We Churned Butter: A Beginner’s Story of Making Butter and Memories

bread and butterHere at Lehman’s, we often hear from folks about their latest homesteading adventures, from raising chickens and bees to planting tomatoes for the first time. Recently, one of our own shared his story of how he went from an ordinary day at work of managing Lehman’s website and all things digital to going home and churning butter for the first time. Continue reading

Secret to the BEST ice cream? Get crankin’

immergood amish ice cream freezerEditor’s Note: This article was originally posted in June 2015.

Our favorite foods and our best memories are inextricably linked. The flavor and aroma takes us back to those times of laughter, joy and camaraderie. And, what food is a better sweet memory starter than ice cream? What are your favorite ice cream memories? Running after the ice cream truck as its bell rings its way past your house? Sharing the cold sweetness with cousins at a summer family reunion?

Mine revolve around the ice cream freezer, because we always like to make our own. In fact, our hand-cranked ice cream freezer took on mythical importance to our family life. It was like an ice cream fount of goodness, the horn of plenty from which sprang sweet, creamy cold-on-a-hot-summer-day fun. Continue reading

Kidding Season in Full Swing on Vermont Farm

Ah, spring — the most fickle season of the year. This is a time for tender shoots to sprout from the earth, and for migratory flocks to fill the air with their familiar songs once more. Continue reading

Homemade Butter: You Can Be A Homesteader!

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The tomatoes have long ago been canned, or maybe you just ate them fresh. Last autumn’s onions, garlic, root vegetables and squash have been happily sitting in your root cellar, or even on your kitchen shelf, for months. Continue reading

It’s Dairy Month! Make Some Creamy Avocado Ice Cream

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A month before I had our twins, I received doctor’s orders to stay off my feet to delay their entry into this world as long as possible. We asked a young Filipino woman to come and stay with us for a time. She needed help and so did we. Medy taught us how to make an amazing typical Filipino avocado ice cream. Continue reading

Old-Fashioned is “Totally Awesome.”

The Diamant - finest grain mill we've ever sold. A solid investment for the self-reliant homestead. At Lehmans.com.

The Diamant – finest grain mill we’ve ever sold. A solid investment for the self-reliant homestead. At Lehmans.com.

We had a crazy weekend recently. My nephew and his bandmates are in the midst of a US tour and, as they were performing locally, they all spent two days with us at Barefoot Farm. These 20-something kids (or young adults) used to bright lights and big cities were plopped right down in the middle of a New England village, a place without a traffic light and where the sidewalks are rolled up by 9 pm. What would their reactions be? Continue reading

Enter to Win Your Christmas – On Us!

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Always wanted to try ___? Start smart with a kit.

Contrary to popular opinion, it just isn’t possible to make a living selling some

Our starter set includes everything you need to make several batches - enough to wash more than 800 loads at less than 7¢ per load.

Our starter set includes everything you need to make several batches of homemade laundry soap – enough to wash more than 800 loads at less than 7¢ per load.

honey, maple syrup and candles at a farm stand. I have to do other things — many, many other things — to avoid leaving home and hearth to pay the bills. I do a fair bit of writing and I teach a lot of workshops. Some have to do with my work with children impacted by abuse, neglect and foster care (my other life) and many are focused on teaching traditional skills like soap making, candle dipping, food preservation and making herbal salves and ointments.

I teach classes on how to do these things the traditional way, but I’m definitely not a purist. In fact, I’m a big fan of beginner’s kits. There are all kinds of kits available for all of the skills mentioned and just about any other you can think of. In fact, I got my start in mastering a lot of skills by purchasing said kits. Continue reading

Very Cool Customers … and Their Stories

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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.

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  • 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. 

Happy New Year!

From all of us at Lehman’s, our very best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.

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