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

Roast Beef and Barley Build the Best Cold Weather Soup

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in January 2015. Since most of us have been experiencing bitter cold temperatures lately, we thought a good, hot soup is just what we need. Enjoy!

After a frantic few weeks of holiday cooking, you’re probably ready to put together some meals that are nearly heat and eat. Beef Barley Soup can do that for you, putting roast beef leftovers to good use, and adding barley for more protein and staying power. We usually plan for a chuck or arm roast that will allow us to have a pound or so of meat left, and we usually freeze a fourth to a half batch of the beef and barley soup made from the leftover beef. Continue reading

6 Things You’ll Only Find Here

apple peeler eli

Here at Lehman’s, we’ve always had a serious penchant for the unique. The hard-to-find. The off-the-beaten-path. The antique-ish. Continue reading

Real Food, Real Life: City Girl Churns Butter

Alison and her husband Jacob.

Alison and her husband Jacob.

This might be the coolest blog post I’ve written in a long time, if not ever. It’s all about the magical, real essence of butter. Continue reading

Maintaining Your Woodpile

wood 2

It’s said the hand of the Creator can be found in many places, depending on who’s doing the looking or listening. Some see beauty or majesty in a sunset, or looking across the Grand Canyon, staring up at the roof of the Sistine Chapel or listening to a particular genre of music. Among other things, I find great beauty in a nice woodpile. Yeah, I said it — a good store of wood for the winter.

There’s just something comforting about seeing a winter’s worth of wood all lined up in neat rows under a lean-to shed roof, or along a fencerow, or even in a well-formed pile … all stacked just so, to allow for maximum air movement and drying (a.k.a. seasoning). Continue reading

Little Lessons From Anna’s House

amish farm spring_bruce stambaugh

Recently I had the privilege of visiting Anna*, a longtime friend of my grandmother’s. Penpals for decades although they live just a few miles apart, they met in an apple orchard and immediately bonded over their shared frugal ways.

Anna is a 70-ish widow who belongs to one of the strictest orders of the Amish, so I expected her house to be very bare, almost austere. But I was wrong. Like Anna, her house was a delight in the purest and most innocent sense. In fact, Anna’s house taught me… Continue reading

Making Homemade Syrup: 10 Tips Before You Tap

Our glass honey and syrup dispenser saves you a sticky mess. At our store in Kidron and

Our glass honey and syrup dispenser saves you a sticky mess. At our store in Kidron and

By Scott Ervin

Editor’s Note: The following article is by Scott Ervin, husband of Glenda Lehman Ervin (Lehman’s VP of Marketing) and son-in-law of Jay Lehman (Lehman’s founder). An avid outdoorsman, Scott tried his hand at maple syrup making two years ago and learned many valuable lessons in the process.

There is an abundance of sources for information on how to tap trees and make maple syrup. How-to guides are readily available on line and in books. I picked up a great book at Lehman’s that was very helpful. I recommend that anyone interested in making maple syrup for the first time study this readily available information carefully before embarking on your quest for delicious homemade syrup. Continue reading

What’s in Your Every Day Carry?

Every Day Carry, or EDC. It’s a thing. Who knew? I sure didn’t, until I stumbled across a video featuring Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame.

“Every Day Carry” is an inventory of the things you take with you on a daily basis. Think about what you have in your pocket or purse (or laptop bag!) and how you use it on a daily basis. How useful is everything in a pinch? What do you have handy that has you prepared to handle the ups and downs of the day?

pocketknife, penknife, Grandpa's knife, pocket knife

Grandpa’s Sunday Afternoon Pocketknife, at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or at

For me, EDC includes an EpiPen, a pocketknife, eyeglass cleaners and my keys. (My pocketknife is a lot like this one! It was my grandpa’s originally, and then my grandma gave it to me.) The eyeglass cleaning wipes come in handy: they clean my glasses, my cell phone screen, my car’s GPS/control panel screen, and I use them to wipe the inside of my windshield in a pinch. Another piece of hardware I’m seriously thinking about adding to my purse is a 3-in-1 Pocket Screwdriver. It’ll clip to an interior pocket, and it’s lightweight. I can use it to keep my glasses snug, pop open electronics and soda cans, and open letters.

