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Goats Milk Cheese Recipes – How to Make Feta The Easy Way

Goat Milk Cheese Recipes

If you have goats you need to have lots of ideas for things to make with goats milk. Because in the spring, if you decide to milk  your goats you have lots of extra around.  While I do freeze much of my goats milk, I have come across a couple super simple recipes for making cheeses. But you don’t even have to have goats to make these 3 goats milk cheese recipes! You can buy goats milk in the store.

The first of the milk cheese recipes I’m going to teach you is how to make a cream cheese:

To make cream cheese – which I like to spice up you will first need to make yogurt out of your goats milk. You can buy plain Greek yogurt and make it from there.

How to make yogurt from goat’s milk:

 

  • 1/2 gal milk
  • 2- 3 tbs fresh plain yogurt

Heat up to 110 degrees then pour over yogurt, set 1/2 gal jar on top fridge for 12 hours

I’m pretty sure he went and found that lid pretty quickly. You never want to leave your yogurt exposed like that because you will end up with not very friendly bacteria quickly.

Now to make the cheese spread, also known as Labne, this is what you will do:

 

You can also use Italian herbs instead of garlic and mint. You don’t have to use the olive oil. It goes really great with zucchini or yellow squash chips. These are dehydrated zucchini sliced into chips.

Now for the Feta  Goats Milk Cheese Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 gallon of whole milk – Pasteurized NOT ultra pasteurized
Warm milk to 80 degrees
2 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon 30% calcium chloride solution dissolved in 2 Tablespoon of water (if you are using raw goats milk you don’t need this)
1/8 teaspoon mild lipase powder dissolved in 2 Tablespoon of water
1/8 teaspoon Mesophilic A culture
30 drops of vegetable rennet dissolved into 1/4 cup of water

I use raw goat’s milk, salt, yogurt, lipase powder and junket tablets. You can get them in the grocery store. Use 1/2 tablet per gallon of milk.

For a cheese press I have a #10 can that I took the top and bottom off of, a bowl, cheese cloth. Use Muslin, not the cheese cloth that you get from the grocery store. And a weight, which for me is sometimes a mason jar filled with water. Or you can use a bar bell.

You would take out the lid piece put your cheese cloth down inside so that the edges go out over the top, then put in  your curds. Next folld the cloth back over the curds then put the “follower/top” back on. Finally put your weights on that. If you use a shallow bowl like this one you need to hang around and every little go dump out the whey/water that will collect in the bowl.

Before you get ready to press your curds you can also add in dried tomatoes, and/or Italian seasonings or basil. You can always leave it plain, but in my world view, spice is the zest of life!

Simple Farm Style Goats Milk Cheese With Monterrey Jack with Peppers

  • 3 gallons of milk (I like mine raw)
  • 2 tablets of junket (you can find these in the baking aisle of most grocery stores)
  • 1/2 pint of buttermilk
  • salt
  • dried peppers

Heat your milk and buttermilk up to 90 degrees slowly (well as slowly as your temperament will allow). Let this sit and mellow for a couple hours.

3 goat milk cheese recipes. Feta, cream cheese & mozerella #goatmilkcheese #fetacheese #homemadecheeserecipes

Next step is to add the junket tablets to water (non chlorinated works best) about 1/4 cup just to dissolve the tablets before adding to the milk. After they dissolve add the mixture to the milk. Stir for about a minute to make sure the rennet gets well distributed.

After an hour or so (or even over night) your curds should be separated. Cut them into cubes in the pot. Using a long knife make a checker board pattern all the way down the curds, then start cutting through the curds at an angle all around the pot. The object is to have lots of one inch pieces of curds.

Now that  you have the curds cut, heat the curds and whey back up to 100 degrees slowly, stirring the curds gently.

Let them sit for another hour.

The next step is to strain the curds into cheese cloth (muslin) lined in a colander mix in your salt and peppers to taste. I use about 3 tbs salt and peppers for this recipe.

