Lehman’s Hacks: Christmas Canning Jar Craft!

Beeswax tealights, Ball® canning jars

Lit with tealights, the jars really sparkle! Find tealights and jars at Lehmans.com.

The first thing we did was look at Pinterest.

In retrospect, that may have been a mistake.

After all, we’re writers and editors here at Country Life, not semi-professional crafters.But we had a great time making our “disco ball jars” as writer Sarah christened the project, and we hope you will too.

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Not-Quite-City-Chickens 1: Birds Flourishing In New Homesteader’s Care

Blackie and Rampage push the cat litter box around like a toy.

Blackie and Rampage push the cat litter box around like a toy.

Lehman’s fan Brianne and her partner Eric are in their second year of not-so-urban homesteading at their place 20 minutes from downtown Fayetteville, NC.

The young couple is proud of the progress they’ve made raising chickens.

“Last year was our first year with the chickens,” said Bri. “They needed a new home, and we had the space. Eric and I rebuilt a hand-me-down large chicken tractor for them, and we took apart old computer monitors, using the casings for roosting boxes, and tossed in a huge pet crate that the girls just love.” Continue reading

Rethinking Livestock As Gardening Season Comes Closer

Wire Compost Bin

Wire Compost Bin

Just the word “livestock” can conjure up scary images of raging bulls, recalcitrant Billy goats and fragile lambs. You can’t help but think of the expenses of barns and fences, the necessity of acres of pastures and the tether of twice daily chores. But before you give up the notion of raising livestock, think outside the livestock box.

Our most productive livestock are probably our bees. In an area not quite as large as our children’s swing set we have enough hives to keep us in far more honey than we can consume. The extra honey sells for more than enough to pay all of our bee expenses each year.

Our second most productive livestock is our worms. Now that may seem downright silly. You can’t eat them. Worms don’t provide eggs or fleece or any of the other things one thinks of when considering livestock but they are still a valuable resource. And they produce material that will give any garden or flower bed a kick in the pants. Continue reading