Monday, November 16, 2009

Soap & The Flu

hand washing with soap
Image via Wikipedia
The flu season always brings in requests for me to make an antibacterial soap.  Neither my soap or the commercial antibacterial detergents will kill flu virus’.  However, a good hand washing with either product will lift and carry them down the drain.

The antibacterial detergents will kill bacterial germs-but at what price?   It’s ironic that since these products have been on the market there has also been an ever increasing rise of asthma, allergies, and chronic infections in our children.  We are also seeing more & more adults being diagnosed with a sudden onset of these same illness’. 

Research has found that using the antibacterial products are not more effective in preventing infections than if you used regular soap and water (read more here).

There are safer and less expensive means of keeping you and your household clean without harming your health.  You can find several ways to do this here & also here.

As the proverb states, there is nothing new under the sun and even this topic has been around for awhile. Read this reprint of a 1936 article on using soap.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Website Promotion

For limited time we are offering one of our new products
free with a $25 purchase.

8 ounces - Honey Scented Shampoo

Contains:  Water, Palm Kernel Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Fragrance

New Soap Scents

Have recently add a few new scents in the webstore
Click on any names to see description of the fragrance.

Studio 54

Midnight Rider – a large 6 oz bar

Piney Woods

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Judging Soap

The first year I received the judges scoring sheet from the contest, I had no clue how they arrived at the score for the Wear Rate - how they came up with a score on how much water your soap absorbs.

Click on the word blog to read & see how Anne Marie judged this soap aspect. Was a little amazed that that much effort was put into the judging.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2009 ADGA Bath Competition

Since 2007 ADGA (The American Dairy Goat Association) has been hosting a Goat Milk Soap and Lotion competition. The two main restrictions they require are – no pre-made base -products are to be made from scratch; and must use fresh goat milk – no powdered or can goat milk allowed.

The list is finally out for the 2009 ADGA Bath & Body Products Competition that took place last week. Was very pleased to find my name listed as a third place winner in the Handmade Fragrance Lotion category this year. It is the first time I have entered one of my lotions in the contest.

It has been wonderful to place in a category the last two years; but what I find the most valuable is the unbiased feedback, on the judging score sheet that is returned on each product submitted. This feedback is very helpful in improving my recipes for even better products.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Neem Oil

It's that time of year when I start mixing up Neem oil for spraying on the garden and sprays for us & the animals.

Neem oil is the oil pressed from the seeds of an evergreen tree Azadirachta Indica that originated in India and the surrounding south Asia region. The medicinal properties of Neem have been found in texts dating back thousands of years. Use of this oil can benefit gardens, pets, and people.

Neem oil can be used in the home garden and approved for organic farming because it has insecticide properties that are safe to use on vegetables and fruits but doesn’t harm pets, children or the environment. It will repel a variety of garden pests such as the mealy bugs and Japanese beetles. It will also control black spot, powdery mildew and rust, and it does this with no harm to any mammals, birds, or helpful insects like the honeybee, ladybugs, nor will it harm earthworms. Neem oil can be sprayed around areas for mosquito control, and even used on skin as a repellent.

For a botanical pesticide use 1 teaspoon of pure Neem oil per quart, or 4 teaspoons per gallon of water.

Neem oil is high in Vitamin E, contains emollients, amino acids, and fatty acids. It is soothing to dry, cracked, and damaged skin and can help restore skin's natural elasticity. Neem oil has much in common with tea tree oil in that it also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can be useful in combating acne, eczema and fungus. It can also help in the lightening of scars and pigmentation, and be used in shampoos to relieve itchy scalps and control dander.

This oil does have a bitter taste along with an unpleasant odor that has been described as a mixture of garlic and sulfur. Blending additional essential oils with Neem can help to mask the scent, Tea Tree oil and Lavender essential oil are a couple that work well in masking the scent and share similar properties.

With spring approaching you may want to consider having this oil handy to use in your gardens, on your pets for flea control, and in your soaps and lotions to soothe irritated skin.

Please remember if you choose to add this to a product you are selling for skin care avoid phrasing such as insect repellent, healing or anything similar will knock your product out of the cosmetic category and into a pesticide or drug catagory.

