American Gardeners Seeing Some Green!

Kendra, NC-TN Mountains

These Black Cherry Tomatoes made their appearance April 4 for Kendra!

These Black Cherry Tomatoes made their appearance April 4 for Kendra!

We’ve enjoyed a good rain, and the seedlings are thriving. My carrots are just emerging from the soil, and are finally making an appearance among the radishes in the garden.

The lettuce is also making its first showing, safely covered with chicken wire to keep the cat from scratching in the bed. I was excited to find my Black Cherry Tomatoes sprouting indoors recently. The seedlings are now warmly growing under fluorescent bulbs on my kitchen counter. Continue reading

Bio Blocks® Turn Up Trumps At Farmer Hannah’s

Our off-grid farmer, Hannah Breckbill, is still working to keep a consistent temperature in her woodstove-heated greenhouse. Her northern plains location means that nights still get pretty chilly, even in April. We sent her some Bio Block® Heating Blocks to see if they can help.

Bio Block® Heating Blocks from

Made in Ohio by a family-owned business, Bio Block® Heating Blocks are handy and efficient, and available at

The problem with wood heat is that it’s inconsistent.  Sometimes your wood is wetter, or dryer… there are usually some funny-shaped pieces so you can’t pack your stove all that consistently.  Firewood is also hard to transport efficiently, in my experience.  On the other hand, wood has perks: it’s relatively inexpensive (very inexpensive if you cut it yourself!), it provides a really satisfying and cozy fire, and it comes from current solar energy, rather than fossilized sunlight—meaning that it is carbon-neutral. (Fossilized sunlight: oil, natural gas…carbon-based fuels.)

I had the opportunity to try out some Bio Blocks® the other night in my greenhouse’s wood stove.  Bio Blocks® are made of compressed hardwood waste. The company is based in Wayne County, Ohio, near Lehman’s. Continue reading

Farmer Hannah Puts Stovepipe Thermometer To The Test

Magnetic Stovepipe Thermometer for wood stoves

From house to greenhouse, Lehman’s Magnetic Stovepipe Thermometer helps you regulate wood-fired heating.

“Heating without a stovepipe thermometer is like driving without a speedometer.”

That’s what it said on the package, and I thought it was kind of funny, but after just a couple days with my thermometer attached to the stovepipe in my greenhouse, I can’t imagine how I ever did without it.  It was a major guessing game before, I can tell you that! Continue reading

The Aladdin Lamp: An Emergency Essential

One of our merchandise department folks sent this piece along to share how he and his family used their Aladdin lamp to get through the recent “polar vortex” cold snap. (And they’re using them again this week, ’cause it’s still cold!) He’s an expert on Aladdin lamps, and you can use his tips for your lamps too!
                                                                               –Karen Johnson, Editor, Country Life

The view from Lehman's offices: the cold weather keeps the snow around.

The view from Lehman’s offices: the cold weather keeps the snow around.

I live in northeast Ohio and we just came through one of the coldest spells in Ohio history. Temperatures dipped to well below -10° F with wind chills hovering around -30° F. In the course of one 24 hour period, temperatures dropped from 45°F to -8° F. Ouch! Today the temperature is 16° F and it feels warm.

Of course these drastic temperatures were accompanied by power outages, lack of pressure in natural gas lines and other calamitous incidents where things broke or didn’t work as intended. As a result, many people were, perhaps, not “left out in the cold,” but “in the cold” nonetheless.

As I watched some of these people huddling together to try to stay warm with no light and no heat while being interviewed on TV, I felt sorry for them, and the thought occurred to me that, all they really needed was one Aladdin lamp and their cold and light problems would be over. I’m sure you’re incredulous. An Aladdin lamp? Really? It’s true, and I’ll tell you why. Continue reading

A Week With Lehman’s 9″x13″ Rectangular Cake Pan

Recycled Steel Cake Pan

This pan is all-purpose! Cakes, entrees, anything bakes perfectly. Find out more at or at Lehman’s in Kidron, OH.

A few days ago, I asked my hubby to get the 9″x13″ pan out of the cupboard for me. I was fixing chicken quarters for dinner and didn’t want to stop, wash up, and fish it out.

“It’s right here on the dishrack,” he said. “There’s no real reason to put it away. You use it all the time.”

I thought about it, and you know, he was right. Reviewing my menus from December 29 to January 4, I used it for:

Sunday: Bone-in chicken breast for Sunday dinner: Bone in chicken breast braised in white wine, topped with a sauce whipped up from a bit of oyster sauce, balsamic vinegar, spicy hunan sauce, and water. I covered the chicken with foil, baked at 350° for 45 minutes, and then removed foil and baked for 15 more minutes. Continue reading

Handbuilt Since 1878…and 1993

On left, #78, Lehman’s Own Reading Peeler. On right, an original Reading, c. 1976.

One of the Lehman’s products with the longest known history is Lehman’s Own Reading 78 Apple Peeler. It’s one of those cool gear-driven Victorian era contraptions that does one thing — peeling apples — and has done it exceptionally well for over 130 years! Continue reading