Herbal Deodorant- A Recipe

deoderant

As we journey along on our path to health, herbs are playing a huge role.  The home medicine cabinet can be stocked with so much that will keep the doctor away and keep your body humming like a well-oiled machine.  One of the items in my medicine cabinet that I wanted to replace was deodorant.   It is a well known fact that most antiperspirants and deodorants that you purchase from the stores have a lot in them that our bodies do not need and are harmful to us.  Aluminum being one of the biggest concerns.  But what to do?  Body odor is something no one can live with.

At Full Heart Farm, this recipe was posted.  I have tried it and like and even one of my family who had to use clinical strength deodorant is using it and it works!  The only challenge is that the coconut oil turns to liquid above 85′.  Really, this is only a problem if your are taking this in a vehicle or airplane or you keep your home very warm.  In my bedroom this mixture remains in a creamy state. If I travel in a vehicle I simply put it in a zip-lock bag as a precaution and if I am traveling on a plane I take a long my store bought stuff. Trying to explain the jar of unmarked liquid at the baggage check is more than I care to undergo and I can’t shake the mental picture of me in a holding cell repeating, “I make all kinds of things with herbs and this is deodorant, I promise.”

So, try this inexpensive alternative- you will be glad you did!

Healthy Deodorant:

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 Tbs corn starch

1 Tbs + 1 Tsp of baking soda

few drops of tea tree oil– too much tea tree oil and the smell will overpower just about any other essential oil.  A little of this oil goes a long way.

enough of your favorite essential oil to make it smell good.  Not only do essential oils smell good, you also receive the added health benefits that each essential oil offers.

Mix together and store in a small mason jar or anything that works for you.  A wedge shape applicator sponge works great for applying the salve and it only takes about a dimes worth of salve per pit.

deoderant on displayI like to use an antique Noxema jar for the container.  I love the cobalt blue glass and it looks lovely on display in my bedroom- no need to hide it in the bathroom.

A Season of Transition- Are We There Yet?

tran·si·tion
noun
  1. the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
My handsome flight medic

My handsome flight medic

This has been the definition of our lives over the past three years.  In reality, we are all in a constant state of transition as nothing stays the same.  We either move forward or we deteriorate.  However, so often the change is small and not so noticeable and then there are those times where change is monumental.

Our first monumental change was Tony retiring from Mother Francis where he had been employed as a paramedic first on the ambulance and then as a flight medic for 16 years.  Given that our oldest was only 17, this was the only thing our children remembered Tony ever doing.  This was a good change, but scary.  We started our business selling plants, shrubs, and herbs- what was then called The Farm On Holly’s Hill.  I was so glad to have him home and not working so many hours  and being so tired all the time. We could be together everyday and sleep in the same bed every night.  I have never regretted making this change not that it was easy.  We have worked very hard.

What I did not know , was that once Tony quit flying and working in the field of emergency medicine, he began suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Now, his was not so severe that he could not function but he began having nightmares and night sweats about all that he had seen and heard.  His sleep was horrible, he would hear the buzzer go off in his head and then be up all night because of the adrenaline rush that this triggered.  It was a rough year and for the most part I had no idea.  I am a heavy sleeper and he is good at keeping things from me if he thinks it will cause me to worry.  When he did tell me- after the trouble had passed- I said, “Why didn’t you tell me? I could have been nice to you on those days and not fussed so much.” To that he replied, ” I just wanted things to be normal.”  Oh, maybe I should work on “normal” a bit, huh?

I write all this, not because I want sympathy but to say that if you have a loved one working in this field be aware that they see so much more than they will ever talk about.  Just know that even if they haven’t been in combat, there has been trauma.  Tony would probably not really like me posting this because he is a very private person and keeps most stuff inside.  But he deserves a lot of credit for how long he worked helping people.  The average tenure is his field is 2 years, he stayed for 16.  This makes him a virtual legend, the old guy.

Now, we are in our third year with the business and have changed the name to Hollyberry Herb Farm.  Not only did we change the name but also our focus.  This spring was the first year that we did not sell shrubs but focused mainly on herbs.  This has been a great change, one that I have really enjoyed.  Instead of flea markets and trades days, we sell at the farmer’s market every Saturday.