Clip it on your pocket, and take three handy screwdrivers wherever you go. At and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Clip it on your pocket, and take three handy screwdrivers wherever you go. At and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

In Your Bag

salve, balm, lotion

Rosebud Salve: use for lips, hands, even small skin irritations. It’s a great multi-tasking every day carry item. At Lehman’s in Kidron, or

Small means mighty. The Pocket Screwdriver and Pocket Dentist, for instance. Keep your kit as streamlined as possible (especially if you’re active), so it doesn’t weigh you down. Just a pen or two, only the cash you’ll need for the day, just one credit card in case of emergencies. Wallets are the worst collectors of daily bulk. If you’re driving carpool, keep the children’s necessities in the car if at all possible. Can you get by with just a pack of tissues, and a portable pack of wipes in your bag? A flat tin for balm is reusable as a pill box when the balm is used up. I keep my keys and pocketknife on a carabiner, but if you want something less bulky, consider one of these saddle pins. It’s easy to remove keys or individual items.

Look at everything you carry with a view to multi-purposing if possible.

In Your Vehicle
Sure, the standard stuff: antifreeze, oil, windshield washer fluid. But think about what’s compact and may help you in pinch: a foldable shovel, a blanket, an extra phone charger, spare hat, gloves and a scarf; water, snacks…the list could go on. You want to be able to put everything in a container, and keep it nice and tidy, and obviously, you don’t want it to take up tons of room in the car. And contrary to popular opinion, snow isn’t the only weather danger in the latter half of the year. Driving rainstorms that can lead to flash flooding can be equally dangerous. If you’re stranded on high ground, make sure your kit has items that will keep you a little more comfortable.

Emergency survival kit

Emergency survival kit, at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or at

In Your Home
Do you have enough water and food to last you at least 72 hours, should the need arise? Check out some of the blogs right here for ways to get a small stash together should you need to: just type “preparedness” into the search box, and a list will pop right up. 

Kits are available too, and Lehman’s has a nice one packed into a practical, straight-sided square bucket that won’t take up tons of storage room.

At the very least, make sure you have a few gallons of water per person and food that you can eat without heating up–or food you can heat over a fire or on a cookstove. Have a day or two worth of wood for that fire or cookstove inside the house or garage too. Store it someplace where it’s handy, and will stay dry. If the weather is too bad to go outside, it’s going to make a wet mess of your firewood too. You won’t want to wait for it to dry out so you can dry out and stay warm.

Water Bath or Pressure Canners: What Works for You?

Ball Blue Book Food Canning Guide

Ideal for beginning or experienced home canners–The Ball Blue Book has the best and most up-to-date home food preserving information. Available at or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

When folks new to canning start out, one of biggest questions asked is this one: which kind of canner should I use? And the answer most often heard is this one: “Well, it depends. What are you canning?”

As frustrating as that might be, that fuzzy answer isn’t out of line.

It really is important to know what you’ll be canning. Depending on the acidity level of the food, different processes and methods are used. Continue reading

Six Simple Tips for an Allergy-Free Picnic


Party Trays

A durable and reusable helper for parties, picnics and barbeques.

A picnic should be a fun gathering of family and friends where everyone can relax and have a nice time together. However, for many people attending a picnic can cause stress and panic. No, I am not talking about the dreaded conversation with your awkward uncle or the pressure from grandma to find that special someone. I’m talking about coping with the spread of dishes put out for meals.

For many, the serving table full of its tasty fare, chock-full of traditional picnic dishes can cause stress. In a time when there are so many fad diets, intolerances and medical needs involving food, there are many people that can’t just eat what everyone else is eating. At our typical family gatherings there are folks with food allergies, diabetics and vegans all needing to eat. So here are six simple steps we always use to help everyone have a nicer mealtime. Continue reading