Little Lessons From Anna’s House

amish farm spring_bruce stambaugh

Recently I had the privilege of visiting Anna*, a longtime friend of my grandmother’s. Penpals for decades although they live just a few miles apart, they met in an apple orchard and immediately bonded over their shared frugal ways.

Anna is a 70-ish widow who belongs to one of the strictest orders of the Amish, so I expected her house to be very bare, almost austere. But I was wrong. Like Anna, her house was a delight in the purest and most innocent sense. In fact, Anna’s house taught me… Continue reading

One Good Life

Common Cheeses Kit

Common Cheeses Kit

Earlier this year, blogger Kathy Harrison sent this peice in…but because the thoughts are so apropos to the season, I’ve held it until this week. So you’ll see references to spring (which is 87 days away!), and gardening. But what I’d like you to focus on is the wealth of community, and thanks for abundance and a good life. It’s what my co-workers and I at Lehman’s wish for you in the coming year.

—Karen Johnson, Editor, Lehman’s Country Life

I have a very good life. I write about in books and in blogs and in letters to friends. I sometimes get replies that congratulate my on my good fortune. And I am truly fortunate in many ways. I’m healthy. I live in a place untouched by war or horrible poverty. Our climate is good for growing things and we have no water worries. Our soil is excellent and we have plenty of native pollinators. For the blessings, I am truly grateful.

Stainless Steel Cheese Press

This super-efficient Stainless Steel Cheese Press is available at or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

However, much of my life is blessed, not with good fortune but with the joy of hard work. Take this week’s adventures in cheese-making. It began with the gift of extra raw milk. I am very lucky to live in a place that does not outlaw the sale of raw milk. But that gift comes with the necessity of keeping up the pressure on state and local government to support local farmers. Continue reading