Some formulas to get you started—

Garden Spray
Neem oil does not mix with water, so adding some liquid soap to the water will helps to emulsify. For a general purpose spray mix at a rate of 0.5% to 1% Neem oil to water. If fighting a severe problem you may use up to 2% Neem oil. For a 5% dilution you would use 1 teaspoon of Neem oil in 1 quart of warm water with a ½ teaspoon of liquid soap. Shake frequently while using. Spray early in the morning or early evening; spraying both the top and underside of the leaves. Keep in mind Neem does not work like a ‘kill it now’ pesticide. It interferes with the hormones of the chewing and sucking insects that interrupts the life cycle. Applications may be repeated in 5 days and after rain.

Neem oil can add to the shampoo that you are already using at a rate of ½ oz Neem oil to 8 ounces of shampoo to sooth dry itchy scalps and control dandruff.

Neem oil mixed in a carrier oil may be used for direct skin application. ½ oz of Neem to 8 ounces of oil.

Keep ringworm, fleas, mites, and biting insects from making your dog miserable by adding some Neem to the doggie shampoo. Hot spots and mange treat spots with a 1:1 ratio of Neem to a carrier oil and apply.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Broccoli/cauliflower salad

My sister fixed this and it became an instant favorite of mine----can accompany a meal or be a meal in itself.

3 heads of broccoli (3 good size heads from large stalk)
1/2 head cauliflower
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds kernels
1/2 pound of bacon
1 cup of golden raisins
2 or 3 green onions chopped
1 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons white vinegar

While you are cooking your bacon, wash & chop veggies. You remove the tiny heads of the broccoli & cauliflower from the stalk so they will look like this-

Add the sunflower kernels, raisins, & chopped green onions to the broccoli & cauliflower. Crumble cooked bacon into the mix.

In a separate bowl mix the mayo, sugar, & white vinegar. Pour & stir dressing onto your veggie mix. Can be made the night before-but wait & add the dressing before serving.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Basics of the Fragrance Wheel

Perfumer Michael Edwards developed the fragrance wheel in 1983 to help simplify the relationship of each fragrance category.

(click on picture to enlarge for better viewing)

Scent like color has its categories. The fragrance wheel above shows the four main categories and with their sub-categories, along with a center place called Fougere.

Familiarize yourself with the categories Fresh, Woody, Oriental, Floral, & Fougere and their position with each other on the wheel. Of this five, Fougere is the only one that is not sub-divided; it has more of a universal appeal & generally blends well in any group. Lavender and Oakmoss fall in this category, along with the marine notes.

Basic blending rules-

Side by side fragrances on the chart blend well.
Selecting opposites on the wheel are complimentary.
Selecting 3 fragrances that will create a triangle while looking at the wheel will generally compliment each other.

This guide becomes very useful to me when I find myself with little dibs and dabs of fragrance oil or one that just didn’t meet expectations once it was used. It also gives you a chance to have a unique fragrance blend.

Recently I blended 3 different fragrance oils that had just a little left in each bottle. There was about an ounce of Pearberry, two ounces of Ripen Raspberry, and two ounces of one called Fruit & Nuts. The Pearberry and the Raspberry both fell into the floral; the Fruit & Nuts had more woody notes with maybe a floral note. Woody being across from the floral on the wheel, they should compliment.

Since the amounts I had were working out to a 1 part for the Pearberry, and 2 parts with each of the Rasberry and Fruit & Nuts; that’s what was tried first. I dipped one end of a Q-Tip in the Pearberry and put it in a baggie. Using a new Q-Tip I dipped each end in the Raspberry, and did the same with another new Q-Tip with the Fruit & Nuts. Placed them all in the same baggie, and let them set for a little while so the scents would blend. After awhile was able to sniff inside the baggie, and it turned out to be a lovely blend. Carried through very well in a batch of soap, had a very nice berry fragrance with floral notes -perfect for springtime. It may even be one that I will keep blending.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tempus fugit / time flees.

Kidding season started this year on Valentine’s Day; with twin doelings and now the calendar tells me April will soon be gone. How does it slip by so fast?

By design, kidding season was kept at a minimum. Only five of the dairy goats were picked to freshen this year, they were some of my older & heavier producing girls. They gave us 11 kids two were boys, and at this point in their lactation, giving a total of 6 gallons of milk a day. Most of my boer girls kidded, twins & a set of triplets in that group. Most of the girls gave twins, with a few triplet biths,didn't have any singles this year-bit of an oddity.

