Farmer Hannah Gets Crackin’ on Black Walnuts

The Holistic Orchard, now available at Lehman's in Kidron or Lehmans.com, shows you how to plant an edible landscape, with a philosophy similar to Mark Shephard's.

The Holistic Orchard, now available at Lehman’s in Kidron or Lehmans.com, shows you how to plant an edible landscape, with a philosophy similar to Mark Shephard’s.

Last spring, I read Mark Shepard’s book, in which he outlines a revolutionary way of farming that endeavors to be permanent and to build up rather than deplete the land.  The basis of this restoration agriculture is to use perennials, planted in polyculture, as the main plant life on the land—so that rather than tilling the soil every year, or multiple times a year, the farmer can let residue and organic matter and microbiotic life build up in the soil.  To see Mark Shepard’s vision through, we’d have to radically transform our diet, from one based on corn and soy to one based on chestnuts, hazelnuts, other nuts, fruit, and products from grazing animals.

I’m a vegetable farmer, and I rent land year-to-year, which means that I can’t really sensibly invest in tree plantings.  However, when I moved into the house where I currently live, I was excited and happy to see large amounts of black walnut trees. Continue reading

Farmer Hannah Puts Stovepipe Thermometer To The Test

Magnetic Stovepipe Thermometer for wood stoves

From house to greenhouse, Lehman’s Magnetic Stovepipe Thermometer helps you regulate wood-fired heating.

“Heating without a stovepipe thermometer is like driving without a speedometer.”

That’s what it said on the package, and I thought it was kind of funny, but after just a couple days with my thermometer attached to the stovepipe in my greenhouse, I can’t imagine how I ever did without it.  It was a major guessing game before, I can tell you that! Continue reading