The Benefits of Planting Native Plants

butterfly on flowerAll year long, homeowners across the globe do everything humanly possible to improve their landscaping. And with the numerous plant and flower species available at the garden centers and nursery, they are spoiled for choice, and they can give their backyard any look they desire. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t know how native plants can benefit the environment, garden, birds, and even pollinators.

Native crops have evolved over the last few centuries to their habitat; therefore, they can thrive in their native area. And compared to exotic plants, the native ones can also save you time, cash, and resources. After all, just because a crop can grow in a particular region doesn’t mean that it should be planted there. Landscaping with exotic crops can increase your expenses and even outgrow the native plants. 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

Doing the Necessary in the Midst of the Hard

father and son on homesteadWe’ve heard it time and again that life on the farm (or homestead, or in parenting) doesn’t stop even when times are hard. Weather’s bad? The cows still need milked. Didn’t sleep well last night? Kids still get up before dawn. It’s crazy hot out? The garden still needs tending. There are things that simply need to be done whether or not we feel like it. Continue reading

Meet Anne Of All Trades

anne briggsWhat do you do when you’re a low-tech person in a high-tech world? You harvest the best of both.

Anne Briggs was born of missionary parents and traveled internationally during her youth, but she envied her friends with ranches and roots. “I loved animals and always wanted animals of my own, but we could never have any because of our travels,” she remembers. “I always vowed that someday, if I lived in America, I’d live on a farm.” Continue reading

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