Meet Farmer John Moody – An Expert on Elderberries, Soils and More

“I am not your typical farmer.” That’s the first thing John Moody says when he introduces himself.

In fact, Moody doesn’t consider himself typical in anything. The author of five books on the subject of farming and homesteading, Moody and his wife Jessica are determined to spread the news about the merits of real, honest food and the health benefits that result. (“One fun fact,” he adds. “I am a green belt in judo and performed multiple times in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”) Continue reading

The Road Less Traveled

In 1916, the poet Robert Frost wrote a famous poem entitled “The Road Not Taken” in which a walker faces a forked path in the woods. One path is well-trod, the other path is overgrown. Which path should he take? The final stanza of the poem reads:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Nearly 30 years ago, my husband and I stood at that metaphorical fork in our lives, and we took the road less traveled. It has made all the difference. Continue reading

A Day on the Homestead

Doug and StacyEditor’s Note: Today we’re bringing the homestead to you! It’s our pleasure to welcome back our friends and guest bloggers, Doug and Stacy from popular YouTube channel Off Grid with Doug and Stacy. They’re giving us a glimpse into what a typical day is like on their homestead. Enjoy!

Hey ya’ll and thanks for stopping by our homestead. Some of you may have seen us on YouTube or Facebook. We are Off Grid with Doug and Stacy living the pioneer lifestyle in the 21st century. We live in a 600 sq. ft. 1800s style log cabin we built ourselves, collecting and living on rainwater, using a composting toilet, heating our home with wood, cooking on a Lehman’s Pioneer Princess wood cookstove and growing/harvesting our own food in Midwest, USA. This is a huge contrast from a dozen years ago where we had too many bills, too big of a house, getting all of our food from the store, being stressed, and spending too much time apart. We put the brakes on all that and now we live, as Lehman’s says, “for a simpler life.” Continue reading

Soil Tips for New Gardeners

planting seedlingsWhen life brings uncertainty, it motivates people to make their food supply as secure as possible. This was true when Victory Gardens sprang up during both World War I and World War II, where it is estimated up to 40% of the nation’s produce came from backyard gardens. We are seeing this trend playing out again in our current COVID-19 age with a huge influx of new gardeners and overwhelmed seed companies. With many folks staying at home, it is also a perfect time to be planting and tending a garden. 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

6 Things to Know Before Raising Goats

goatFive years ago this month, I was bringing our family’s fifth baby into the world. We were living in a nice, suburban neighborhood with a big, fenced in yard and a fabulous wooden playset flanked with six raised bed gardens. My friends called me Martha because I liked to grow food and cook from scratch. I liked to sew and craft and just make things in general. Little did I know what that was about to become. Continue reading

Meet Homesteader Cyndi Ball (Coming to Lehman’s This Month!)

Cyndi Ball with goats

Meet Cyndi Ball. She’s on a homesteading mission! Come see her this month at Lehman’s – details below. (Photo courtesy of Cyndi Ball)

UPDATE 3/12/2020: Your safety is our concern. We have decided to postpone Ladies Night Out and Cyndi Ball’s visit (we will post the rescheduled dates soon). We are also cancelling all March workshops and classes. For the most up-to-date information, click here to visit our event page.

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So you live on a homestead. You work all day feeding chickens, caring for bees, milking cows or goats, weeding the garden, and canning vegetables. But during those lonely hours of work, you long to connect with other like-minded women who are engaged in similar activities. What’s a homesteading woman to do?

You harness the power of the internet, that’s what. Continue reading

Living Off Grid 101: Heating

Doug & Stacy with Cook Stove

Doug and Stacy from popular YouTube channel OFF GRID with DOUG and Stacy

Editor’s Note: Doug and Stacy left the city life to live off grid like the pioneers. Today they’re their experience with us of how they heat their home.

After living off grid for eight years, it’s funny now to reflect back on how we thought we could heat our home with a small pot belly stove we found in an ad in the newspaper. We had sold our home and moved into a small one bedroom apartment getting ready for our new off-grid life together. Lots of ideas and ways of going off grid were discussed during our transition time. In the end, both of us decided to live without public utilities such as electricity, water, sewer services and even a few modern conveniences like a refrigerator and air conditioning. Besides, a good challenge would do us good! Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: Thanksgiving Time!

holding gourds

Thanksgiving is almost here…what are you thankful for this year?

In the spirit of the first Thanksgiving, this is an ideal season to celebrate using the best of local bounty for your big meal. Food coming out of jars and cans from the store shelves simply weren’t options when that inaugural three day feast happened in 1621. Everything was by default hyper local. Foods were hunted, foraged or harvested by hand and every delicious dish was made from scratch and eaten with thankful hearts. Sure sounds like a celebration worth repeating in our day of fast food and grumbling. Continue reading

What’s Happening on the Homestead: The Family Larder

cold frame gardening

We’re busy preparing our homestead for winter from preserving food to putting up cold frames (pictured) to protect our harvest.

October is when we are near the end of gathering and preserving food for the winter ahead. In olden days, this cache of food squirreled away was sometimes called a larder and had enough sustenance for a family to stay well fed till spring. In our modern times, many folks depend on the super market to be their sole larder and expect the shelves to always be full. However, in the event of a political crisis, natural disaster or other disruption that might not be the case. When preparedness guru Kathy Harrison visited Lehman’s this fall, she shared that we are 9 meals away from anarchy if a disaster would hit because people today simply do not have that amount of food stored at home. Financial advisors often suggest keeping a 2-3 month emergency cash fund and perhaps everyone should wisely consider having a 2-3 month supply of food on hand for their family. Continue reading