Our Top 5 Posts for Being Prepared

emergency checklistToday is the last day of National Preparedness Month. (Anyone else wondering where September went?) So, in celebration, we’ve gathered up our top posts all about being prepared, from providing safe water to emergency lighting. Continue reading

What’s Happening on the Homestead: Fantastic Fall Flowers

Picking flowers

Fall is here, which also means some beautiful fall flowers are in bloom! (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

September is a very full month for us on the homestead as we continue to preserve food for winter plus one of my cash crops is in full bloom and needs harvested frequently – dahlias! A good portion of our one acre plus garden space is for growing food for our family, but we also have space for some cash crops to help with farm income. Continue reading

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

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

What’s Happening on the Homestead: Fresh Rhubarb and Baby Chicks

baby chick with flowers

Spring is in full force on our homestead this month…baby chicks have arrived! (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

May has brought plenty of rain to Ohio but just enough sunshine for some productive days of working outdoors and we are enjoying the extended daylight. The lettuce seedlings, spinach, radishes and Japanese turnips are growing rapidly in the misty rain but as we wait on them to get to harvest size, we are relying heavily on our perennial vegetables at the supper table. Some of our favorite spring flavors are asparagus, rhubarb and winter onions (aka Egyptian walking onions.) It is nice to have numerous perennials in the garden that don’t require planting each year, just some light maintenance and harvesting. Several take a few years to get established but if you are planning to stay on your property long term, getting these perennial crops started is a worthy investment. Continue reading

Living Off Grid 101: Water

Stacy watering the gardenEditor’s Note: They’re back! Our guest bloggers Doug and Stacy are sharing with us today their journey of providing water for their off-grid home.

The one thing we cannot live without is WATER. Somehow that thought escaped us when we bought our 11 acres in the Midwest. We, being Doug and Stacy who homestead off grid on YouTube and other social media, came straight from city life. The property we found had a little of everything except the most important thing which was a water source. The pond on the property was the only source for water, and we thought putting in a well could be a good option. What we didn’t realize was the average cost of a well in our area is $10,000 and up. This is with no guarantee that you will even hit water! We came to our property with no debt and so spending that kind of money was not in the plan. We knew that this lifestyle was going to require being solution focused and patient.
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