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

How To Light Your Home Without Electricity

genie III lampEditor’s Note: This is article was originally published in December 2016.

For some, the thought of upcoming wintertime power outages comes with a sense of dread or even panic. But there has always been something nostalgic to me about the peace that comes when the noisy hum of household appliances falls quiet. The glowing ambiance of candles or oil lamps gently lighting a room takes me back to bygone days when life had a bit more quality and substance. Continue reading

Living Off Grid 101: Heating

Doug & Stacy with Cook Stove

Doug and Stacy from popular YouTube channel OFF GRID with DOUG and Stacy

Update: Doug and Stacy are coming to Lehman’s to November 13, 2021! Come hear them speak about living off grid. Learn more at Lehmans.com/events

Doug and Stacy left the city life to live off grid like the pioneers. Today they’re sharing their experience with us of how they heat their home.

After living off grid for eight years, it’s funny now to reflect back on how we thought we could heat our home with a small pot belly stove we found in an ad in the newspaper. We had sold our home and moved into a small one bedroom apartment getting ready for our new off-grid life together. Lots of ideas and ways of going off grid were discussed during our transition time. In the end, both of us decided to live without public utilities such as electricity, water, sewer services and even a few modern conveniences like a refrigerator and air conditioning. Besides, a good challenge would do us good! Continue reading

How to Use a Breathing Mobile Washer

breathing mobile washerWashing clothes used to be one of the most backbreaking chores for women. There were two reasons for this: the lack of automation, and the lack of modern detergents. The widespread use of both automation and detergents meant that what used to be an all-day task became a simple matter of tossing clothes into a machine, adding some detergent, and pressing a button.

However, this widespread automation means off-grid laundry is almost a forgotten art. Fortunately there have been amazing advances in non-electric laundry options. These new advances will work for those who are off-grid, living in apartments, RVers, or others who don’t have continuous access to a washing machine.

One of the most popular and inexpensive off-grid laundry options is the breathing mobile washer. Continue reading

Pandemic Preparedness with Kathy Harrison

Kathy Harrison

Kathy Harrison, author of Prepping 101, shares her tips on how to prepare your family for the current pandemic.

For more than a decade I have been writing books and articles, teaching classes and presenting workshops on preparing your family for emergencies. I focused primarily on short-term events like fires, floods, hurricanes and winter storms because those were the most likely scenarios. In January, things changed. News reports began to filter in about a novel coronavirus, one with pandemic potential. Early in February, I sent out an email blast to family and friends suggesting it was time to take preparing seriously and get ready for long-term disruptions to supply chains and public services. Some people listened to me. Most didn’t. So here we are. While things are looking more hopeful in some parts of the country, it is clear that this virus is going to be impacting our lives for the foreseeable future. This begs an important question. Is it too late to prepare? To that I say an emphatic no! But where to begin? What are the critical areas to address that can help your family face the winter more comfortably and with less anxiety? Continue reading

The Best Way to Make Apple Cider

Lehman's Cider PressNow you can make the best cider you’ve ever tasted! All natural, safe to drink and full-bodied. What’s the secret? Making it in a press so easy to sanitize that pasteurization is not needed.

Continue reading

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

UPDATE 08/09/21: We’re so excited to announce that John Moody is coming to Lehman’s September 24-25, 2021. Keeping reading below for more about John and how to get your FREE tickets for the event!

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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

5 Ways to Preserve the Harvest

carrying harvest in crate

Here in Ohio, we’re knee-deep in yellow squash, cucumbers, green beans and all the deliciousness of a summer garden. My family’s sugar peas were some of the best we’ve ever grown, so good it’s tempting to eat them right off the vine (though, we recommend a good washing first). But we did get a little carried away with some of our planting. We have more cucumber plants then family members. And somehow, we always overestimate how many tomatoes we will eat. (Spaghetti sauce, anyone?)

The wonderful part is that there are many ways to preserve the harvest for later enjoyment, long after the warm summer season has disappeared.

Keep reading below to discover five ways to preserve your harvest now. (We even included some helpful resources to get you started.)

Continue reading

The Pleasure of Doing Things by Hand

Lehmans Dazey Butter ChurnMany years ago I had a discussion with some friends about how I learned to make butter using cream from our cow. It was an enthusiastic conversation on my part because I was so excited to learn something new and do things by hand.

At the end of the detailed recital, the husband asked, “But you won’t be doing this again, right? After all, it’s a lot easier just to buy butter.”

He’s right. It’s much easier just to buy butter. But the fact is, now I know how to make butter. Whenever our cows give too much cream, I know what to do with it. Over the years I’ve made butter dozens and dozens of times. It’s a component of our diet for which I know every last step – the health of the cow, how her calf is treated, how the cream is handled. From start to finish, the “chain of custody” for that butter never leaves our farm. 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