Give The Gift Of A Simpler Life

giving a giftGift 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.
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Sustainable Living At College

recycleI 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

A Guide To Eco-Friendly Lawn Care

USA reel mowerEditor’s Note: Please welcome our guest blogger today, Rachael Baihn. She is sharing with us tips on how to make our lawns a little “greener.” Enjoy!

There are many lawn care products available for those homeowners who want to keep a lawn in tip top shape. However, how many of those products are actually doing more harm than good to the environment? Check out the following tips to help make your lawn care eco-friendly. Continue reading

Living a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

compostingHas anyone ever measured the garbage output of the average Amish family? There’s no need. They already create far less trash than the average American family.

Why? Because the Amish lifestyle is the ultimate in low-impact zero-waste living. Continue reading

A Primer for Extended Power Loss

emergency survival kitIt’s the emergency situation no one wants to think about: An extended power outage lasting two or more weeks. Continue reading

A Simpler, Sustainable Life. Even When The Chips Are Down.

Nothing is more sustainable than human-powered activity, quality tools that can be repaired by their owners and ingredients that come from places you know. Continue reading

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

Save Seeds, Plan Ahead: How B. Girard Does Garden 2014

Tasty fall harvest!

Tasty fall harvest!

Our seed order has been placed and major braggathon on the frugal me. This is the end of the fourth year of gardening for us, and in true form I have gone big already for year five!

And by go big I don’t mean that I am growing a garden that would feed the masses, since I don’t, and don’t intend to. This is about us, after all and about being frugal and sustainable, which I am learning are two things that are so completely intertwined in so many ways that they are practically impossible to separate. Continue reading