What’s Happening on the Homestead: Fantastic Fall Flowers

Picking flowers

Fall is here, which also means some beautiful fall flowers are in bloom! (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

September is a very full month for us on the homestead as we continue to preserve food for winter plus one of my cash crops is in full bloom and needs harvested frequently – dahlias! A good portion of our one acre plus garden space is for growing food for our family, but we also have space for some cash crops to help with farm income. Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: Savoring the Harvest

Drying food in a dehydrator

This month we savored the harvest, from baking gourmet treats to drying our fresh produce for later. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

August means everything is ripe on the homestead. After many months of planting and weeding, we are finally reaping an abundant harvest. The garden is gushing forth produce, fruit trees and berry bushes are laden, chickens need processed, flowers need picked almost daily and more. Continue reading

What’s Happening on the Homestead: Sunflowers and Sunshine!

Sunflowers

We’re in the midst of summer and beautiful sunflowers have appeared. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

What does July sunshine bring in Ohio? Some hot, sticky days to be sure but it also is the season of sunflowers, tomatoes, zucchini and more. After a cool, wet start to the garden season, the heat is making our popcorn and other plants grow almost in front of our eyes. It is now most pleasant to work in the garden in the early morning hours or the cool of the evening till we can’t see the weeds we are trying to pull. Popsicles made from homemade yogurt and fresh fruit are a main stay for getting through the afternoons. Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: The Battle In The Garden

Mulching

Organic mulching is one way we help control weeds in our garden. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

Around here, the busiest months in the garden for me are May, June and September. May is a planting flurry, September is a harvest and preservation marathon, and June is the month where we win or lose the battle against the weeds. Thankfully, long days are in our favor and I am often out working in the garden till dusk. This year in much of our area, gardeners and farmers are all out working anytime that raindrops aren’t falling. A few things are behind schedule but most of my plants are benefiting from the good moisture, however, the weeds are enjoying it too. Continue reading

4 Ways to Make Better Butter

Butter from molds

Go beyond the basics with these easy butter making tips. (Read on to find out how to make molded butter, like pictured above. Photo by Elizabeth Geiser.)

Editor’s Note: Today we’ve asked local homesteader and butter expert Karen Geiser to give us tips for making better butter. So, get ready to churn – it’s going to be delicious!

If you come by the Lehman’s store on a Thursday, you likely have seen my son and me churning butter. It is amazing how many butter stories I hear each week, from reminiscing about churning with grandma to folks who do it on an industrial scale. The grandpas often comment to my 10-year-old son, “When I was your age, that was my job” while others jokingly remind me, “Honey, you know they sell butter in the store these days.” Besides being a great conversation starter during my demos and giving our arms a nice workout, making fresh butter for my family is definitely an act of love and we savor the taste and nutrition from our fresh butter. Continue reading

What’s Happening on the Homestead: Fresh Rhubarb and Baby Chicks

baby chick with flowers

Spring is in full force on our homestead this month…baby chicks have arrived! (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

May has brought plenty of rain to Ohio but just enough sunshine for some productive days of working outdoors and we are enjoying the extended daylight. The lettuce seedlings, spinach, radishes and Japanese turnips are growing rapidly in the misty rain but as we wait on them to get to harvest size, we are relying heavily on our perennial vegetables at the supper table. Some of our favorite spring flavors are asparagus, rhubarb and winter onions (aka Egyptian walking onions.) It is nice to have numerous perennials in the garden that don’t require planting each year, just some light maintenance and harvesting. Several take a few years to get established but if you are planning to stay on your property long term, getting these perennial crops started is a worthy investment. Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: Garden Prep and Daffodils

seedlings

Gardening has begun here on our homestead. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

After a slow and chilly start, we are excited for spring to appear in Ohio and it is luring the whole family outdoors to tackle spring chores around the farm. We are a homeschooling family so I consider many of our outdoor tasks as part of our learning experience and no one objects to abandoning books for a few hours to spend time in the sunshine. The teen boys are in charge of pruning fruit trees, our 10-year-old son is helping start seedlings and everyone pitches in to get the garden rolling. Continue reading

What’s Happening On The Homestead: Fresh Salad Greens And Seed Starting

Karen in her garden

Here I am working in my garden. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

This blog kicks off a series of monthly updates of what is happening in my zone 6a garden which is just a mile down the road from Lehman’s store in Kidron, Ohio. The vision is to share garden tasks and include photos of what veggies and flowers are in season to inspire your garden adventures, however large or small your space.
Continue reading

Create Beautiful Fall Flower Arrangements, Lehman’s Style

our heritage syrup pitcher

Learn how to create beautiful flower arrangements for special occasions. (Photo by Elizabeth Geiser)

Fall wedding season is upon us and as a flower farmer, I am swimming in dahlias, celosia, zinnias and other autumnal beauties. With the popularity of barn weddings and outdoor venues, the rustic vibe is alive and well. What better way to express that than fresh local flowers arranged in some fun vessels from Lehman’s! Continue reading

A Seed Saving Story: Grandmother’s Long-Lost Lettuce

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in March 2017.

This is a story of the importance of seed saving, and how a simple kindness from a fellow gardener helped me reconnect with my grandmother’s garden. Continue reading