How To Make Cold Process Soap: Step By Step

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Homemade soap. It’s something that’s always been on my radar, but nothing I ever thought I’d try myself. My grandmother and at least two great-grandmothers made their own soap Continue reading

How To Harvest Fruit Without A Ladder

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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

Keep Your Valuables Safe!

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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

Fall/Winter Household Checklist

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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

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

5-Minute Natural Mason Jar Air Fresheners

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Let’s be honest. As a mom of three, I experience some … shall we say, “interesting” scents around our home on a daily basis. From dirty laundry to bathrooms to the garbage can, my nose is often assaulted with the normal smells of an active household. 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

Small-Batch Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar

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Our favorite gardener and in-store instructor, Karen Geiser, has shared this recipe during her frequent seminars at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio. For those of you unable to make it to the store, here’s her easy method for flavorful, oh-so-healthy fermented sauerkraut. Continue reading