Paper Gardening: How to Grow a Successful Garden Now

Maine Garden HodJanuary and February – traditionally the coldest, bleakest months of the year – have one highlight, something like the gardener’s version of the swallows returning to Capistrano: the arrival of seed catalogs in the mail. Continue reading

Skills and Hobbies that Blossomed in 2020

Rolling dough for homemade breadIf you had lots of unexpected free time on your hands, what would you do? What would you learn?

This was the question imposed on millions of people in the last year as our society coped with a lot of unprecedented developments, including the pandemic. But not all downtime was bad or difficult. In fact, with so much time on their hands, hobbies blossomed through 2020 as people refreshed old skills and learned new ones. Continue reading

Gift Ideas for Homesteaders

hands with presentIf your Christmas wish list is average, it’s divided into roughly three categories: big-ticket items, smaller items, and stocking stuffers. If you’re a homesteader, soon-to-be-homesteader, or a wanna-be homesteader, Lehman’s is the place to find all three.

The best kind of gift for homesteaders is something that contributes to self-sufficiency. Does it help grow food? Raise livestock? Provide heat? Produce light? Make a job easier, safer, or more efficient? Reduce costs? Solve a problem? Deliver knowledge? If the answer is “yes” to any of these criteria, then it’s likely to be a welcome gift for the homesteader in your family.

Here are some suggestions for the do-it-yourselfer on your Christmas list: Continue reading

Leaving the City for a Simpler Life

father and son on farmThe year 2020 has brought about many changes. One of the most exciting is the number of people embarking on new journeys toward a simpler life.

These journeys take many forms. While some people are restricted to growing a windowsill garden in an apartment, a huge number are moving to suburban or rural areas and starting over. In fact, there has been an enormous exodus of people leaving the cities, anxious to find their own version of a quieter and more self-sustaining lifestyle. Continue reading

The Life-Changing Magic of Self-Sufficiency

preserving foodThe day we installed our brand-new Baker’s Choice wood cookstove was the day our lives changed dramatically for the better. I mean that literally.

Living in the far north, wintertime heat is no small matter. For the previous fifteen years, our sole source of heat was a small inefficient woodstove located in an inconvenient corner of our house, which left the rest of the house hovering in the low 50s during cold weather. For years, we’d fantasized about having a proper cookstove in a more central location. Continue reading

Meet Farmer John Moody – An Expert on Elderberries, Soils and More

UPDATE 9/1/20: Due to concerns of large events during the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Fall Festival has been cancelled, including John Moody’s visit and hands-on classes at Lehman’s.

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“I am not your typical farmer.” That’s the first thing John Moody says when he introduces himself.

In fact, Moody doesn’t consider himself typical in anything. The author of five books on the subject of farming and homesteading, Moody and his wife Jessica are determined to spread the news about the merits of real, honest food and the health benefits that result. (“One fun fact,” he adds. “I am a green belt in judo and performed multiple times in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”) Continue reading

The Road Less Traveled

In 1916, the poet Robert Frost wrote a famous poem entitled “The Road Not Taken” in which a walker faces a forked path in the woods. One path is well-trod, the other path is overgrown. Which path should he take? The final stanza of the poem reads:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Nearly 30 years ago, my husband and I stood at that metaphorical fork in our lives, and we took the road less traveled. It has made all the difference. Continue reading

Alternate Seed Sources

With the current shift in the economy, there has been a massive – massive! – spike in the number of people interested in growing gardens. Hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of new plots are springing up across the country. Some are large, some are small, and all are important.

Normally the renaissance in gardening would be good news. However the surge of interest is stretching seed businesses to the limit. Continue reading

The (re)Rise of Victory Gardens

With local or regional shortages of fresh produce resulting from the current pause in the economy, there has been a new interest in an old classic: planting Victory Gardens.

A Victory Garden – sometimes called a crisis garden – is simply a small garden squeezed into any available spot of dirt to supplement food sources during times of national emergencies (such as world wars). Continue reading

The Benefits of a Prepared Lifestyle

 

i'm readyIn 2015, when a massive windstorm hit our region during a bitterly cold November, we expected to lose power. What we didn’t expect was the extreme damage the storm caused to our regional power grid. It was the worst disaster in the power company’s 100+ year history, and over a million people lost electricity for anywhere from three days to two weeks. Until it’s gone, it’s hard to fathom how much juice from a socket makes modern conveniences possible, from gasoline to cell phone communication to grocery store inventory to mail delivery.

Continue reading