Meet Joel Salatin…Coming to Lehman’s This June!

Joel Salatin“I am first and foremost a farmer, but not a very ordinary farmer,” states Joel Salatin on his website. “In fact, I’m known as a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic.”

If those sound like fightin’ words, you’re right – because few people are as passionate about fighting for a healthy earth, a healthy farm, and healthy food as this pugilistic planter. 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

Tips From A Market Gardener: How To Sell What You Grow

Planning. It seems like I do more of that than actually working in the garden sometimes. Even before the gardening season ended last year I was already planning for the new season. But that is what we do, all of us. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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After The Flood: Farmer Hannah Reflects

Growing food is a precarious business. Every farmer knows that going in: we hear the stories of hail, of untimely frosts, of drought. And yet we grow food anyway. 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

Very Cool Customers … and Their Stories

karen g at may daze

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. 

Amish Country Farm Grows Goats, Guinea Hogs and Great Family

Sarah Jo's children and her kids.

Sarah Jo’s children…and her kids.

Country Life first met Sara Jo and her family through her cousin, Diane, who’s a marketing team member at Lehman’s. She submitted a great recipe for goat’s milk custard (it’s below), but CL wanted to know more. What drove this young family to a homesteading lifestyle right here in Wayne County, Ohio? And although dairy’s a big business here, why choose goats? Sara Jo was patient with questions, and here’s her story.

I was born in Orrville and grew up on family dairy farm on North Kohler Road. My grandfather, Paul Maurer, owned the farm and worked it along with my father, Joe Maurer. My father sold the cows about 4 years ago, so the farm is a crop farm only now.

I tried all kinds of other jobs and even lived in Columbus for a while. It just wasn’t home. I loved the farm. In fact, as far back as you can find the U.S. census lists “farmer” as the occupation for my dad’s family. I guess the love of family and farming is just in my blood.

Jason, my husband, was also born in Orrville.  He was employed by Besancon’s in Smithville milking cows. He worked the first years of our marriage at Rohrer Farms (also in Smithville.)  He grew to love the work and the livestock as well. Continue reading