Last October, our oldest moved out for school.  We moved farms in March leaving behind the house we had lived in for the past 13 years.  Savannah graduated from High school.  Both girls move into an apartment in Athens next week and will attend college there.  So, I have gone from home schooling four children to two children in a 12 month period.

What I hope to be the last monumental change for us for awhile is that Tony has been hired by Amazon.com and will be working full time off the farm again.  We both knew the season had passed for him being home full-time working only a part time job on the side.  He will be a medical representative at a major warehouse, kind of like a school nurse.  No more working in the field, he will have air conditioning, set hours, and private sector pay.  Tony has certainly earned it.  I am so happy for him.  As I write this, he has just landed in Phoenix Arizona where he will be in training for 3 weeks.  I hate having him gone for that long, but it is only temporary, an uncomfortable step to something far better.

Now, I would really like to just settle down.  Develop a rhythm with the two kiddos still at home, work my gardens and sell my herbs- that would be on my list of wishes.  We shall see.  I can’t foresee any more major changes to come.  Well, I say that when- you have a daughter that is 20 you could have some major changes popping up if some one pops the question but there are no candidates at this time so I think we are safe- for a while.

Goodness, when I read back over this realize just why I have been so tired lately.  I need to rest!  And rest I will, Sierra , I, and Jonathan will be headed to Galveston next week.  We will miss the rest of the bunch something fierce, but it will help pass the time while their dad is away.  I get happy just thinking about it.  There is nothing more soothing than the sound of waves rolling in to the beach.

What changes are you facing?

Off To Whispering Pines (the butcher)

Today was the day!  We have been looking forward to this for months.  Effie the Pig and the heifer ( and I mean that in EVERY sense of the word) went to Whispering Pines today.  Shortly, we will have a freezer full of good clean meat.  Meat having been raised on love, clean water, lots of grass and in the case of Effie, lots of kitchen scraps and melons too far gone for us to eat.

I am often asked, “How can you eat your animals, animals that you know?”  Well, I must admit that sometimes it is hard.  Francis Bacon was a pig that I loved.  I patted him as we unloaded him and told him thank you.  Effie, she was another story and pig all together.  You see, some animals push your buttons and make life miserable.  As you chase those animals around the farm, through your gardens, and out of the sheds – you find yourself thinking, ” I can’t wait to eat you!” Really, some animals are so determined to upend  a farm’s balance and happiness that you even have ideas of just getting the shotgun and having roast pig luau style.  I keep using pigs as an example and that should tell you something.  Effie was one of those animals that was made for pulled pork sandwiches. So when she got out of the trailer, with much ado and drama I must say, I was like “Good riddance and don’t let the screen door hit you in the behind on the way out.”  Very kind and loving, I know.  But until you have chased a pig in  Texas summer heat not once but three times in 5 days- don’t judge me.

In all honesty, I do take this seriously.  The fact is that it takes life to sustain life.  I am grateful to the animals that feed my family.  I show them this by providing shelter, good food and clean water and plenty of kindness.  They lead a joyous life, even if their joy is derived from causing me to cuss a blue streak, until the day they die and they never saw it coming.  Most humans can’t say that about their own lives.  Everyone has a job and purpose in life, farm animals are no different.

Most folks have problems with knowing the animals that they eat because in their minds they only have two files- Pet & Wildlife.  The reality is that there are three files- Pet, Wildlife, and Food.  All of our animals are stewarded as best we know how and treated humanly every step of the way.  Some are destined to a long life as a breeder (which are sometimes considered pets and sometimes considered family members) and some will have a much shorter life and are destined for the freezer.

The butcher we use is very important to us.  When you have taken the time to raise your own meat and treat the livestock in a certain manner, you want to know that they are handled humanly in the end.  We do not have the resources to process the large animals we raise so we take them to Whispering Pines.  This is a Mennonite community that are committed to peace.  You might not agree with their philosophy, but that peace and calmness permeate the place and even the animals feel it.  Cattle are very jumpy critters when stressed and will cause quite a ruckus.  Every time we have taken our cattle in, they have trotted onto the scales and then right on out to the holding pen with 5 or 6 other steers just standing there like everyone took a large dose of Valium before they arrived.  This is a wonderful bunch of folks and they make certain that you get the meat from the animal that you brought in to the shop.  It makes it so much easier to leave you animals when you can do business with people like these.

