How to Love Your Garden in a Time of Waiting

planting plantThis is an antsy time for gardeners. Where I live, late February and early March usually contain a “false spring” as I’ve heard it called, where the temps go up and the sun comes out, and I’m fooled into believing it’s the beginning of spring. But even just last week right after the weather had reached nice warm days, it snowed…in April. Continue reading

DIY: Make Your Own Maple Syrup

diy maple syrupThere’s an old saying; you can take the man out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the man. Roger Myers, with over a dozen years of service at Lehman’s, has a background in farming and country living. And he is full of country skills!

“I raise goats and chickens and a little bit of corn,” he said. Working at Lehman’s brought him in contact with lots of customers, including those interested in making maple syrup. “I listened to customers and how much satisfaction tapping trees for sample maple syrup gave them and I thought I would try it myself.” Continue reading

Rediscovering Traditions: How Sustainable Living is a Trend, Again

young farmer with flowersSustainability, self-sufficiency, and environmental friendliness has recently hit the younger generations in a big way. All over the internet, thousands of young people are sharing their dreams of one day living a life filled with vegetable gardens, solar power, clotheslines, butter churns, bread baking, and farm animals. Continue reading

Illuminating Tips for Non-Electric Lighting

Oil lamps at Lehman's

Oil lamps are not only a sustainable source of light, but they also provide a tranquil glow to your home.

Living simply begins with making sustainable choices, from the food you eat to the light you use. A staple in our Amish community, oil lamps and lanterns are a dependable, sustainable source of light that never need an outlet. It’s no wonder that after all these years, folks around the world still use them – from remote, off-the-grid areas to suburban power outages. Continue reading

Ways to Simplify Your Life – Part One

baking bread“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
– Leonardo Da Vinci, brilliant Renaissance artist

I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. Why should there be only one day a year when you are encouraged to make a fresh start?

That said, the beginning of a new year does make me think of ways to improve myself and the world in which I take up space. Because we stand for a simpler life, allow me to share some simple living thoughts running around my already-crowded brain this January. Continue reading

The Skills of the Past Will Help Us into the Future

family gardeningImportant household skills, and the amount of people concerned with learning them, have majorly declined over the past century. Skills such as cooking and baking from scratch, repairing things, growing food, sewing or knitting clothes, and creating goods like candles and soap don’t seem to be on the priority lists of many anymore.

It’s easy to see why – modern times have us distracted with other important things, and to give us more time to deal with these distractions, companies have made much quicker, easier, and more automated ways of getting things done. 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

Why Heat with Wood

woodlot

Photo courtesy of Sarah B. Gilliam

Since childhood, I’ve always felt burning wood was a cherished pastime. There are few things I place as much importance in on our farm as I do the cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking of firewood. The entire process is sacred and rewarding to me. Walking out to the woodlot during a warm summer evening as the fireflies begin their nightly show and taking stock of what I have ready for this winter, for next, and beyond, brings great satisfaction. There the firewood is stacked on pallets in rows fifty feet long and as I walk around the woodlot, I know I will have no trouble keeping my family warm, no matter how cold winter will get. 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