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
Editor’s Note: Shorter days, longer nights? It’s that time of the year! With the time change happening this weekend, we’re sharing with you the importance of having reliable light – not only for the winter season, but for all year long.*
My first experience with an oil lamp was at my grandparents’ house several years ago. We were sitting in the basement playing Scrabble (my grandpa’s favorite game) when suddenly the lights went out. Poof.
As the weather gets colder, one of my favorite things to do is stay cozy in my house. I love watching the cold wind and snow swirl around outside, knowing my family and I are safe and sound in our home. Warm lighting, soft clothes, and lots of blankets are essentials for a cozy night in, as are a good book and some candles flickering. Enjoying a warm bubble bath or sitting by the fireplace are great ways to spend a frigid evening, but you’ve got to have the right atmosphere. Here are some of my favorite ways to make a space cozy and warm for the coming autumn and winter months. Continue reading
Editor’s Note: Jennie from Lehman’s recently went on her first backpacking trip ever. Today she’s sharing with us her adventure. If you missed part one (her preparation for the trip), you can check it out here.
I successfully made it to the other side of the trail! I’m tired, a little sore, and am sporting an impressive collection of mosquito bites, but this backpacking trip was one of the most refreshing things I’ve done in a long time. I never thought I would be the type of person to classify climbing uphill through poorly marked woods for 4 straight hours, sweating more than I thought humanly possible, and getting bitten by mosquitos through my clothing as fun. But I suppose stranger things have happened and so here we are: backpacking was FUN! Continue reading
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
Here in Ohio’s Amish Country, home cooking and baking are a staple. Our area is built around hearty, made-from-scratch meals. (If you ever have the chance, stop by one of the many local Amish food restaurants and you’ll see what I mean – you won’t walk away hungry!) Continue reading
Gift giving is a language of love. It is one of my favorite ways to show the people in my life that they are important to me. Giving gifts not only shows affection and appreciation, but also shows that someone was thinking of you during their day. It is an all-around selfless act that makes everyone involved feel good.
As a 23-year-old whose friends are getting married, working full-time jobs, and having kids, it can be difficult to plan time to see each other. So when my college roommate and best friend, Santina, said that her husband, Brendon was going out of town on an extended-weekend backpacking trip with his friends, we immediately planned a girls’ weekend of our own. When she came to visit, she mentioned that Brendon had been trying to convince her to go backpacking with him, but she wasn’t really sure she wanted to. I mean, I don’t blame her…the guys were roughing it out in the woods. My idea of spending time outdoors includes a hammock, a cozy blanket and several good books; their idea of spending time outdoors included a rainstorm, a soggy hammock and no running water for 4 days. However, during our conversation, I suddenly found myself saying “Well, if you do decide to go, I’ll go with you!” And from there, the adventure started taking shape. Continue reading
Making food from scratch is a time-honored tradition in the Amish community, a tradition that also has deep roots in our little town of Kidron. Here at Lehman’s offices, it’s not unusual to find homemade baked goods sitting on our corner table (“the food table” as my fellow co-workers have dubbed it, since it always seems to be filled with food). Continue reading
I just started my first year of college, and my new apartment space is very different than the bigger areas I’m used to living in. I didn’t know if leaving my parents’ house to live with a roommate in a one-bedroom apartment would mean sacrificing the things I love to do for a sustainable lifestyle, but luckily this hasn’t been the case! I have been pleasantly surprised at how many opportunities are around me to live in a way that’s consistent with my values, despite being limited in space. Here are some ways I have learned to live sustainably while in college. Continue reading