Ladle  your curds into a press and press under as much pressure as you can for eight to twelve hours. I use hand weights with my presses, but you can use water in jugs, put a can on the follower. (that piece that goes on top of the cheese cloth – I use the end of the #10 can) then put a plate or board over that and add your weights.  The harder you press your cheese the firmer it will be.

milk cheese recipes cheese pressOf course you could always buy a real cheese press and then  you wouldn’t have to be jury rigging stuff LOL

Once it is pressed, cut it into the size of pieces your family will use within a couple days (this doesn’t hold very well and will mold). Rub salt on the exposed parts, wrap in paper towels and then put in a plastic bag that you suck the air out of with a straw before completely sealing.

Freeze these. Let them defrost at room temperature before using.

NOTE:

Don’t throw your whey away!! Use it to make Whey good bread or pizza dough by substituting the whey instead of water in  your recipe. You can freeze it in plastic ziplock bags for use when you are ready to make your bread or pizza dough.

Make cheese, it’s easy and fun and there is something about eating and serving homemade cheese that makes it special, because you know where it came from and what went into it.

 When I first started making cheese this is the kit I used to “get my feet wet”. Simple recipe/directions are included and everything (except the milk) you need to make mozzarella and ricotta cheese. cheese making kitNow if you are wanting to use up your goat’s milk because you have so much of it you don’t know what to do with, perhaps you might want to start with this kit that has the ingredients you need to make goats milk cheese.

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Homemade Goat Milk Soap Recipe For Beginners fast & easy Get Stunning Results

Goats Milk Soap Recipe For Beginners
Get Great Results making goat milk soap

Having been a soap maker for quite a few years now, I have discovered this secret almost by accident and now make wonderfully luxurious cream colored goat’s milk soap.  Using this secret disclosed in the homemade goat milk soap recipe for beginners,  you will be making great soap for your family and friends too, with very little headache.

Easy To Find Ingredients

Most of these ingredients can be purchased at your local grocery or health food store, except for the lye (sodium hydroxide) that will need to come from an online source probably Amazon. You can get smaller quantities from them and it is shipped without hassle for a reasonable price.  It is hard to keep 50 pounds of lye around if you aren’t making soap in large quantities. 50 Pounds is the quantity sold most commonly by soap maker supply companies.

What you need to make Goats Milk Soap For Beginners

As far as utensils go; it really depends on how much soap you plan to make. This recipe will make about three pounds of soap – enough to cover the bottom of a Campbell’s soup box (you know the cardboard that holds a case of soup). If you cut it in half then you could make 8 bars in soap molds.

I like to use an enamel pot that has high sides. I melt the solid oils together first over low, then add the olive oil so cool the oils down to 100degrees. And then when I mix the lye solution in I’m less likely to splash the mixture on myself. (Vinegar is the neutralizing agent for lye – keep it out and handy if you get some lye or lye mixture on you, douse with vinegar and it will stop the burning).

Though you may be tempted to make this without safety glasses, refrain. Wear those glasses! And gloves.  Wear gloves.

Okay, enough on the safety warnings. I’m sure you have your own mother to mutter these little warnings to  you so you don’t need me.

I have a plastic pitcher, a wooden spoon and a separate little glass container that I use for all things lye related. You can get  all of the supplies you need to make soap here

Here is the list:

  • An enamel or stainless steel pot (it doesn’t have to be real big)
  • 1 plastic pitcher
  • 2 wooden spoons
  • 1 stick blender (doesn’t really need to be dedicated to making soap, but be sure to wash it well)
  • 1 kitchen scale (the balance scales work okay for this recipe,  you will need a serious scale for most soap recipes though)
  • 2 glass thermometers
  • safety glasses
  • plastic gloves
  • vinegar on hand
  • a big plastic or glass bowl to set your lye mixture pitcher in.

That is it!

