Posted on

Easy Goats Milk Soap Gift Baskets – Thrill Your Family & Friends

spa gift baskets [et_pb_section][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text]

What says I’m thinking of you more than a homemade gift?

This year make homemade goats milk soap gift baskets. Use HartNana’s Goat’s Milk Soap Recipe – so easy and so forgiving that even a novice can have terrific results. Of course HartNana will be there with you to help you out if you have problems or questions.

You can make goats milk soap gift baskets. Here is one gift basket I made a while back for the holiday and/or a baby shower gift. All you need to find is a basket, some “extra” goodies, some homemade soap, and a little creativity.

If you are wanting to give homemade soap as a Christmas gift now is the time to be making it. This recipe only needs about three weeks to cure.

We also have a super simple recipe for Goat’s Milk Lotion – Make it the same day you plan to ship it, as there is no lead time necessary (that’s a plus for last minute gifts right?)

Make Goats Milk Soap For Gifts – Putting It All Together

You can always make the lotion and put it in a cute container and don’t forget to use your imagination for wrapping your soap! Gift baskets are popular and easy to put together too.

All it takes is a basket, some cellophane wrap (you can get at the dollar store), some tissue paper, your soap, a container of lotion, and maybe a loofah sponge, a candle and a relaxing CD. Put it all in your basket after arranging the tissue paper, then wrap the whole thing in cellophane wrap and add a big bow.


Here is a video to give  you an idea about how to put it all together.



There you go super simple, super personal and quite frankly – lots of fun!!

Save

Save

 

Goat Milk Soap Gift Baskets For Extra Holiday Cash

The gift basket featured above I made for a craft fair. In fact I made a bunch of them. You can do it too! Find interesting baskets (or dig through your stores), add your homemade soap – because truly that is the gift – then add a few odds n ends. Coffee, wine, candles, chocolate, tea, cookies all make great additions. And don’t forget the huge bow.

Here are Some From Amazon to Give You Ideas:

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]
Posted on 1 Comment

Make Comfrey Oil – It is a Carpel Tunnel Natural Remedy!

How to Make Comfrey Oil

Making any type of herbal oil is a simple process of infusing the herb into a good quality oil that will allow absorption into the skin.  I prefer Almond and Coconut oils for making ointments, oils and lotions. You could add the Comfrey infused almond oil to this goat’s milk lotion recipe. You will get a super wonderfully healing lotion!  Don’t use this everyday though, as there are chemicals in Comfrey that can cause liver problems if used long term even topically.

secret natural remedy that heals bones

To make Comfrey oil you will need both almond oil and Comfrey leaves that are dried.  I like to grow Comfrey as it requires so little effort. It also comes back from year to year without me having to do much.

Harvesting Comfrey Leaves

Each fall I harvest the Comfrey leaves and dry them on a clothes drying rack. Clothes drying racks are an awesome way to dry your herbs and greens.

harvesting comfrey leaves

(This is dill in the picture, I still had some wrapped up from last fall)

Gather the stems together in little bunches. Next rubber band them then use little pieces of wire like come with garbage bags or bread wrappers. I save mine in an old plastic bottle. Then thread the wire wrapper through the rubber band then attach the wire to the clothes rack. Sometimes I even put a bit of chicken wire between the racks so I can dry even more on one rack. This works well for drying peppers too.

Back to how to make comfrey oil. Take your Comfrey leaves crumble them up. Next rub them a bit to release their natural oils. Figure about 1/4 cup Comfrey leaves crumbled to one pint of almond oil. Heat the mixture  up until it is warm and let it sit while warm for several hours.

Make Comfrey Oil With a Crock Pot

A good way to do this is in a crock pot on the low setting. Place a wet dish towel in the crock pot first. Then add your pints of almond oil/comfrey on top of the towel.  Next fill the crock pot about half way up the jars then let it sit at low heat for about eight to twelve hours.  I like to start mine in the evening and then they are ready in the morning.

