Welcome back everyone! I’m so excited to see what you all share this week!
Each week the From the Farm Blog Hop co-hosts welcome a fellow blogger to come join in the fun and guest host along with us. This week’s guest host is Holly from Midwest Punk Rock Homesteaders! Welcome Holly!!
Holly Redmond is a 34 year old mother of three, living in Dixon, Missouri. She is currently homeschooling the middle child, Aidan, (7) and plans to do the same with the youngest, Thomas. (10 months.)
She is a freelance writer and enjoys a vast array of different hobbies, including wine-making, gardening, drawing, and music. Passionately politically aware, she became really tired of the usual bickering and decided that a better focus would be on doing things, or interacting those that are.
Now, on to this week’s party:
1. Link up to three of your best gardening or homesteading tips, farm-themed posts, recipes, homemaking and simple/frugal living tips, decorating ideas, DIY projects, craft ideas, thrifty makeovers or repurposed items, healthy and sustainable living tips.
2. Link back to my blog (using the rel=”nofollow” tag), or put the link party button anywhere on your blog or post to share the love.
3. Make sure to check out some of the other links before leaving.
Note: Linking up to this party will automatically sign you up for an invite to next week’s party via email. To unsubscribe, please reply to any email you receive and you will be removed. Linking up also allows us permission to publish one of your photos on our blogs, Facebook, and/or Pinterest pages. If you are interested in guest hosting for our blog hop, please feel free to contact Kristi by email.
Your From the Farm Blog Hop Co-Hosts:
The Adventure Bite | Sunny Simple Life | 1840 Farm | Let This Mind Be in You | My Healthy Green Family | Fresh Eggs Daily
From the Farm Blog Hop #33!
Welcome to another addition of From The Farm Blog Hop! Last week we had a record 250+ articles linked up, and we are excited to see what you have to share with us this week! The winner of the Drip Watering System is Nichelle Martin! Congratulations Nichelle.
We’d like to introduce you to this week’s guest host, Colleen from Five Little Homesteaders!
Colleen is a special education teacher turned stay-at-home mom to three little ones – ages 3, 2, and 1. Her days are filled with laughing and tears, joys and frustrations, toddlers and babies. The basics of gardening were gifted to her by her mother and father starting at a very young age. Through her urban homesteading efforts (which she blogs about on her site, Five Little Homesteaders) she hopes to lead her family down the path of leading a more sustainable, intentional, and full life.
Welcome to our little corner of the internet, Colleen, we are happy to have you host with us!
My favorite from last week’s Blog Hop was:
This is a great article explaining how to make your own pallet potato planter from repurposed pallets and how to tell if your pallets are safe. Lots of pictures and straight-forward directions on growing potatoes in a small area!
And now, for the From the Farm Blog Hop!
If you would like to join in this week, please share up to three of your best:
• Gardening or homesteading tips
• Farm-themed posts
• Homemaking and simple/frugal living tips
• Decorating ideas
• DIY projects, craft ideas, thrifty makeovers or repurposed items
• Healthy and sustainable living tips
Photo provided by Chicken Scratch Poultry http://chickenscratchpoultry.com/
Please grab the Blog Hop button above or somehow link to this party from your blog. We would love for you to follow our blogs, and if you are a new blog follower, let us know so we can return the favor!
Note: Linking up to this party will automatically sign you up for an invite to next week’s party via email. To unsubscribe, please reply to any email you receive and you will be removed. Linking up also allows us permission to publish one of your photos on our blogs, Facebook, and/or Pinterest pages.
Let’s see what you’ve been up to this week! Don’t forget to visit some of your fellow authors’ blogs and let them know that you found them through the From the Farm Blog Hop!
Your From the Farm Blog Hop Co-Hosts:
Dani from The Adventure Bite
Elaine from Sunny Simple Life
Jennifer from 1840 Farm
Kristi from Let This Mind Be in You
Leona from My Healthy Green Family
Lisa from Fresh Eggs Daily
Soap making: A brief explanation:
Soap is simply the combination of lye and oils. When you combine them, they produce a chemical reaction called saponification and the end result is soap. You cannot make soap without lye. ALL soaps are made with lye, or they aren’t soap, they are a detergent. You can buy melt and pour soap kits, but all that means is that the saponification part has been done for you already, and you are simply remelting the soap and adding other ingredients. From Zest, and Ivory, to Dr Bronners and any local soap, all have been started with lye. Soap must be left to rest, or saponify, for 3-4 weeks before you can use it. If you use it too soon the lye might not have completely chemically changed, and you could potentially burn yourself still.
