Category Archives: Homestead

Essential Oils

God is good! He provides…everything!

I’ve been looking up information about essential oils since I started using them almost a year ago. Do they really work? What does each one do? Which company is better? Does it really matter where they’re grown? I try to include the benefits of whatever I’m using in each post, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

Here is a great series that was mentioned on Facebook this morning about just this topic.

I hope it helps you make informed decisions.

Whole New MomThe Great Essential Oils Showdown

Essential-Oils-Showdown-Wmk-e1355290744345

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CW

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Fall Composting

This is the time of year when I do one final clean up before the weather starts to cool off. I clean the chicken coop, rake all the animal areas and any leaves that fell (not many here in Florida) and put everything into the compost pile.

This will probably be the last cleaning of the coop for a couple months. Unless it turns out to be a warm Fall. I leave the coop alone to create heat that helps keep the chicken warm during what few cold weeks we have.  More on “Winterizing Your Coop Florida Style” later.

For more on leaf composting and to see what a pile of leaves looks like, check out this post by City Girl Farming

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CW

What’s The Cents of Laundry Soap?

Is it worth the work to be chemical free and save money by doing it yourself? Below are the approximate prices of what it cost me to buy supplies and cost per load. Prices will vary by location.

CWSoapsFels Naptha 1 bar= $.97

Borax 76 oz= $3.38.  $,36/cup

Washing Soda 55 oz= $3.24.  $.47/cup

Powder: $8.64 for 1 gallon that does 64 loads.  1/4 cup per load. Costs $.14 per load

3 bars of soap ($2.91), 1  55 oz. box Washing Soda ($3.24), 7 cups Borax ($2.49) = 16 cups.

Powder is easier and faster to make, but it may clump in the wash or leave a soapy residue. (I’ve never had this happen.)

To make the powder involves measuring, grating, grinding and stirring.

Liquid: $1.80 for 5 Gallons that does 160 loads. 1/2 cup per load.  Costs $.01 per load

1 bar of soap (1 Cup), 1 cup Washing Soda, 1 Cup Borax, 5 gallons hot water.

Liquid is a lot cheaper! It is a bit more work and time consuming, but it also lasts almost 2-3 times longer.

To make this involves measuring, grating, boiling water, mixing, more hot water and more mixing.

I hope this makes “cents”. 🙂

Make it or buy it HERE.

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CW

Making Laundry Soap Powder

All natural, chemical free laundry soap is cheap and easy to make. The basic recipe contains Washing Soda and a pure soap. Other “basic” recipes might include Borax and essential oils. They aren’t necessary, but boost the power of the soap and add scents. From there, there are many levels of ingredients to add.

This recipe makes 1 gallon for 64 loads.

You’ll need:

2013-10-03 13.34.38

3 bars pure soap (Fels-Naptha, Zote, Ivory, Castile…)

1 box Borax

1 box Washing Soda

Essential Oil of Choice (40 drops) (I use Lemon with either Lavender or Orange)

Bowl, Knife, Grater, Grinder/Food processor (I use small coffee grinder because that’s what I have), Measuring cup.

How to:

Pour 1 box each of Washing Soda and Borax in the bowl.

Cut the soap into small pieces to grate and put into the grinder/processor. I used to only grate the soap, but it kept separating from the powder. Now I put it in the food processor to make it a powder and it stays mixed.

Use about 1/3 of the bar at a time for a small grinder. Add about 1-2 Tbs of the powder mix to the soap before grinding to keep it from clumping.

Before pouring it back into the bowl, add a few drops of essential oil per each of the batches for a total of 40 drops.

Pour back into the bowl. Repeat with the rest of the soap.

All the powdered soap should be gently stirred in with the rest of the powder mix. *You might want to cover your mouth and nose with something as the powder with be in the air.

*You might have an invisible layer of soap powder on your arms and hands when you’re done. Don’t forget to wash up. No need for soap 🙂

Pour into a container with a lid.

How to use:

Add 2 Tbs (1/4 Cup) (I add it to the water before adding my clothes)

BUY IT HERE!

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CW

Lights In Your Coop?

Along with the excitement of cooler weather and all the preparations for the Holidays, come the shorter days of winter and slowing down of egg production.

CWLights

Hens need 12-17 hours of daylight per day to lay eggs depending on the breed. By the time Fall rolls around, our days are limited to 12 hours and continue decreasing throughout the winter.

Do you put supplemental lighting in your coop to encourage egg production?

There are arguments to both sides of this question. Those in favor of lights believe it’s just a way to fix the problem of not enough light. Those against lights believe this is a time God made for the hens to rest their bodies.

CWLonelyEgg

What do you think?

Personally, I’ll be putting lights up soon. My girls haven’t been doing enough laying to need to rest.

For more information check out this post on The Chicken Chick.

Have a great night!

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CW