This is the homemade goat milk soap recipe for beginners:

  • 18 oz slushy goat’s milk – This can be from the grocery store, from a friend, from your goat, or powered that has been reconstituted. It also needs to be partially frozen for best results.
  • 6 oz water
  • 6 oz lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • 10 oz coconut oil
  • 24 oz of shortening or lard
  • 9 oz olive oil

That is it!

Learn to make goats milk soap perfectly even if you are a beginner with stuff you mostly can find at your local grocer

Here is the secret to getting cream colored goat’s milk soap

Rather than the orange/brown stuff that most beginners end up with. The reason goat’s milk soap turns brown is because the lye causes the milk solids to burn. The way around that problem is to mix the lye with water first, then mix the lye into the oils and then add the milk.

Another important point is that  you want  your lye solution and your oil to be about the same temperature and that temperature needs to be 100 degrees. It does make a difference.

I like to mix my lye solution over an ice bath. So I put the pitcher in a big bowl full of ice, mix the lye into the water s l o w l  y   so it doesn’t explode and then drop ice cubes down into the solution to get it to cool down quicker. I’m so not the patient type.

Here are the steps to the Homemade Goat Milk Soap Recipe for Beginners:

  • Heat the coconut oil and shortening/lard until it melts in the big pot. Take it off the heat and add olive oil.  Set aside to cool.
  • Put on your safety glasses and gloves
  • Put the pitcher in the ice bath add the water and then the lye to the water.
  • Once both are the same temperature, 100 degrees, mix the lye into the oils (DO NOT DO THIS THE OTHER WAY AROUND )
  • Add the milk.
  • Use the stick blender to mix and blend. Do this in pulses of 20 seconds or you will burn out your blender. Between pulses stir with the blender.
  • When the concoction traces it will look like vanilla pudding. Trace just means that it hold the shape of a swirl, like, as I said, vanilla pudding.
soap trace

Once it begins to trace add your essential oil and extra stuff. I like to use lavender oil and lavender bits, but you can add almost anything. If you are planning to add oatmeal, you need to grind it up first. Take it from me, the whole oats things doesn’t work so well, I know, I’ve tried it.

Adding Stuff To Your Soap

When it comes to adding essential oils, I only add a few drops. For honey/oatmeal soap, I add about 1/4 cup of honey and a cup of oats. Also I have found that sandalwood oil can cause your soap to seize. (turns hard really fast) so go slow when adding that.

Make sure that you have lined your cardboard molds with wax paper before you start if you are planning to use cardboard molds. Pour your mixture into the mold after it has traced and you’ve added all your stuff and made sure it traced again.

Before you Cut Your Soap

Let the soap sit in the mold for 24 hours – it will harden up. You then want to dump it out and cut it into the shapes you want. Let it cure for at least 2-3 weeks before using. Enjoy!

The whole process shouldn’t take you more than maybe an hour from start to finish.

If you have questions ask them below, I follow this blog pretty closely and love to help new soap makers get started!

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Don’t forget to grab your copy of The Soap Maker’s Journal so that you can keep your recipes in one place. Every time I make soap I always do something a little different. Recording the adjustments in this journal allows me to repeat success and avoid repeating unwanted results.

Soap maker's journal for bath and body product crafters. Keep all your notes in one place. #soapmaking #homemadesoap #goatsmilksoap @hart_nana
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Lose the Bottle – 5 All Natural Shampoo And Conditioner Ideas

all natural shampoo and conditioners

Over the years we have become so conditioned to purchasing our shampoo and conditioner at the local grocery story that we have forgotten the time honored, all  natural shampoo and conditioner ideas that our grandmothers used to use.  There are some things we need to talk about before diving in.  Since we have been using shampoo for years our hair and scalp have become accustomed to producing a certain amount of oil to combat the stripping action the chemicals in shampoo cause.  Therefore the more frequently you apply shampoo to your hair the faster it will get oily.  Weaning off of shampoo will take some time for your hair to adjust.