This particular soap I have called the Modern Homesteader soap. I love the challenge of using ingredients I can produce myself, with ingredients homesteaders in my area would have had access to 100 or more years ago. The tallow (beef fat) which I rendered myself from grass-fed beef, and the goat milk from my own goat, satisfy this “homesteader” urge I have. The coconut oil and olive oil in the recipe are available now to “modern homesteaders” because we have the privilege of transporting these products to where we live so we can benefit from them too. Old time homesteaders in my area wouldn’t have had access to these ingredients, so this is the modern part. Olive and coconut oil are both fantastic ingredients in a soap, making a nice, hard soap with a great lather.
Before you start making soap, make sure you read through the recipe and the notes. Have all your material on hand and your safety precautions in place. If you are totally new to soap making, you might want to use water instead of goat milk since goat milk can be a bit tricky to use at first. But, if you are like me, my second time making soap I was using goat milk.
Soap mold (even a shoe box)
Plastic garbage bag
Old towels or blankets
White distilled vinegar, in case of lye burns
Long sleeved shirt
1 large bowl, 1 large pot
Stainless steel whisk
Several smaller bowls for measuring ingredients into
- Have all tools and materials ready and available ahead of time.
- Prepare your soap mold. You can use an old shoe box or a fancy soap mold, whichever you like. If using a simple wooden mold or box, line it with a plastic bag, trying to keep as smooth as possible. You will be pouring your liquid into this so you don’t want it to leak. Keep your stack of old towels or blankets for wrapping it in, nearby.
- Wear your gloves, safety glasses and long sleeved shirt!
- Measure, melt and combine tallow, olive and coconut oil. Set aside.
- Combine lye with goat milk. When adding lye to goat milk, do so VERY slowly, stirring VERY thoroughly to prevent scorching the milk. If it starts to turn even the slightest bit orange, back off with the lye, and put the bowl in a separate bowl of ice cubes to slow down the heating. The milk will melt. The key to adding milk to soap is to do it very slowly.
- Measure the temperatures of both bowls. When both are between 110F and 115F, combine the lye mixture with the oil mixture.
- Using a stick blender, blend, in a figure 8 pattern, making sure you are blending all of the combination. Continue to do this until the soap reaches trace. (Trace is when you lift up the blender and a drip sits on top of the mixture slightly, like pudding).
- Add and mix in essential oil.
- Immediately pour into prepared soap mold.
- Cover mold completely with a board, or you can lie plastic wrap or a garbage bag carefully across the top of the soap.
- Wrap well with old blankets or towels to prevent from cooling too fast.
- Store in a warm location (room temperature, no drafts) for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours are up, using gloves, remove from soap mold and cut into pieces.
- Place pieces on an old towel, with air being able to circulate between each piece.
- Let sit for 4 weeks, turning soap once a week.
- If a haze appears on your soap you can simply scrape it off after 4 weeks, or just leave it.
- Lye is caustic. It is a powder, and is activated when any moisture touches it. It gets very hot, very quickly. Use rubber gloves, long sleeved shirt and safety glasses to prevent burns. If you do get burnt, pour plain white distilled vinegar directly onto the burn.
- You want to combine your lye mixture with your oil mixture when they are both about the same temperature. Sometimes you will have to reheat either the lye or the oils to ensure they are at the same temperature. That’s ok! To reheat the lye mixture, place the bowl in a bowl of hot water. To reheat the oil mixture, put it back on the stove and reheat.
- When dealing with goats milk (or any milk) you don’t want to scorch your milk. This can happen very quickly since the lye will heat up very fast. Freeze the milk in ice cube trays, for easy measurement and a more even melting. Allow the milk to partially thaw, being slushy when you need it. If, when you are mixing your milk and lye, it starts to turn orange, stop, place the bowl of milk in a bowl of ice cubes, and try again. Add the lye VERY slowly to prevent scorching. If your mixture is a bit orange, that’s ok… it will turn brown when it saponifies.
- You can replace the milk content with plain, distilled water if you prefer.
- If you don’t want to use tallow, don’t use this recipe! It isn’t recommended to change amounts and types of oils in a recipe since each oil has a different way of reacting to the lye. I will be posting other recipes that don’t use tallow shortly.
- This recipe is a large one, and will produce about 7 lb. of soap.
- What types of oils to select? Any grade of olive oil will work. The more virgin it is, the lighter the soap will be in color. Pomace grade (the cheapest kind) seems to come to trace a little bit faster but may contribute to a darker, slightly greener color. For the coconut oil, I use an RBD grade (refined) coconut oil.
- Where to buy your ingredients? Mountain Rose Herbs has a lot of high quality, organic soap making ingredients. I have linked to them in the ingredient list above. Lye cannot be mailed since it is caustic so you will need to find a local supplier. I have a soap making supplier who is local and I pick up the lye at her store. The oils can often be bought at grocery stores.
- Soap-making isn’t scary. It isn’t hard. And it is lots of fun to do with a friend. These bars turned out to be about $1.30 each which is MUCH cheaper than buying quality, homemade soap from a store.