How To Harvest Fruit Without A Ladder


My Dad was born in a tiny bedroom a few steps from the kitchen in our fourth generation Lehman farm.  Grandpa’s original apple trees were still thriving there until just a few years ago.  Some of the nut trees my dad planted with his own hands there are now more than 60’ tall! Continue reading

Keep Your Valuables Safe!


I don’t know about you, but for my wife and I, our canned food is one of our most valuable possessions. Many people can their garden produce for a cheap family source of food. That’s what we did for most of our lives. But, with our kids out of the house, our focus now is on quality. Continue reading

Happy Earth Day: 40,000 Trees (Give or Take)

jay and galen with trees

Jay and Galen Lehman stand with a tree on Jay’s property outside Kidron, Ohio. Nearly all the trees in the photo were planted by Jay.

Today is Earth Day. And yesterday, our founder, Jay Lehman turned 86 years young. It’s fitting that Jay’s birthday neighbors a holiday dedicated to caring for the earth. Because Jay has spent decades – literally – planting thousands of trees – literally – around our store in Kidron, Ohio,  our office and warehouse building, and his home. It’s a “hobby” he’s passed on to son Galen (Lehman’s President) and grandson Matthew as well. And what a legacy it is – read on…

Fun Facts about Jay, Galen and TREES:

As of Spring 2014 (last year) Jay and Galen estimated they had planted about 50,000 trees.

They plant nearly all hardwoods – a mix of walnut, oak, cherry and sugar maple. This should allow a sustainable harvest of quality hardwood over the next 100 years.

jay with tractor of trees

Those are baby hardwoods in the back of Jay’s tractor. Jay planted them around our office and warehouse building in 2008.

Galen says: “200 years ago, when the first settlers arrived here, the land was covered with hardwood trees. It is said that you could walk from one side of Ohio to the other without seeing the sky. … I suppose Dad and I are just trying to put things back the way we found them. Most of the trees back then were chestnuts. Some of the beams in the oldest parts of our store, reconstructed from barns and cabins dating to the early 1800’s, are made of chestnut. A few lonely chestnut trees still stand near our our Kidron store. Somehow, they survived the blight that nearly wiped out the American Chestnut back in the 1950’s.”

Read more about Jay, Galen and planting trees here:

Happy Earth Day!

Youthview: Loving Traditional Family Thanksgivings

Alli Ervin, Youthview blogger.

Alli Ervin, Youthview blogger.

Last year we hosted Thanksgiving at our house for the first time in several years – I enjoyed the holiday more than I ever had before and that’s saying something because it’s one of my favorite occasions. It makes me feel warm and loved to have family (I am talking aunts, uncles, cousins, the whole gang, ranging in age from four years old to 84 years old) at our home.

I love helping my mom prepare the food and put out seasonal decorations. We live in a woods so tree branches, leaves and pine cones, artfully arranged in a large glass bowl, add great fall touches. I always get to choose which music we are going to play and what drinks to serve (a simple one is grape juice and 7-Up, garnished with orange slices) and, when everything is ready and the house smells like turkey and stuffing, we wait for the doorbell to ring.

The turkey is always a centerpiece of my family's traditional meal.

The turkey is always a centerpiece of my family’s traditional meal.

I have such a big, fun family and I love it when we’re all together*. The food is always amazing, especially at Thanksgiving. My mom and I often bake bread together, which is what she used to do with her mother. Our Thanksgiving menu is very traditional – we briefly discussed doing something different (how about a baked potato bar?) but the outcry was heard for miles. Turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, seven-layer salad, fresh bread, and more pies that you can count. My mom made deviled eggs last Thanksgiving (that’s one of her specialties) and forgot to get them out until after the meal. We enjoyed a round of appetizers after dessert and had a good laugh.

Even though it’s more work, hosting the holidays at your house is a great experience. It’s all about being with family and friends so if the cooking stresses you out, make it a pot luck carry in, or even call ahead and order something. Enjoy a meal and then, afterwards, (at least in my family), the men retire to watch football and yell at their favorite teams and the women do a craft (we had a fun one this year – more on that in the next blog).

No many how many times I get asked what grade I am; how I am doing at school or how tall I am (I grew 5 inches over the past year and am 5’8”, by the way) it’s always so much fun when my family is all together.

