The Chicken Who Could Stop Time

sarah and her chickenSeems like everyone I know who has kids has, at some point, wished to stop time.  When the little one stands on her own for the first time. When the last kid has Senior Night for football. Continue reading

Kidding Season in Full Swing on Vermont Farm

Ah, spring — the most fickle season of the year. This is a time for tender shoots to sprout from the earth, and for migratory flocks to fill the air with their familiar songs once more. Continue reading

How Farmer Hannah Gets Through the Winter

As a vegetable farmer at Humble Hands Harvest, I get asked a lot what I do during the winter. I remember asking the same question of my farmer mentors before I got started on my own, and hearing them laugh: the job never lets up. It just changes over the seasons! Continue reading

Raising Chickens when You Work Full Time

Keeping chickens takes just a few minutes a day.

When everyone in your household is either at work or school all day, it can be daunting to think about getting a pet dog or cat, much less a flock of backyard chickens! But in reality, chickens are very easy to raise once you have your set-up and routine figured out.
Feeding the chickens

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Brine That Bird (Simple Trick for Amazing Turkey)

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Planning the best Thanksgiving turkey ever? Shelley, Lehman’s Merchandising Assistant, has been brining her family’s Thanksgiving bird for the past several years, and she shared her simple recipe with us. Brining the turkey for at least 12 hours before roasting makes it extra moist, and this recipe gives the meat a slightly sweet flavor (which Shelley says her brood loves). Try it this year – it’s quick, easy and it just may become part of your Turkey Day tradition.

Classic Turkey Brine

You’ll need:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup coarse salt (such as sea salt or pink salt)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 orange, juiced and rind finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 turkey, 12-15 lb (thaw turkey and remove giblets before brining)
  • Ice (enough to cover turkey)
  • large stockpot and/or storage container with lid (such as a 5-gallon bucket or 4-gallon bucket)

Directions:

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients except turkey and ice. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Chill. Place the turkey, brining liquid and ice in stockpot or lidded bucket and let stand up to 12 hours, refrigerated (overnight works well). Roast and feast!

5 Tips to Keep Your Chickens Warm This Winter

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by Lisa Steele, Fresh Eggs Daily

Chickens, like most animals, do far better in the cold than the heat, but will appreciate and benefit from a bit of extra care when the frigid winter months arrive. Interestingly enough, heating your coop isn’t one of the things I recommend. Continue reading

Building a Simple Pole Shed

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Pole barns or sheds are simple structures ideal for agricultural purposes, but can be useful on rural homesteads and even suburban lots. These simple structures are perfect for firewood storage, housing tools and machinery, or even shelter for livestock. One only needs basic skills, as well as lumber and some tools, to build one. Materials are inexpensive and can be adjusted to any size needed.

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Enter to Win Your Christmas – On Us!

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Hannah Tested, Hannah Approved: Part I – Meet the Farmer

Editor’s Note: Hannah will be using Lehman’s products and blogging about them in the coming months. Who better to field test our gardening, farming and kitchen tools than an off-grid farmer? We look forward to this series, and we think you’ll benefit from Hannah’s knowledge, too! You can follow Hannah’s farming adventures on Facebook at Humble Hands Harvest

Hi, I’m Hannah. I’m a young farmer who grew up in the city. That’s not an easy thing

hannah breckbill garden to be these days, with land prices through the roof and not very many of my peers understanding what it means to live my life in response to and in collaboration with the earth.

As a college student about eight years ago, majoring in Mathematics, I gradually became aware of a disconnect between my academic life and the “real world,” where wars raged and injustice spread and living things rooted down. I briefly considered quitting college to work with a peacemaking group, but came to the conclusion that I could graduate and figure out something “real” to do after that. I found an internship on a farm in Texas focused on small-scale agriculture as applicable to the developing world, and jumped into managing a Community Supported Agriculture vegetable garden alongside a goat dairy. Continue reading

Very Cool Customers … and Their Stories

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Organic Gardener Karen Geiser enthralls a crowd at Lehman’s May Daze Celebration this past spring.

Organic gardener, author, blog contributor, and mother of five, Karen Geiser, is no stranger to country living. She shares her expert advice with customers just as if they have pulled up a chair on her front porch. . . and all the while shelling peas, pitting cherries, or churning butter (depending on what is in season on her farm). 

We always enjoy hearing about fascinating customer connections that happen in our store. And Karen certainly has the pleasure of interacting with many visitors and hearing their stories!

Here are some recent tidbits she reports:

  • Last week I met folks from Colombia, Costa Rica and Brazil (Must have been Latin America day).
  • A fellow from Pennsylvania visits frequently and always tells me about his garlic (which he got from me) that has won several blue ribbons at the county
    Karen Geiser demonstrates our Dazey Butter Churn, which she uses to make butter with cream from her family's Jersey cow.

    Karen Geiser demonstrates our Dazey Butter Churn, which she uses to make butter with cream from her family’s Jersey cow.

    fair.

  • This week there were many good conversations over edible weeds – around the table were an herbalist from New Mexico and a family from West Virginia who really knew their plants.
  • An interesting couple from Virginia who has lived off grid for many years visited the store to finally buy the luxury of a gas refrigerator – mainly to have ice. It’s hard to believe they could live without a fridge for so long, and they described how they can their butter.
  • This week a lady said she was there from Robinson, IL because she heard me speak at the Master Gardener conference over a year ago. She had no idea she would run into me, and we had a good laugh together as she told me about the things she grew because I recommended them (like mouse melons). I helped her figure out other places to hit for her first adventure in Amish country. She said some of her girlfriends have visited Lehman’s after the conference, too. 

Stop by Lehman’s on Thursdays, from April through early November to visit Karen and learn from her wealth of hands-on knowledge.