Splitting Wood By Hand

Splitting firewood

Photo courtesy of Sarah B. Gilliam

When I have procured my firewood and get it back to the woodlot at my farm, the fun really begins. Despite their necessity in working up a truck load of firewood, I really don’t like using chainsaws. They are loud, heavy, smelly and even in the most skilled and experienced of hands, supremely dangerous. Some people enjoy revving them up and feeling powerful with that big ole saw in their hands, but not me. The saw has the juice, not the worker. However, when I have an axe in my hand and pile of wood, I know that I will be the one powering through this stuff and turning it into a nice neat stack of fuel. Continue reading

Heating With Wood: Choosing the Right Firewood

Patrick splitting wood

Photo courtesy of Sarah B. Gilliam

The first real step to heating with wood is to find the wood that is to be processed into fuel. Around half of my property is wooded in various hardwoods, from hickory, oak and locust to softer hardwoods like poplar, sycamore and sasafrass. There is lots of deadfall and lots of trees that can be cut and worked up into dandy stacks of firewood. However, I leave these woods be. I never cut a living tree with the sole purpose of making firewood. Although I heat with wood and have an impressive collection of tools that are made for turning living trees into firewood, I am a bit of a conservationist when it comes to the trees themselves, and feel like it’s much more responsible to plant trees. That means I must seek my fuel elsewhere. This isn’t a difficult task, and I encourage anyone that has ambitions to heat with wood, inside or out, to give it a try. Continue reading

Why Heat with Wood

woodlot

Photo courtesy of Sarah B. Gilliam

Since childhood, I’ve always felt burning wood was a cherished pastime. There are few things I place as much importance in on our farm as I do the cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking of firewood. The entire process is sacred and rewarding to me. Walking out to the woodlot during a warm summer evening as the fireflies begin their nightly show and taking stock of what I have ready for this winter, for next, and beyond, brings great satisfaction. There the firewood is stacked on pallets in rows fifty feet long and as I walk around the woodlot, I know I will have no trouble keeping my family warm, no matter how cold winter will get. Continue reading

Prepping 101 Giveaway: Win a Family Preparedness Kit!

Prepping 101 SweepstakesThere is a lot of crossover between the worlds of family preparedness, resiliency, homesteading and off-grid living. Add in gardening and living lighter on the planet and you end up with a group of wonderful people who have a lot in common. This makes a marriage between Storey Publishing, the people who put out the best books on all of these subjects, and Lehman’s, the people who sell the best tools and equipment to accomplish the tasks necessary to achieve these lifestyles, something special. As a way to celebrate that connection, we’re having a giveaway! Continue reading

Raising Dairy Goats On Our Homestead

Our goatsI spent the first 37 years of my life living in a “normal” suburban neighborhood. We had a yard, a play set, and a raised bed gardens. I was the crunchy one among my friends because we got farm fresh eggs from a local farmer and sometimes bought a ¼ of a cow all at once. I liked to cook from scratch and used cloth diapers on my kids. Continue reading

Cold-Packed Sweet Dill Pickles: Canning Without a Pressure Canner or Jar Prep!

sweet dill pickles ready to enjoyBrie, turkey, hummus. As random as it sounds, all three of these things are pairings our family has loved to enjoy with fresh dill pickles. Continue reading

Meet Lisa Steele, Coming to Lehman’s Next Month!

Chicken Keeper Lisa Steele

Meet Lisa Steele, fifth-generation chicken keeper and award-winning blogger. (Photo courtesy of Lisa)

Editor’s Note: We are so excited to announce that Lisa Steele from Fresh Eggs Daily is coming to Lehman’s this September! Read on to learn more about Lisa and her upcoming visit to Lehman’s. Continue reading

Building Off The Grid? We Want To Hear From You!

off grid cabinDo you dream of building your home off the grid, miles from power lines? Would you love to live off the land, planting, harvesting and preserving your home-grown food?  Do you want to escape the chaos of the modern world and live a simpler, more satisfying life? Continue reading

How to Make Dandelion Tea

dandelion teaA weed is just a plant growing somewhere you don’t want it to. Have you ever heard that? I’ve never been much of a forager….or even much for identifying more than a handful of “weeds” I’d see growing in the yard before I yanked them out and tossed them. Continue reading

The Best Way to Make Apple Cider

homemade apple ciderNow you can make the best cider you’ve ever tasted! All natural, safe to drink and full-bodied. What’s the secret? Making it in a press so easy to sanitize that pasteurization is not needed.

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