Make Comfrey Oil in Your Oven

benefits of comfreyYou can also make your Comfrey oil in your oven. Heat the oven up to 200 degrees then turn it off. Put your Comfrey oil in a roasting pan or a pot.  If you’re only doing one jar, that has hot, but not boiling water in it, fill them about half way up the jar. Leave these in the oven for 8 to 12 hours replacing the water and reheating the oven once or twice during the process. This method doesn’t work so well at night as you need to do more with it. And, hey, who likes to wake up in the middle of the night to be “fiddling” with stuff?

I’m all about easy, fast and efficient  in my world so the crock pot method works well for me.


After eight to twelve hours of infusing the Comfrey leaves you will need to strain them out of the oil. This is best accomplished by straining the oil/leaf mixture through cheese cloth. A neckerchief, or a piece of thin, clean cotton like muslin also work. Be sure to squeeze all of the oil out of the Comfrey leaves. Then label your Comfrey Oil. It is best stored in a cool dark place.

What are the Comfrey Leaf Benefits?

Comfrey leaves and roots have been used for centuries for heal bruises, bones and contusions. It is thought, by the medical community, that ingesting Comfrey leaves in the form of Comfrey tea can have detrimental affects on  your liver. But using it in a topical application has been shown time and again to really work to speed  up the healing process.

In 2016 I broke my ankle falling down the basement stairs. I used comfrey as a compress and was amazed at how quickly I healed. The bones was better in 3 weeks instead of 4!

The University of Maryland describes Comfrey:

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is sometimes used on the skin to treat wounds and reduce inflammation from sprains and broken bones. Comfrey roots and leaves contain allantoin, a substance that helps new skin cells grow, along with other substances that reduce inflammation and keep skin healthy. Comfrey ointments have been used to heal bruises as well as pulled muscles and ligaments, fractures, sprains, strains, and osteoarthritis.

Around here we like to either use Comfrey leaves crumbled, rubbed a bit and then put in a clean sock. Next we apply boiling water to the sock. You can dip it into a cup with boiling water in it. Then once the sock has cooled to warm (do not apply the boiling hot sock to your skin it will hurt and could burn  you) apply the sock/Comfrey leaf poultice to your injured area. Use an ace bandage to hold it in place.

Comfrey the Natural Remedy for carpel tunnel

This works as a carpel tunnel natural remedy. It also works for tennis elbow, or runners knee, shin splints or even back pain.

Use this in addition to the Comfrey oil you should notice significant relief fairly quickly. A trick for applying essential oils. Put it on the soles of your feet at night with socks to protect your bedding. By morning you will find that the medicinal properties of what ever you put on your feet have traveled to where the ingredients were needed most!

The next time  you have a cold, instead of applying the herbal ointment to your chest, put it on your feet. See if the results don’t blow you away by how well this works.

If  you don’t want to make  your own comfrey oil  you can buy it here and if you’d like to grow Comfrey and make your own oil, check out these deals on Comfrey seeds. Comfrey grows like a weed – a very special weed indeed.

be prepared in the event of a disaster.

Save

Save

Posted on

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

Save

Posted on 4 Comments

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

Save

Save

Posted on 1 Comment

Soap Cutting Knife With Cool Crinkle Edge

crinkle cut knife

I have an admission to make. I have been coveting a really cool crinkle edged soap cutting knife for a long time. Those wavy ends on bars of home made soap are just so attractive.

For the longest time I thought this little soap cutting knife was going to be outlandishly expensive, I’m not too sure why, but turns out they are fairly cheap! So watch out world, Hart Nana’s Goat Milk Soap isn’t going to have just any old edge it will now have the beautiful, more professional looking wavy edge, now that I have my very own Dezine Black Handled Crinkle Cut Soap Cutting Knife.

Can you just see it now? You are dumping out your fresh made lovely batch of handcrafted soap from its mold, you reach over and instead of the regular straight edged knife or wire that  you have been using, you reach for your very own black handled crinkle cut soap cutting knife. It is fairly light in your hand as you move over toward the pristine soap. You press the crinkled blade against the smooth soap applying an even amount of pressure,the knife slides through the soap like hot steel through butter. Setting your soap up to finish curing you are smugly struck with the thought, I made those professional looking bars of soap and know that any one who receives such a piece of art from you will remark how clever you are.

