Protected: Fall Garden

October 6th, 2009 by Rachel

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Protected: Homegrown

May 26th, 2009 by Rachel

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Protected: Chicks, Round Two

May 1st, 2009 by Rachel

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Protected: Potatoes!

April 28th, 2009 by Rachel

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Protected: Gardening

April 8th, 2009 by Rachel

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Recipe of the Week: Homemade Deodorant

December 13th, 2008 by Rachel

After reading that title, some of you may be ready to send me off to the crazy house, while others of you will be happy that your search for effective deodorant has ended. I’ll let you in on a little secret–Thomas and I haven’t used antiperspirants for over a year and half. We stopped in our quest to use cleaner household cleaners and personal care products. After reading the label on our antiperspirants, and considering how it seeks to stop a natural process (sweating), we stopped using it.

We have tried crystal deodorants, ultra-perfumey deodorants, homemade body splash + a dab of baking soda and cornstarch, but all left us either stinky or chaffing. About a month ago, I discovered this recipe and we have not gone back.

First, find an empty deodorant/antiperspirant stick, or buy a cheap one (solid, unscented) at the store. Twist all the existing stuff out into the trash and wash the container thoroughly, reassemble and dry. Wear gloves. This stuff makes your hands nasty. I bought four travel-sized containers to give as gifts.

Assemble your ingredients:
1 large or a few travel-sized solid stick holders
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch
~3 tablespoons coconut oil
optional: essential oils for fragrance

Mix baking soda and cornstarch in bowl. In separate microwave safe bowl, microwave your coconut oil. Pour a little coconut oil at a time into your baking soda mix and stir until the mixture is no longer crumbly, adding more coconut oil as needed. Add essential oils and stir well. Mine looks like this when it is done:

Fill your containers up and let it sit to harden. You can put it in the fridge for a bit and it will harden more rapidly. Now you are ready to go!

Keep in mind that although baking soda has wonderful deodorizing properties, it is also abrasive, making it an excellent household cleaner, but chaffing for the skin. You don’t need to slather this stuff on like your old stick antiperspirant. Don’t press it hard into your freshly shaven pits, but apply lightly. If you experience raw skin or chaffing, give it a break for awhile and try to use a little less next time.

If this is your first time to go antiperspirant free, you may notice that you sweat buckets and buckets for a while. Don’t worry, that doesn’t last forever. In my experience, it took a few weeks for my sweat glands to regulate. I still sweat, but not inordinate amounts like I did those first weeks.

Protected: It’s What’s For Dinner

August 14th, 2008 by Rachel

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Protected: Farmer’s Market Finds

July 23rd, 2008 by Rachel

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Agrarianism

June 8th, 2008 by Thomas

Increasingly, I find my views aligning with so-called agrarians, who are predominately agrarians with (and predominately) because of their Christian faith.

I hope you will take the time to read these items and be challenged to rethink the modern mindset we all so easily and comfortably fit into.

Here are a few items and essays I’ve found recently. The most eloquent is Wendell Berry, a prominent writer, poet, and agrarian.

Farming and the Global Economy

Choice quotes:

The people who benefit from this state of affairs have been at pains to convince us that the agricultural practices and policies that have almost annihilated the farming population have greatly benefited the population of food consumers. But more and more consumers are now becoming aware that our supposed abundance of cheap and healthful food is to a considerable extent illusory. They are beginning to see that the social, ecological, and even the economic costs of such “cheap food” are, in fact, great. They are beginning to see that a system of food production that is dependent on massive applications of drugs and chemicals cannot, by definition, produce “pure food.” And they are beginning to see that a kind of agriculture that involves unprecedented erosion and depletion of soil, unprecedented waste of water, and unprecedented destruction of the farm population cannot by any accommodation of sense or fantasy be called “sustainable.”

If a safe, sustainable local food economy appeals to some of us as a goal that we would like to work for, then we must be careful to recognize not only the great power of the interests arrayed against us but also our own weakness. The hope for such a food economy as we desire is represented by no political party and is spoken for by no national public officials of any consequence. Our national political leaders do not know what we are talking about, and they are without the local affections and allegiances that would permit them to learn what we are talking about.

Marching Away From Babylon

Composting 101

April 8th, 2008 by Rachel

This is at least four months of compostable kitchen scraps that I’d been saving in our deep freezer for when Thomas was ready to work the compost this spring. That’s a lot of trash that will be converted into treasure for our garden. (And a much less smelly kitchen trash can!)

Did you know that my husband is not only a computer genius (in my book), but also a certified Master Composter? I’m so proud. Are you interested in learning more about how you can turn your kitchen scraps into valuable soil amendments? We wrote the article below for a small, online magazine (which has since ceased publication), and you might find the information helpful. Read more »