Finding All Natural Shampoo


You should find that by using more natural shampoo and conditioner ideas over time your hair won’t be oily as fast. Did you ever wonder what people did in the old days? Remember all those  young gals with long, long hair? Do you remember the 100 strokes before bed? Women and girls worn their hair up to minimize the amount of dirt that accumulated in it. They also didn’t wash their hair very often. Many of these old ways had a function. Now we are just encouraged to use, use, use, with little thought to what all of the packaging is doing to the environment or what the products are doing to us.

My own hair is fairly long. I wash it once a week. The rest of the time I wear it in a braid and brush it once a day to distribute the oil to the ends where it can benefit the most.  My hair is healthy and even though I am in my fifties my hair still grows almost four inches a year.

All Natural Shampoo and Conditioner Ideas:

  • You can use regular homemade soap if you want some lather. Goats milk soap will clean the oils and dirt from your hair and nourish the skin on your scalp.
  • Baking soda rinse instead of soap or shampoo. One tablespoon in an old squirt bottle filled with water. Rinse  your hair with water, then apply the baking soda mixture at the base. Massage it into your scalp and it will rinse through the rest of your hair. Follow that with a vinegar rinse to neutralize the backing soda. One tablespoon of vinegar to a squirt bottle of water. The vinegar will also cut any dandruff issues you may be suffering from.
  • Eggs – crack the eggs into a plastic cup and mix.  Once you are done with your “washing” apply the eggs while you finish bathing. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Mayonnaise – Apply as a conditioner while you wash, rinse out.
  • Olive Oil treatment – Once  you have “washed” your hair, apply very warm olive oil to it, then wrap your hair in a towel (right out of the dryer is best) Let your hair soak for ten to twenty minutes. Wash out the olive oil with hot water, baking soda and then the vinegar rinse.

Try these alternatives when it comes to all natural shampoo and conditioner  for a couple months and you will notice how wonderful your hair is and how much more time you have now that you aren’t spending so much of it messing with your hair.

Make Your Own All Natural Shampoo

½ сuр distilled wаtеr
¼ сuр liquid саѕtіlе soap
2 tsp аvосаdо oil
1/8 tsp рерреrmіnt essential оіl
1/8 tѕр tea tree еѕѕеntіаl oil
1 tsp vеgеtаblе glусеrіn  – this is optional but will add “body” to your shampoo
10 – 15 drops of еѕѕеntіаl оіlѕ – nothing like making your hair smell nice and nourishing it right?

Put the аbоvе іngrеdіеntѕ in a squeeze or pump bottle.  Shаkе wеll bеfоrе еасh uѕе. Pоur a lіttlе over уоur hеаd. Lather gооd. Gеntlу massage in thе ѕсаlр fоr a mіnutе or twо. Rinse соmрlеtеlу.

Find What You Need To Make All Natural Shampoo and Conditioner Here:

 

 

Castile SoapCastile SoapClick HereEssential OilsEssential OilsClick HereAvocado OilAvocado OilClick HereGlycerine VegetableGlycerine VegetableClick Here16 Ounce Cobalt Blue16 Ounce Cobalt BlueClick HereSoft 'N Style Lotion Dispenser Bottle, 16 oz.Soft ‘N Style Lotion Dispenser Bottle, 16 oz.Click Here32 Ounce White Plastic Bottle32 Ounce White Plastic BottleClick Here

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Cold Process Soap A Tale Of Re Batching

re batching cold process soap

DustyFrame Shares with us her experience with re batching cold process soap because it did not turn out the first time around. I have had similar problems and this was my solution also.

 

Here is Dusty’s story About Cold Process Soap Re Batching:

I’m still learning this whole soap making thing. I enjoy it and think I’m getting closer to figuring it out.

This was batch #3 and I didn’t know that citrus essential oils don’t do very well in cold process soap making. I used tangerine essential oil in it as well as grated orange peel for a little bit of “scrubby”.