The amazing Dezine Black Handled Crinkle Cut Soap Cutting Knife could be in your soap making tool kit as soon as tomorrow if you order yours today.

soap cutting knife

  • Heavy gauge aluminum
  • A smooth, easy-to-grasp black handle
  • This stainless steel wave slicer with black handle has a wavy blade for extra special cutting of vegetables and other items
  • Use to trim the edges of hand-made ravioli, make crinkle cut French fries, wave cut vegetables like carrots and zucchini or if you’re got a steady hand, make potato gaufrettes
  • Easy and fun to use

Who knew you could have so much fun for under $10!

Watch as she uses a crinkle cut knife to cut her soap.  You can find these type of soap loaf cutting trays here

Posted on

Lavender Essential Oil Aromatherapy Relaxation In The Air

Lavender essential oil

Lаvеndеr Essential Oil Aromatherapy: Lurе Of A Lusty Life

Using оf lavender essential oil aromatherapy іѕ іnеvіtаblе. Vаrіоuѕ essential оіlѕ соntrіbutе their ѕіgnіfісаnсе in аrоmаthеrару. Onе аmоng ѕuсh oils іѕ lаvеndеr оіl.

Lаvеndеr essential оіl is еxtrасtеd from lаvеndеr trее аlѕо knоwn as Lаvеndulа officinalis. During extraction оf this oil, a delicate рrосеѕѕ іѕ fоllоwеd, whеrе generally wаtеr оr ѕtеаm is uѕеd. Thе оіl, dіѕtіllеd from lavender tree соntаіnѕ the pure ѕсеnt оf the trее іtѕеlf. Lаvеndеr оіl lооkѕ сlеаr wіth a bіt tоuсh оf уеllоw. This оіl іѕ nоt ѕо оіlу. Hеnсе, in аrоmаthеrару, this оіl іѕ соnѕіdеrеd аѕ one аmоng thе thinnest essential oils.

Lavender Essential oil extraordinaire! The go to solution to almost any health problem (at least around our house)

lavender essential oil aromatherapy

Thе оdоr оf lavender essential oil іѕ mеdіum and соnѕіdеrеd as оnе оf mоѕt relaxing smell. Nоrmаllу, this аrоmа is neither so strong nor so lіght. Inѕtеаd the smell іѕ sweet. In аrоmаthеrару, while dіlutіng lаvеndеr оіl, mаіnlу ѕwееt almond oil, арrісоt kernel оіl or grape ѕееd оіl іѕ used аѕ саrrіеr oils.


Radha Beauty LavenderRadha Beauty LavenderLearn MoreLavender 100% PureLavender 100% PureLearn MorePure Lavender OilPure Lavender OilLearn MoreAromatherapy Top 8Aromatherapy Top 8Learn MoreAromatherapy Top-16Aromatherapy Top-16Learn MoreMulti Colored DiffuserMulti Colored DiffuserLearn MoreWood grain diffuserWood grain diffuserLearn MoreDiffuser Oil SetDiffuser Oil SetLearn MoreMini Teak DiffuserMini Teak DiffuserLearn More


lavender essential oil aromatherapy is used for trеаtіng vаrіоuѕ diseases. Massaging with mіnglеd lаvеndеr оіl can brіng the еffесt of rеlаxаtіоn аnd саlmnеѕѕ. In аrоmаthеrару, mаnу ѕkіn рrоblеmѕ, like, асnе, аllеrgіеѕ, oily ѕkіn, ѕсаr ѕkіn, ѕtrеtсh marks еtс can be trеаtеd wіth lаvеndеr оіl. Hоt bаth with a fеw drорѕ оf the оіl will аѕѕurе you about relieving аnxіеtу. Whereas, a cool bаth with this oil wіll brіng a feeling оf rеfrеѕh. Lavender oil can асt аѕ facial and ѕkіn оіl ѕuреrlаtіvеlу for hеаlіng vаrіоuѕ skin problems.

