The comfort of having a food blender 24/7 is a must for me. Other than having a good cup of “cowboy coffee,” a fruit smoothie is one of life’s simple pleasures.
Last week, Country Life announced our American Gardens Project, where we sent a selection of heirloom seeds to gardeners all over the country. Each gardener has received his or her seeds, and is, as we say at Lehman’s, “starting their seedlings” in the race to harvest. We’ll track each one, and see how the various seeds do in gardens across the country.
Our Arizona gardener, Glynis, lives in the high desert, and has some big challenges to overcome. She shares her thoughts with us below. Our other gardeners, who are scattered through the South, East and Midwest, will have updates here soon. Continue reading
Locust, North Carolina isn’t the biggest town on the map. You might not think there’s a whole lot going on there. You’d be wrong–because Pete and Toni Hogan’s three-car garage doesn’t hold cars–it holds a thriving business!
Pete ran Country Cottons from the spring of 2008 until the end of 2010, when he retired. “But folks kept after me, kept asking if we had anything left, if we could tell them where to find dishtowels that were 100% American,” he said when interviewed for Country Life last fall.
And so early in 2013, he and his wife picked the business back up, and now they’re busier than ever! Continue reading
I grew up here in Arizona. As a child, we lived in the middle of nowhere outside Phoenix. What are now strip malls and housing developments was just desert in the early 60’s. Hot, dry desert.
My father was interested in all kinds of things. He experimented with everything from greenhouses to healthy foods. We were the only children who had to eat wheat germ on our cereal. We weren’t allowed dyed foods or much sugar. Dad kept bees. We ate honey. He was ahead of his time in a lot of ways. I thought he was crazy.
Before yogurt was commonly sold in grocery stores, flavored with everything imaginable and loaded with sugar, gelatin and who knows what else, my dad was making yogurt. Worse yet, he was making us eat yogurt. He made it by burying jars of milk in the ground. He said that’s how people did it in the Middle East. Didn’t he know we lived in Arizona? This stuff made wheat germ taste like candy! It was horrible. He ate it warm! He made us eat it warm. Even our dog wouldn’t eat it. But we had to “try it.” Yuk. Continue reading
Six boxes leave on a snowy Ohio day.
Five different heirloom seed packets are in each box.
The boxes head to six different locations: mountain foothills, a humid Southern plain, Western prairie, an urban Midwest neighborhood, a rocky eastern small town, and an Ohio river valley.
It’s the American Gardens project, and it’ll run until harvest this fall!
How will each seed do? How will the gardeners cope with the conditions in their widely varying locations? Stay tuned–we’ll be updating you regularly with reports from the gardeners and photos of the gardens.
Want to Start Your Own American Garden?
The varieties used in the American Gardens project are listed below. Our American Gardeners are using Seed Savers heirloom seeds from Lehmans.com.
Remember, seeds are a seasonal product, and some quantities may be limited. If you can’t get the exact seed, consider a close alternative–perhaps a different variety of bean or tomato that has similar habit and production.
The EPA recently proposed a change to the rules regarding wood stove emissions. These new rules set a high bar, and most specifically address stoves that are the most polluting models on the market. Those stoves were exempt in the last round of rules, which were put into law in 1988. It also tightens standards significantly for low-polluting stoves.
Have you heard about ‘canning’ dry goods to ensure long-term storage? Today’s piece comes to us from The Ohio State University Extension in nearby Wooster, Ohio, and deals with that very topic. OSUE’s Linnette Goard, Associate Professor/Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, tells us below how to handle long-term storage of staple goods safely.
First, let me say that “oven canning” is not a safe way of preserving our food. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, http://nchfp.uga.edu/index.html, “oven canning can be dangerous because the temperature will vary according to the accuracy of oven regulators and circulation of heat. Dry heat is very slow in penetrating into jars of food. Also, jars explode easily in the oven.” Continue reading
As many of you may have noticed, we’ve started thinking spring here at Lehman’s Country Life! (Just because Ohio’s buried in snow and cold doesn’t mean we can’t dream…) Right now, many of our readers in the South and West are starting their gardens, and are ready to start seeds, and may even be considering getting cool-weather plants in the ground.
When you’re starting to plant, you can’t pick anything finer than heirloom seeds–unless those seeds are certified USDA organic. We’re pleased that you can choose from our extensive group of heirloom seeds here at Lehman’s, with many certified organic! This year, we’re pleased to add seven new varieties–they’re conveniently grouped at the end of the list.
Previously published in spring 2013, this entry from truck gardener Kevin tells us how he keeps busy and profitable during the winter season. –Editor
When the market garden is done for the year (as much as it can be, because there is always something to do) we can sit back and hopefully relax a bit. If the season was good, we can survive the winter with our profits. If not, we must find something to do to make up the difference.
Such is the case for many who try to survive on the income from a market garden or from any seasonal income-based project. It can be anything and for those who try to live some type of self-sustaining lifestyle it can be everything.
As for me, I try to survive in the off season so I do not have to work for “the man”. My mind is always working, trying to find ideas to make a few bucks, not to get rich, but to be able to keep doing the things that I love.
This late winter is no different. And my first project hit me right in the head. What started out as a trial run appears to be headed for bigger things, but they will have to wait until next season. Let me explain.
I can hardly believe it’s time to start preparing for my Spring garden! I’ll be getting my warm weather seedlings started indoors in the next few weeks, and I’ll direct sow most cool weather crops outdoors when the snow has thawed and melted away. My main objective right now is to get a jump start on the season by starting a few cool weather crops and herbs indoors in soil cubes.
This winter has been extra crazy for most of the US, so it’s a little harder for me to know exactly when it’ll be safe to plant and what to expect this year. Worst case scenario, I’ll plant my cool weather crops in the raised beds, and cover them with old windows to create a cold frame if I fear them freezing. Continue reading