I used tumeric to color it and while it looked nice as a bar, it didn’t smell like much of anything other than orange peel.

I’m not about to waste a whole pound of soap, so I decided to rebatch it.

Soap disaster? Don't throw it out, rebatch it

Here’s what I did.

1. Grate the soap.

2. I added 1/8 c. of Goat’s Milk and a splash of olive oil.

3. I put it in a warm oven 170 in this enamel pan. I checked it every 15 minutes. It did take a fair amount of time until it melted. I just stirred it every time I checked it. Eventually, it looked like this.

4. Then I stirred in peppermint essential oil and some more tangerine–ok I should give up the tangerine because it really didn’t work. I also added about 1 TB of honey.

5. Pour it into the mold–this one happens to be a Rubbermaid drawer organizer that I found at the thrift store for fifty cents.

6. I unmolded it as soon as it cooled. Since it was a rebatch it didn’t need to set as long as fresh cold process soap does.

I learned from this batch a few things.

1. Skip the citrus essential oils.

2. I don’t really care for the scent of orange peels but they are a nice scrubby additive.

3. Tumeric makes a really nice pumpkin color and I’ll probably use it again to color some spicey or fall scented soaps.

4. I’d rather get the soap right the 1st time than do rebatching. It’s not really my thing, but it was better than wasting it.

5. Rebatching requires a lot less liquid than I used. The goat’s milk, olive oil, and honey was too much. It required a lot longer time to dry than it should have and it’s still not a super hard bar of soap.

 

The tools you need to accomplish soap rebatching all in one place:

sturdy gratersturdy graterGet it Hererotary graterrotary graterGet it Hereessential oilsessential oilsGet it Here6 pack soap mold6 pack soap moldGet it Herebox soap moldbox soap moldGet it Here6 piece flower soap mold6 piece flower soap moldGet it Here

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Soap Molds – Which One Is For You?

soap mold

When it comes to making homemade soap, once you get past the actually making the soap phase, you need to have a soap mold to pour your lovely creation into.  The sky is the limit when it come to molding your soap, you just need to follow a few simple rules. NEVER USE ALUMINUM. Okay that was pretty loud. Also, Pringles chip cans don’t work so well either. I know, I’ve tried.

Methods of Making Your Own Soap Molds:

 

Soap Mold Made Out Of PVC

 

soap moldsYes, you can use PVC pipe to make a soap mold.  They make beautiful circular soaps. First you go and purchase the diameter pipe that makes the diameter of the soaps you intend for your finished product. Look at the hole in the center, not the measurement of the pipe.  You will need about a one foot section per mold. Slice the pipe length wise in half, all the way through so you end up with two troughs.

Then you need to purchase end caps and rubber bands (strong rubber bands). Velcro strips might work too. The object is to fashion the two pieces of PVC together with one end cap on it, pour your soap into the mold, put the other cap on, let rest standing up, then when you are ready to un-mold the soap, you simple undo the rubber bands pull on side off, dump the other side out and slice.

Another method for this is to push the soap out once it has hardened. You can avoid the need to cut the soap mold first.

 

Here is the PVC pipe soap mold concept with cardboard mailer tubes:

For you wood soap mold fans here are a couple videos on how to make a wood soap mold. In the last video he gives a list of the supplies you need to build this soap mold. Keith also has a nifty little twist he adds at the end so be sure to watch these videos!

Cool Soap Mold Idea!!!

In my wanderings I discovered using a loofa scrubber incorporated into a soap mold! You end up with a loofa/soap bar. How cool would this be to add to a spa basket gift? Or even to box up nicely for holiday giving?

soap mold

Loofa Soap Mold Ideas:

This is easy to do with this sort of mold. The method I would employ:

  1. Cut your loofa pieces into 1/2 inch sections.
  2. Pour in a small amount of soap at the bottom of the mold.
  3. Press your loofa piece into the soap.
  4. Fill the rest of the soap mold with soap.