So, the circle of life goes on and I am looking forward to getting the lard from our pig.  I have never requested the lard before so this will be a new experience.  I hear tell that baked goods made with lard and just addictive they are so good.  We shall see!

Jonathan making pork chopsFried Pork Chops- a Southern Love.  Can’t wait for Jonathan to cook us up some more!

 

No Time Like The Present

So, it has been awhile.  I really love writing and sharing my blog, but it takes a good bit of energy and mental stamina to write something coherent and I just haven’t had much of that lately.  My stamina has not, until now, been up to par with the level of energy I have needed to maintain the herb farm, home school our kids, and manage the house.  You see, this is the first summer that we have been busy all summer.  And once I have been away from my blog for awhile, I don’t know how to start back.  Its kind of like meeting up with an old friend that you have neglected and the meeting feels a bit awkward- where do you start?  Well, like my grandmother would say- there is no time like the present.

So, here goes…

Usually, along about June it has gotten so hot that no one even thinks about planting a plant.  Along about July, the produce stops flowing in the gardens because it is too hot to set fruit for most veggies.  Along about mid-July, anyone with any sense goes in the house by 10:30 am and doesn’t come out again unless they must.  This year has been totally different.  We have received rain and cool fronts intermittently keeping the produce flowing meaning that I have been freezing and canning for long periods of time.  Also, given that we have been selling herbs in their various forms at the White Rock Local Market every Saturday-  the down time I usually have following spring has just not been there.

But don’t misunderstand, I am not complaining.  It has been a wonderful summer.  Never can I recall getting 6 inches of rain in July or waking up to a chilly morning in August- but I did today.

This presents a bit of a quandary for me and maybe other Texas gardeners, as well.  We have two gardening seasons in Texas- a spring/summer season which is usually very short and a fall starting around September.  This fall season will last until the next spring as many greens and carrots and such will grow here all winter.  Most summers, it is easy to tell when to clean out the gardens, apply compost and prepare for the next round.

When everything in your garden is brown and burnt to a crisp, spring/summer growing is over and it is time to prepare for fall.

However, this year I am still pulling squash and zucchini from the plants and tomatoes of every shade of color are happily hanging from their vines,  How can I possibly pull these up?

Well, I can’t.  So the only thing to do is to till more beds and plant fall goodies in there own beds.  That is what is on the docket for Saturday.  Some of these new beds will be for herbs in order to keep up with the demand- AWESOME!

I always say- if it takes more than 20 minutes to mow your grass you need more gardens.

We have taken off the last 2 Saturdays and thanks to an abscessed wisdom tooth, I will also have this Saturday off.  I do look forward to going back to market but the time off has been needed.  This little break has given me time to clean up the beds and harvest lots of herb for drying, infused vinegar and oils, and for research.  You can never stop learning.  I have also cleaned the house and done laundry. Repeatedly.

This morning was so glorious!  Such cool weather, I just had to plant.  Thankfully, I had clean beds and seedlings ready to go.

peas in the herb gardenThis antique bed frame will make a pretty trellis for the English peas planted at the bottom.  We should have enough time to harvest peas before the first freeze.  I am prepared to pamper them a bit until we cool down for good.

dried cornAll the corn was done producing and it all came down today.  This will be dried and used as display at Thanksgiving.

herbs and vegetable patchThis patch just keeps on producing.  Eventually, I will have to pull these items up as it will be time to plant hairy vetch.   Hairy vetch will be my cover crop and tomatoes will go in this space come spring.

What are you doing right now in the gardens?

 

 

 

And Then There's This – On Food

I couldn’t have said this better, of all the things that concern me in our current culture,- our food sources are very high in the list. Thanks, Jo for sharing this.

Fort Pelham Farm

And then I read this from Verge Permaculture in Canada and had to share.  This is something I truly believe.

 

“ON FOOD SECURITY: I am reading My Ishmael and in one the opening chapters Ishmael says, “You’ll know you’re among the people of your culture if the food is all owned, if it’s all under lock and key.” The very word “food security” implies this very idea, that food is not secure. Language is important in helping us to determine where we are going. It is the very fibre that makes up the fabric that defines our cultural story, a tapestry if you will.

It has taken me some time to define the predicament that our culture finds itself in and I can say that food supply, how it is grown, who grows it, where it comes from, how it is delivered and who owns it is a central theme that…

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