10 Things Jay Lehman Says

Tomorrow (April 21st) is Jay Lehman’s 87th birthday. Jay started Lehman’s back in 1955, as a 1,000 sq ft hardware store in tiny Kidron, Ohio. His first employees were his father, brother and sister. My, how things have changed. But some things never change…like the endearing sayings Jay likes to use. The following examples are courtesy of Jay’s daughter, Glenda Lehman Ervin, VP of Marketing. Please join us in wishing Jay a very happy 87th birthday!

10 Things Jay Says

The Warmest Blanket In My House

buggy robe me and MG

Everyone who works with me here at Lehman’s knows that my absolute, hands-down favorite thing we sell is the Amish Buggy Robe. They’ve heard me sing its praises, rave over it and talk it up for a long, long time. They are all very much aware that I. LOVE. MY. BUGGY. ROBE. Continue reading

Top 10 Tools for The Baker’s Toolbox

baker's tools

I bake a great deal. So when Lehman’s asked me to name 10 Essential Baker’s Items, I jumped at the chance. No matter what you hear about kitchen tools, there’s one thing that holds true: if you pay for quality, it will last ages. These are pieces that will last you for years. You’ll find yourself using many of them for everyday cooking chores, too. Continue reading

Get Water From Your Well – Without Electricity

If you live in the country, you probably get your water from a drilled well in your basement or backyard. In most cases, the “well” looks like a steel or plastic pipe about 4″ to 5″ diameter that projects a few inches above ground and has a steel cap on it.

Depending on the depth of the well, there’s either an above-ground pump (often called a jet pump) or “deep well” submersible electric pump hidden in the well. 

Photo taken from the EPA’s website.

Either way, a power failure can leave you high and dry. Because well pump systems incorporate a storage tank (sometimes called a pressure tank), you may have a access to 20-30 gallons even without electricity. But, it’s astonishing how fast it runs out. And, how much you miss access to fresh water after it’s gone!

It’s doubly frustrating, because in many cases you can actually see the water in the bottom of the well. It’s just too far away to reach! Fortunately, we have two ways to solve the problem. Continue reading

Enter to Win Your Christmas – On Us!

NoWorriesNovemberDisplay

USA-Made Still Matters To Us

There is a big sign in our office with a picture of my dad. sign in officeIt says, in part, “We believe in offering products made in the United States wherever possible. When we offer imported items, we choose the best quality we can find.”

This is not just something we say to sound good. We spend time every day, sometimes hours every day, hunting down USA-made products.

I will make this claim and stand by it with confidence: We have more USA product in our store by any measure (percentage of units, percentage of dollars sold, percentage of inventory value) than any other hardware store you will visit. 

But, now I’m worried that the words “USA-MADE” might be disappearing! Here’s the problem: Whole segments of American industry have been decimated by Chinese competition. Continue reading

Helping Amish Farmers Preserve A Way of Life

Organic spelt dries in an Amish field, soon to be made into crispy, healthy spelt puffs for Lehman's.

Organic spelt dries in an Amish field, soon to be made into crispy, healthy spelt puffs for Lehman’s.

Many people know Lehman’s is located in “the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country,” home to hundreds of Amish and Mennonite families. But as those families grow, their small farms are in danger of being replaced by highly mechanized agriculture. In fact, in the 1980s about 90 percent of Amish families made a living from their farms.Today, less than 10 percent are full-time farmers.

They’re also running out of land, fast. Think about it: Amish families tend to be large, and traditionally a farmer would divide his farmland among a few of his sons when they started their own households. It’s not hard to see why more and more Amish are forced to work “off the farm” or move away with their families in search of their livelihood.

But a local organic Amish co-op sees change on the horizon – great change.  Continue reading

Water Bath or Pressure Canners: What Works for You?

Ball Blue Book Food Canning Guide

Ideal for beginning or experienced home canners–The Ball Blue Book has the best and most up-to-date home food preserving information. Available at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

When folks new to canning start out, one of biggest questions asked is this one: which kind of canner should I use? And the answer most often heard is this one: “Well, it depends. What are you canning?”

As frustrating as that might be, that fuzzy answer isn’t out of line.

It really is important to know what you’ll be canning. Depending on the acidity level of the food, different processes and methods are used. Continue reading

Hannah Tested, Hannah Approved: Amish Furrowing Hoe

Our Amish-made furrowing hoe is one of the best row-makers and precision weeders we've found.

Our Amish-made furrowing hoe is one of the best row-makers and precision weeders we’ve found.

My Amish furrowing hoe arrived in the mail the day before a big planting event in a community garden just down the hill from my house in the country. I woke up that morning, did my rabbit and sheep chores, made my breakfast of greens and a couple fried eggs, and brought my breakfast, a fork, some seeds, and the hoe down to the bottom of the road. I sat on a gravel pile and ate my breakfast while I waited for the rest of the crew to arrive. Conor showed up before the others; the first words out of his mouth were “You look like Walt Whitman.” The second statement was, “That hoe is calling out to me.” Continue reading