Mаѕѕаgіng wіth this oil wоrkѕ еffесtіvеlу in саѕе оf hеаdасhе. On thе оthеr hаnd, іn healing оf hypertension, sunburn раіn, insects’ or mоѕԛuіtоеѕ’ bite, bruises, mіnоr-burn, blisters, athlete’s fооt, rеduсе lаbоr pain, lavender oil works well іndееd.

Cure everything with these 15 essential oils - print it out for future reference

Lаvеndеr оіl can bе kерt іn Fіrѕt Aіd bоx. Wіth thіѕ oil, mіnоr іnjurіеѕ, lіkе burns, сut еtс саn bе healed. Mаnу a tіmе, lаvеndеr оіl is uѕеd іn trеаtmеnt оf various nervous рrоblеmѕ, such as, іnѕоmnіа, mіgrаіnе, nеrvоuѕ tension, ѕtrеѕѕ, PMS, rеѕtlеѕѕnеѕѕ etc. In such саѕеѕ, іn aromatherapy, раtіеntѕ are rесоmmеndеd ѕіmрlу to іnhаlе the frаgrаnсе that еffесtѕ оn thе сеntrаl nеrvоuѕ ѕуѕtеm роѕіtіvеlу. Respiratory problems lіkе, asthma, brоnсhіtіѕ, halitosis, thrоаt infection, whооріng cough саn bе solved wіth lavender oil аѕ well.

Be Sure To Dilute Your Essential Oil With A Carrier Oil

But always keep in уоur mіnd tо dilute it with some саrrіеr oil before uѕіng. Alѕо make ѕurе thаt there іѕ nо allergic rеасtіоn оn the ѕkіn. At thе ѕаmе time, іt is also rесоmmеndеd tо bе careful durіng the рurсhаѕе оf lаvеndеr оіl.

Dо you wаnt to kеер yourself hеаlthу аnd bеіng wеll? Usage оf lаvеndеr essential oil aromatherapy will bе thе right орtіоn for уоu. Wіth еnоrmоuѕ advantages, thіѕ оіl has bесоmе аn important component оf aromatherapy.

lavender essential oil aromatherapy is relaxation in the air for sure, it is easy to disburse with these inexpensive aromatherapy difusers. So instead of using store bought, how knows what’s in them scents to freshen up your house, why not be adding the relaxing scent of lavender to mellow out a rambunctious area of your home?

 

 

Lavender essential oil is a great addition to goats milk soap. It blends in easily especially when  you are making a homemade soap recipe like Hartnana’s super simple goats milk soap recipe.

Save

Posted on 8 Comments

Making Goats Milk Soap For The First Time

alora-fairy-festival

Memories of “you’re gonna shoot your eye out” come to mind when I think about making goats milk soap for the first time. Or really making any homemade soap.  I knew almost twenty years ago now that I wanted to make homemade soap. It was while standing in “Summers Past“.  A wonderful little garden shop on the outskirts of San Diego that I made the decision that I really wanted to live a country life. Making soap, baking bread, playing in the garden and canning my produce was the life I wanted.

My last trip to San Diego,  my daughter, grand children and I went back to Summers Past for a Fairy Festival.

alora-fairy-festival

Such a wonderful, magical place. Being there brought back the memories of the stirring to live a more simple life.

Making goats milk soap for the first time

That first Christmas after telling my husband that I wanted to make my own soap; he bought me a big stainless steel stock pot.   Now I would have something to make the soap in. That was all I really knew that I needed. A big pot and something about using a paint paddle to stir the ingredients. In my mind I was going to be making vats of soap. (I laugh when I think back on how the process appeared to me at the time.)

My grandmother (who was an immigrant from Czechoslovakia, and whom my mother swears was a gypsy) used to make lye soap for washing clothes.  I am pretty sure she made it by running water through ash and then adding fat she rendered from the meat she cooked. My mother tells stories about the big vat my grandmother used in the yard to make the soap. We were never to touch “grandma’s lye soap” for fear (mostly on my mom’s part) that we would get burned by the lye.