For this type of mold – which I think could be super cute I would follow these directions:

  1. Cut your loofa pieces into 1/2 inch sections.
  2. Fill the mold most of the way up with soap.
  3. Press your loofa piece into the soap trying not to let it over flow the mold. (It is okay if the loofa piece is raised above the soap mold.)

 

And finally:

There is always the stand by cardboard box with wax paper that I talk about frequently, just line them with wax paper and you’re good to go. Catch up with us over on facebook and let us know what you use for soap molds, how your soap making adventures are going and help when things go array.

Here are a few items available through Amazon that you might find helpful for soap molds or just making soap in general.


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Goat Milk Lotion Recipe

lotion picture for site

This Goat milk lotion recipe is so good for you because goat’s milk itself has healing properties! This is my own recipe that I love though some find it a tad bit oily until the coconut and almond oil soak into your skin.

Because as we all know, I’m not a patient or particularly detail oriented person, these ingredients go together smoothly. This is also a pretty thick lotion and could be used as a goat milk body butter recipe.

Goat Milk Lotion Recipe

  • 2 oz bees wax/emulsifying wax (I have found that emulsifying wax works better than bees wax)
    1/2 oz cocoa butter
  • 1 1/2 oz palm kernel oil
    8 oz coconut oil
    8 tbs almond oil
  • 1 cup goats milk
  • Add 1 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1 tbs Germaben II

Mix the first five ingredients in a glass bowl, micro wave or heat over the stove till melted, whisk in the water and goat’s milk until the whole emulsion cools. I like to mix this together over an ice bath with a whisk. Don’t forget to add the Germaben II once it has become lotion. Store in glass jar in fridge. If the lotion is too thick you can add more water to thin it out. I’ve also had success with re heating the lotion and mixing again to get it to stay emulsified, even adding more emulsifying wax if the lotion starts to separate.

goat milk lotion recipe

One thing I always have to remind myself of when I first mix the oils and liquids together, is that the milk is not curdling, it is becoming lotion as it has kind of a strange look in the beginning. Keep mixing, it will turn to lotion.

Phenonip - Natural PreservativePhenonip – Natural PreservativeGermaben II - Natural PreservativeGermaben II – Natural PreservativeRaw Cocoa ButterRaw Cocoa ButterPalm Kernel FlakesPalm Kernel FlakesOrganic Coconut OilOrganic Coconut OilSweet Almond OilSweet Almond OilWhole Powdered Goat MilkWhole Powdered Goat Milk

&

 

Now for some alternatives to using this Goat Milk Lotion Recipe

So there you are, standing like Indiana Jones …

In a cave full of choices – I mean the grocery aisle – as you reach out for the lotion “made with natural ingredients” on the left. Sucking in your breath, you flip the label.

Water. So far, so good.

Sweet almond oil. You exhale cautiously.

homemade lotion recipe - intensive moisturizing

MommyPotamus is funny and has a great video for making moisturizing lotion with just a handful of ingredients.

If these two recipes aren’t enough to satisfy your lotion making needs – here are 18 more easy homemade lotion recipes.

Easy Homemade Lotion recipes - 18 of them!!!




Let’s watch as this gal makes lotion on you tube.

 

Why The Ingredients in This Goat Milk Lotion Recipe Are Good For Your Skin

Raw goat’s milk does so many amazing things for your skin that you can discover over here on in this article about why use goats milk soap, What this article talks about in regards to goat milk in soaps is not just true for goats milk soaps, but for this goat milk lotion recipe too.

In addition to the goat milk, the almond oil is an excellent emollient and helps skin retain moisture. It makes your skin smooth and young looking and is a good oil for combating irritated skin.

Help prevent premature aging of your skin, it is a moisturizer and helps with various skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.

