Managing Life as a Homesteader

girl with goatBurnout. It’s a real thing…and not just when it hasn’t rained enough one summer and your garden is struggling. As a new homesteader, it’s tempting to get one of everything that sounds interesting…especially if it’s a good deal. I mean, if two feeder pigs is good, then a breeding pair is better! If a beehive is good, then two is better. If a few pet goats to nibble the brambles is good, then OF COURSE a pregnant dairy goat is better. Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: Savoring the Harvest

Drying food in a dehydrator

This month we savored the harvest, from baking gourmet treats to drying our fresh produce for later. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

August means everything is ripe on the homestead. After many months of planting and weeding, we are finally reaping an abundant harvest. The garden is gushing forth produce, fruit trees and berry bushes are laden, chickens need processed, flowers need picked almost daily and more. Continue reading

Profit On The Homestead And Other Wisdom From The Country Living Workshop

Joel Salatin speaking at CLW

Here’s Joel Salatin speaking at the 2019 Country Living Workshop at Lehman’s.

There were so many good takeaways from the 2019 Country Living Workshop at Lehman’s. We literally took home some nets and crawdads from the Kids’ creek stomping class as well as homemade noodles from their first class. Continue reading

Learning the Rules of Homesteading

basket of fresh eggsDid you know that there are unwritten rules in homesteading? I’ll admit, with seeing so many different ways of doing things out there when we’ve been trying to learn all there is to know in our baby days of homesteading, I would have told you there’s no one way to do things. How much easier would it have been if someone would have handed me the ABCs of Homesteading: The ten simple steps to having the perfect homestead of your dreams when we closed on our house. But of course it’s not that simple. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes at the 2019 Country Living Workshop

Joel Salatin at Country Living WorkshopEditor’s Note: Did you miss this year’s Country Living Workshop? No worries! Local homesteader and contributing blogger Sarah Kroger is sharing with us her experience and what she learned.

With six children 12 and under in my house, you can imagine that finding one thing with the ability to hold everyone’s focus and keep everyone entertained is a challenge, to say the least. There are times the big kids have to endure yet another Word World for the sake of the 4 and 6 year olds and there are times the little ones feel left out when the big girls get to stay up a little later to watch a movie. One playground has great slides for big kids, but might as well be scaling Mt. Everest to the little ones. You get the idea. Continue reading

What’s Happening on the Homestead: Sunflowers and Sunshine!

Sunflowers

We’re in the midst of summer and beautiful sunflowers have appeared. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

What does July sunshine bring in Ohio? Some hot, sticky days to be sure but it also is the season of sunflowers, tomatoes, zucchini and more. After a cool, wet start to the garden season, the heat is making our popcorn and other plants grow almost in front of our eyes. It is now most pleasant to work in the garden in the early morning hours or the cool of the evening till we can’t see the weeds we are trying to pull. Popsicles made from homemade yogurt and fresh fruit are a main stay for getting through the afternoons. Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: The Battle In The Garden

Mulching

Organic mulching is one way we help control weeds in our garden. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

Around here, the busiest months in the garden for me are May, June and September. May is a planting flurry, September is a harvest and preservation marathon, and June is the month where we win or lose the battle against the weeds. Thankfully, long days are in our favor and I am often out working in the garden till dusk. This year in much of our area, gardeners and farmers are all out working anytime that raindrops aren’t falling. A few things are behind schedule but most of my plants are benefiting from the good moisture, however, the weeds are enjoying it too. Continue reading

Meet Homesteader Jill Winger (Coming to Lehman’s July 13th!)

Jill WingerWhat’s wrong with Jill Winger? Did she take Laura Ingalls Wilder a bit too seriously? It’s a question worth examining when considering the lifestyle of this modern pioneer. Continue reading

4 Ways to Make Better Butter

Butter from molds

Go beyond the basics with these easy butter making tips. (Read on to find out how to make molded butter, like pictured above. Photo by Elizabeth Geiser.)

Editor’s Note: June is National Dairy Month, so in celebration, we’ve asked local homesteader and butter expert Karen Geiser to give us tips for making better butter. So, get ready to churn – it’s going to be delicious!

If you come by the Lehman’s store on a Thursday, you likely have seen my son and me churning butter. It is amazing how many butter stories I hear each week, from reminiscing about churning with grandma to folks who do it on an industrial scale. The grandpas often comment to my 10-year-old son, “When I was your age, that was my job” while others jokingly remind me, “Honey, you know they sell butter in the store these days.” Besides being a great conversation starter during my demos and giving our arms a nice workout, making fresh butter for my family is definitely an act of love and we savor the taste and nutrition from our fresh butter. Continue reading

Living Off Grid 101: Food

Doug & Stacy with pumpkins

Doug and Stacy from YouTube Channel, OFF GRID with DOUG & STACY

Editor’s Note: Welcome back our special guest bloggers, Doug and Stacy. Today they conclude their four-part series of living off grid with one very important topic – food. 

“Get closer to your food.” For eight years, we have been on the quest to do just that. Now when we say “quest”, we mean that we sold everything, left the city life and built a log cabin from scratch. We decided that we wanted to slow down and be more intentional with our time and our health. On our 11 acres in the Midwest, we have begun the journey. In this day and age of toxic food sources, we wanted actions to speak louder than words. We wanted to be in charge of where their food came from, how it was treated, and what went in it. Continue reading