime investment. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Pressure canning is the only method recommended safe by the U.S.D.A. for low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats and fish. Our pressure canners are the highest quality and a lifetime investment. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

I was chatting with a friend the other day about the price of food and the busyness of canning season. She confessed that she has been wasting a lot of money on take-out food as she has kids in several sports and spends a lot of time on the road. She said that, while she applauded my dedication to food preservation she could not see herself as ever having the time. That’s so interesting to me because I see food preservation as the biggest time and money saver in my life. Continue reading

How To Make Homemade Apple Butter

daverossapplebutterinkettle

When I was a boy we would occasionally make a meal out of apple butter on bread, doused with fresh, rich, Jersey milk. Not just a little bit of apple butter either. The bread was placed in a dish, and a big dollop of apple butter was spread on it, followed by the milk. It was quick and easy, and delicious too. Our apple butter was always store-bought though, and I wasn’t even aware that some people made their own.

That changed when we moved to Wayne County, and we learned that one of the families in our church made their own apple butter in a large copper kettle over a wood fire, and they shared some with us. For them, it was a tradition passed down from previous generations. Continue reading