Goats Milk Lotion Recipe. Healing ingredients easy to make. #goatsmilklotion #DIYbodybutter #DIYlotion @hart_nana

What Else Helps?

Cocoa butter – long touted for it’s ability to fade stretch marks (don’t most of us moms remember lathering it on our big bellies toward the end of pregnancy?), also has properties that remove free radicals in your skin. It penetrates deep into the skin so is extra moisturizing and also contains vitamin E which fades scars.

All in all this lotion should make you feel special not only because you made it yourself, but because it is good for you.

If you don’t have the ability to accumulate all of these skin loving ingredients, you can always just order your moisturizing lotion from HartNana.com

You can find all of the ingredients you need to create your own lotion here

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Homemade Carpet Deodorizer

homemade carpet deoderizer

This is really simple and works wonderfully, I know as I have used it in my mini van. You remember how I use my mini van to move my goats around? You don’t?  Well, here is my “you might be a redneck story” about goats and my mini van.

So I don’t believe that my babies should be moved around in a pick up truck and I don’t have an animal carrier so I just pile them into my mini van when ever I need to move them about.  They are kind of like really big dogs except that they aren’t house trained. If I am carting them very far they do end up peeing or dropping berries at some point along the way.

The berries aren’t a big deal, just sweep them out when I get home, but the peeing does pose a problem.  Some times I will just open both doors to the van and use the hose on the carpet, other times I just this carpet deodorizer to absorb the smell, then once it all dries I vacuum it out.

Homemade Carpet Deodorizer

  • 1 box baking soda
  • 1/2 c borax
  • essential oil (or not) – 20 – 40 drops depending on your fragrance preference

Mix these together in a glass bowl then put them in a very clean plastic container with a wide opening dispenser. An old Parmesan cheese container works well or an old carpet deodorizer container that has been saved.

Baking soda soaks up bad things that get spilled on carpets too – like wine or colored juice or colored soda. This works especially well if  you get the soda on it quickly.

*you might want to be aware that if  you use this on your carpets a lot, you could damage not only your carpet, but your vacuum as well.

This is a great video the shows how to use general household items to clean carpet stains!

Share this with  your facebook friends – who knows you could be responsible for saving your friend’s carpet.

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Living The Homestead Life Becoming Self Sufficient Is a Process

living the homestead life

Reflecting back I’ve come to realize that living the homestead life is a process of becoming self sufficient.

When I first started this journey, I had no idea goats had no upper teeth. Or how to make bread from scratch.I had not clue whether you needed a rooster to get chicken eggs. Or how to incubate and raise baby chicks. There are so many things that I have learned over the last decade. I look forward to sharing what I have learned and continue to learn with you.

How I got Started Living The Homestead Life

My father in law bought me a copy of Carla Emery’s book, The Encyclopedia of Country Living years ago. At the back of the book is a test.  A sort of living the homesteading life have you become self sufficient yet test. Looking at the test now, I know how to do everything she has listed. This wasn’t the case when I first got the book though.

The Backyard HomesteadThe Backyard HomesteadGet it HereThe Encyclopedia of Country LivingThe Encyclopedia of Country LivingGet it HereHomesteading From ScratchHomesteading From ScratchGet it HereHomesteadingHomesteadingGet it Here

Enjoying the journey

Much like gardening, becoming self sufficient is a process of adding to the knowledge you are gleaning, making adaptations, talking to old timers and finding out what works for you.

There are many people who live in urban settings. Urban homesteads are becoming popular. Gone are the days when you needed acres of land to produce enough food for your family. Many are doing it with a normal quarter to third acre lot in the middle of big cities. Some even homestead on roof tops!

Once we retire, my husband and I will be homesteading from a 5th wheel. Think it can’t be done? There are so many ways to grow food and a couple chickens don’t take up that much space.

As with everything you do in life, you need to make the decision that homestead life is the lifestyle you wish to lead. Becoming more self sufficient will naturally move you towards a more natural way of life. One of the perks is that you will find you health improves as you eat more homegrown food.