*Editor’s note: Allison’s grandfather is Jay Lehman, founder; her uncle is Galen Lehman, president; and her mother is Glenda Lehman Ervin, vice president.

Want to visit Lehman’s in Kidron? Ignore your GPS!

These nice folks came all the way from West Virginia! Their GPS sent them to our offices. Silly GPS!

These nice folks came all the way from West Virginia! Their GPS sent them to our offices. Silly GPS!

It’s a long story…but let’s just say that Kidron’s not Brigadoon, even if your GPS insists there’s a different location.

You see, our warehouse and business offices are just a couple of miles away from our Kidron store. Both are located off Ohio State Route 30, and both locations are on streets that have names beginning with the letter “K.”

Sometimes, GPS units get confused, and want to send visitors to the office. We find the offices very exciting, but you are probably looking for a more enjoyable place to spend the day.

Here’s a primer on how to get to Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio. Pair this with these mapping directions, and you’ll be fine. Continue reading

EPA Proposes New Woodstove Regulations: You Can Comment!

Elmira Fireview Wood Cookstove

Elmira Fireview Wood Cookstove


The EPA recently proposed a change to the rules regarding wood stove emissions.  These new rules set a high bar, and most specifically address stoves that are the most polluting models on the market.  Those stoves were exempt in the last round of rules, which were put into law in 1988.  It also tightens standards significantly for low-polluting stoves.

The new rules would eliminate many types of non-airtight stoves, wood-fired cookstoves and wood-fired furnaces, IF they do not meet tough new standards.  So far as I know, none of the current stoves in those categories meet the new requirements.  It is possible, but unlikely, that they will be able to. Continue reading

Dietz Lanterns: Lighting the Future

Gerry Dietz retired as President of R.E. Dietz in 1967, and his brother John became the President. In 1970, they closed the Syracuse factory and moved their remaining kerosene lantern production to Hong Kong.

Ten years later, the Hong Kong factory was manufacturing 1.5 million lanterns per year, becoming a great success. Dietz was still innovating, producing a line of battery powered emergency flashers for highway construction and floating traffic lights for barges. Records from the period show that, at times, Dietz had cash reserves of more than $600,000.

The Dietz Original Lantern is available today. Click on the image above to order.)

But running the factory half a world away must have been difficult even though Dietz had talented managers in Hong Kong. For example, the “76” lantern, meant to commemorate the Bicentennial, was produced two years late, in 1978! That was one year after I started working at Lehman’s, and I still remember receiving the first shipment of those lanterns.

1978 was also the year that John Dietz retired. The presidency was taken over by Edward Reynolds, the first non-family member to run R.E. Dietz. And, demand Continue reading

Dietz Lanterns: Surviving the Great Depression

John Dietz wasn’t destined to have the same success that his father, Robert Dietz, and brother, Frederick Dietz had running the R.E. Dietz lantern company. Although R.E. Dietz would continue growing until 1923, the Great Depression would eventually bring the company to its knees.

His son, Robert E Dietz II, was described as the only hope that, “Our family name Dietz will (be) perpetuated.” But, John’s brother, Frederick said of Robert, “Owing to his nervous temperament he could not stand the strain of office confinement and was obliged to temporarily seek outdoor life.” It seems that whether or not the R.E. Dietz company would continue to be led by a member of the Dietz family in the future was in question. Robert II eventually left Dietz and moved to New Mexico, where he took up farming. Continue reading

Dietz Lanterns: Lighting America

Fred Dietz, the second generation leader of the R.E. Dietz lantern company

In 1894, after more than 50 years at the helm of the RE Dietz company he started, Robert Dietz retired at the age of 76. He left his son, Frederick (now 45) in charge.

Frederick was just as innovative as his father. He registered 25 new patents for lantern design. He also applied his skills to marketing. He designed a unique Dietz logo, obtained trademarks and upgraded company catalogs. He set up a sales organization, and even hired a salesperson to circumnavigate the globe, marketing their lanterns in India, Japan and (foreshadowing the company’s future) China. A book published by RE Dietz in 1913 (and, admittedly, co-authored by Frederick himself), says, “There is no one living who has greater knowledge of the birth and growth of the lantern industry.” Continue reading