In the wee hours one day in February, managed to split my head open, required a trip to the emergency room & 6 stitches, My Aussie Sheppard, Sheila, wouldn’t let me sit down-which was all I wanted to do when it happened. She literally herded me back to the house and lay nearby as my daughter calmly took care of me.

March kept me buys with more kidding and just trying to keep on top of thing around here and getting the garden started. April has allowed me to get some new product going for the store and still left wondering….how does it slip by so fast?

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Shipping Charges

Good news for Missouri residents--we now offer free shipping if you are a Missouri resident.

For everyone else, we offer $5.00 Priority Shipping on anything up to $30.00 worth of product. If ordering just one or two items that can be sent via First Class Mail for less monies, we will reimburse the difference.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lemonade Stand Award

I want to thank Shiloh Prarie Farm for this award. We have a several common interests, familylife, critters in general, along with a soaping addiction to name a few. She writes excellent animal care articles adding good common sense and her experiences. Has just been a great pleasure getting to know her via this internet media.

Lemonade Stand Award

The Rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate 10 blogs that show gratitude or great attitude or both
3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post
4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5. Share the love and link this post to the person whom you received your award from

In ramdom order, I pass this award to...

Spinning Yarns From The Farm

Annie's Goat Hill

I Love Nubians-Make Mine Mini

Johnson Farmly Farm

Life On A Colorado Farm

I'll Pour

The Land Of Moo

Redbud Lane Shetland Sheep

Sandy's Soap Blog

True North

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Coconut Cream Pie

Winter weather & baking seem to go hand & hand. Lately we have been indulging on pies.


¼ c. cornstarch
2/3 c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
3 c. milk
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. flaked coconut
1 baked 9 inch pie shell

Combine cornstarch and 2/3 cup sugar with salt in top of double boiler. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cover; cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Beat egg yolks; blend a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks, mixing well. Stir egg yolks into remaining hot mixture. Cook over boiling water 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from water and stir in vanilla and coconut. Cool; then pour into pastry shell.

Meringue: Beat egg whites until foamy and add 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Continue beating; add 6 table¬spoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie and seal edges well. Sprinkle ¼ cup coconut over the top. Bake at 425° for 5 minutes.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Royal Palm

Here is his baby picture-

Below was taken early last month, while locked up during hunting season. The turkeys got a reprieve during the holidays when first my large cooler went down. Then after that was repaired, the refrigerator decided it was it's turn to quit working.

Think this dude may just become part of the farm, have enjoyed his strutting and following me around. Still planning on getting those two Black Spanish turkeys, you can see in the beginning of the video, ready for the table soon. Have enjoyed raising both of these breeds, they are calm and get along great with the chickens.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Infusing herbs in oils

An infusion is simply made by steeping herbs in oil or water to extract the soluble properties out of the herbs and into the liquid. This can be done by using either a cold or hot process. Making a cup of tea is an infusion.

In making infusions for soaps and lotions herbs are usually chosen for their known skin soothing properties. Calendula is a favorite choice here and the method most used is hot process.

Any oil may be chosen for infusion, the most popular mentioned seem to be olive and/or sweet almond oil, but you may want to use a recipe that doesn’t utilize these oils. Here, considerations are made based on what oils are in the recipe, the oil’s shelf life, along with the healing and moisturizing properties of the oil itself. Also, consider the recipe -do you want the highest percentage of oil in your recipe infused? Or maybe you would rather have just a touch of the herbal properties in your recipe? You may even want to blend oils for your infusion.

Even though exact potency of the end product isn’t known, notes are kept on quantities of ingredients used, time spent steeping and draining. This helps to give some consistency with batches made for recipes used repeatedly.

Herbs are placed in a crock-pot and enough oil to cover completely. Your mixture may swell slightly as it warms, so leave a bit of room to avoid overflow. Care must also be taken not to heat your mixture too high so you don’t cook away the benefits you are trying to capture. Don’t let your oils heat over 110°. If your crock-pot is able to heat the mixture higher than 110°, turn it off before it gets too hot and let the mixture steep. You may reheat and steep several times during your infusion period. A 24 to 48 hour period is considered sufficient time with heat extraction.

Once the infusion is finish, you need to drain the oil off the herbs. Pour mixture in a funnel or colander lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth, letting gravity do the work. Stir the herb occasionally and surprisingly you will retrieve most of your oil. Store in a clean container and keep in a cool, dark place till you are ready to use.