One of the things I love the most about living the homestead life is that  there is always something new to learn, explore, enjoy. There are stories that grow from the journey. It is a good life. So satisfying to know that should everything collapse tomorrow, you will be part of the solution not adding to the problem.

Along the way you meet other like minded individuals who share your passion for different aspects of the country life.

There are a ton of places to find specific information about living the homestead life. If you are just beginning your journey, even if you are living in the city, I highly recommend that you get a copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living, a hard copy, so that you have a solid reference book should you be without power.

Pick one thing at a time to focus on. I started with chickens. They are easy to raise. They don’t take much in terms of shelter and they produce eggs (and meat if you aren’t too squeamish). With all of the messing going on with the food supply, I feel much more comfortable “knowing” the meat I eat.

As you get comfortable with your first accomplishment, move on to another self sufficient living skill and conquer it. Before you know it, you will be living the homestead life too.

fairy gardenfairy gardenGet it HereIndoor wall planterIndoor wall planterGet it Here5 Tier Stackable Strawberry5 Tier Stackable StrawberryGet it HereIndoor Herb GardenIndoor Herb GardenGet it HereGourment Herb GardenGourment Herb GardenGet it Here

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Spider Goats In Cache Valley

clone babies

I almost could not believe there was such a thing as spider goats. The gals over at the University of Idaho extension office told me about them. Also they mentioned that they lived here in Cache Valley. And we could go and see them. This totally blew me away.

 

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What are spider goats? They are genetically modified goats. Scientists spliced into the normal goat DNA a gene for producing orb spider silk.  So now when these goats are milked the silk protein can be isolated and spun into silk.

 Science Nation Explains Spider Goats

According to the students who manage the spider goats, and do the milking, the average amount of silk gleaned from one liter of milk is three milliliters of silk. Apparently spider silk is some of the strongest natural fibers around. Which makes sense, do you remember the last time you got “stuck” in a web? The program includes some spider goats that are cloned and some that are bred naturally.

The results are that about half of the naturally bred goats end  up with the spider silk gene. While, of course, 100% of the cloned goats produce silk. There are a variety of goats used as surrogates to carry the cloned goats, though Saneens are the goat breed chosen for the spider goat project here in the valley, The project, when it was started in Canada used Spanish Goats. Apparently they are really good mothers.

Spider Goats, what are they and why do they exist?

I’m not sure how I feel about all of this splicing and cloning going on. From a scientific point of view I find it fascinating. You’ve got to ask yourself, who sits around thinking, “hmm why don’t we just make silk out of goat’s milk”, right?

Other Weird Ways Of Growing Silk

Even more strange perhaps is that the Biological Engineers (yes, they are really called that) have found a strain of e coli that they use to produce silk! They grow the bacteria then rupture it. They capture the tumor that is the silk!

I was talking with this young woman from 4H heading off to Utah State this year. Her plans include becoming a Biological Engineer.  She has been over to the silk labs quite often this summer. And gave me all sorts of really interesting information on the uses of this silk.

For starters the reason they want spider silk instead of silk worm silk is that it is about 500 times stronger.  Silk worms give off their silk by way of cocooning. It takes a whole lot of silk worms, mulberry leaves and people with cast iron stomachs to produce silk that way. Once when I was younger, and lived in Japan, we went on a field trip to a silk factory. The smell haunts me to this day.

Think

Paper plant?

Rotten cabbage?

Truly it is gross.

There are many uses for this silk being stronger than Kevlar it has military applications. Also because of the fine structure it makes great tools in the medical field. One of the ideas is to splice in good, natural antibiotic DNA into the silk production and use the silk for sutures.

spider goat baby

As a person who like the more natural things in life, the idea that we take food and make it something else and then take chemicals and call it food, kind of bothers me.

What do you think about all of this?

 

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