I tell you this story so that you will understand, that my fear of lye and working with lye stemmed from hearing this story as a young girl. So that pot sat for many years before I actually worked up the nerve to buy some lye to make soap.  First I fiddled around with melt and pour soap. Also melting down bars of soap that were scraps and reforming them.

Making Goats Milk Soap – Just Go For It!

Then one day several years ago I decided that I was “going for it”. Armed with safety goggles, rubber gloves and stern warnings to the children and pets that no one, and I meant no one, was to come anywhere near the kitchen while I was working.  Carefully, I laid out newspaper every where, got all of my supplies out. I was ready!

I measured every ingredient exactly. Mixed everything together the way the instructions called for. And except for the fact that I did not have a stick blender while using a recipe that was heavy on the olive oil my first adventure went alright. I did have to stir my soap for five or six HOURS to get it to trace. So, when I suggest to people to get a stick blender if they are going to make soap, it is with that experience in mind that I recommend them.  A good friend of mine uses an old plastic bucket and a paint paddle hooked to his drill to make soap.

Making Goats Milk Soap From Start To Finish

The time it takes me to make homemade goats milk soap has gone down considerably. I can usually make two batches from start to finish including clean up in an hour and a half. Though I am still respectful of lye, I have discovered that keeping vinegar on hand will neutralize any mishap.  Always mix your lye into your liquid and then the liquid/lye into the oils, so it is not necessary to be fearful of it.

Making homemade soap and cooking — just different forms of the same thing. Once you get the hang of the basics, the sky is the limit when it comes to expressing creativity.  It is my hope that you will enjoy your soap making adventures too.  Feel free to leave comments below. I love connecting with other soap makers and want to be soap makers.

 

Posted on

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

Come join us over on Facebook follow along on our living the homestead life adventures.

 

Posted on 2 Comments

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.

 

Handmade Goat Milk SoapHandmade Goat Milk SoapUnscented Goat Milk SoapUnscented Goat Milk SoapHandmade Goat Milk & Honey SoapHandmade Goat Milk & Honey SoapBeekman 1802 Goat Milk SoapBeekman 1802 Goat Milk Soap

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?

 

Save

Save

Posted on

4H Making Goats Milk Lotion With The Girls

What a great experience we had last night making goats milk lotion with the 4H gals here in town.  Such a fun group of young girls who love and adore goats and making stuff out of goats milk.

We haven’t had any goat stuff going on at the Franklin Country Fair in many  years (maybe never) because Cache Valley is primarily a Dairy Producing community.  I used to wonder about the production of milk and cheese then I moved here. Wow, there are dairies every where!

When I first got my goats, Marsha and Fadra, I didn’t know that much about goats or anyone who actually had goats.  I relied heavily on the internet to answer all of my questions, especially when it came time for the babies to be born. Man, I was a wreck. Not only had I not had that much experience with birth in general, well except for having my own five children, but I really didn’t know that much about goats!
I remember going out to the goat shed in the wee hours of the morning in March (a day or so before Easter that year), it was cool and damp out, but not incredible cold as it has been some years when goat birthing happened. Seeing the 3 babies, Faith, Grace and Billy; it was the most wonder gift I had ever experienced. Brings tears to my eyes just remembering that morning, it was magical.  Fadra actually had 4 babies that night, one of them was born dead. That was my first experience with goats and birthing.
Fadra went on to have problems often giving birth, I think because she usually had 3 or 4 babies at a time. Over the years I have learned to deal with her quirky birthing process. She died last year. It was a pretty sad day for me.
We are going to go see spider goats in a couple weeks! Apparently the University has injected some goats with spider DNA so that they can spin silk from the goat milk.  We will have more details once we investigate and will be sharing the whole experience with you! Until then enjoy your goat’s milk soap making experiences this summer while there is an abundance of goat’s milk to be had, everywhere, it seems to me.

#KW1# has been widely written about over the internet. We tried to collect some really authentic facts about #KW1#, to help you with genuine information on it. In case you would like more information on #KW1#, take a look at our other articles on the topic too.