Archive for February, 2014

Farmland the Movie

Friday, February 28, 2014

Most Americans have never stepped foot on a farm or ranch or even talked to the people who grow and raise the food they eat. The connection between production Ag and consumer has slowly dwindled since the end of WWII. The majority of the population is comfortably ensconced in urban centers or suburban outcroppings, blissfully unaware of where their food comes from, how it gets to them and what, if any, the ramifications would be should farming decline or a break in supply occur.

Regardless of how you feel about conventional, commercialized farming; no matter how much you wish small diversified sustainable farms would prevail, the American Farmer still feeds, not only our nation, but many others throughout the world. With just 2% of the population engaged in farming, and the average age of a farmer well into their 60’s, America and the world will be reliant on the next generation of young farmers to produce the world’s food.

Farmland takes an intimate look into the lives of farmers and ranchers in their ‘20s, all of whom are now responsible for running their farming business. Through this film from award-winning director, James Moll, you’ll step inside the world of farming for a first-hand glimpse into the lives of young farmers and ranchers. Learn about their high-risk/high reward jobs and passion for a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation, yet continues to evolve.

I urge you all to take the time to watch this movie when it comes out in March 2014, and then take the next step to acquaint yourself with farmers in your area. Learn how your support of the Ag community can help not only understanding of a way of life that is hidden from most of Americans, but also bring engagement into discussions of how to make it better, for the benefit of all.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

If I told you that you could make 5 gallons of laundry soap for just a few dollars would that interest you? It peaked my interest and we’ve been making our own laundry soap ever since. The average American household washes 6 to 7.5 loads of laundry each week and spends $120 – $378 a year on detergent. With less than an hours worth of time and a few simple ingredients you could save hundreds of dollars a year.

Since making our own, this is the recipe we use. You can find all of the ingredients you need in the cleaning isle of your local grocery store, Target, K-mart or other variety store. Adding a few drops of an essential oil keeps our clothes smelling fresh as the day!

To make a 5 gallon bucket of laundry soap use:

1 cup Borax

1 cup washing soda

2/3′s of a bar of Fels-Naptha or 1 bar Ivory soap, grated (I keep an inexpensive cheese grater just for the soap)

12 cups of water, kept warm on the stove

8 cups of hot tap water to be added when you mix the ingredients in the 5 gallon bucket

2 gallons + 12 cups of hot tap water for your final stir.


Heat 12 cups of water on LOW heat in a big pot.

Add the grated soap, stirring constantly to dissolve.

When the soap is completely dissolved add 1 cup Borax and 1 cup Washing Soda.

Stir until the Borax and Washing Soda is completely dissolved and the mixture thickens (about 5 minutes).

Add 8 cups of HOT tap water to your 5 gallon bucket.

Pour soap mixture into bucket and stir.

If you want a fragrant soap add a few drops of essential oil now. We use lavender or orange. It’s wonderful, smells fresh and clean!

Stir to combine the soap mixture, water and essential oils, if added.

Add 2 gallons + 12 cups of HOT tap water to make the five gallons.

Stir and cover. Let sit overnight.

When you’re ready to do laundry:

Use 1/2 cup of laundry soap for each load. I use the cap of an old liquid detergent container to measure with. To keep the cap from gunking up I just throw it in with the laundry. It comes out clean and fresh every time.
Store your homemade detergent in old laundry detergent containers or use it right from the 5 gallon bucket. For a pretty look in your laundry room pour it in old mason jars or decorative containers. Keep detergent covered when your not using it.





Homemade Sugar Scrub

Sunday, February 2, 2014

There is nothing worse than the dry cracked feeling of winter skin and with the weather we’ve had all over the country I’m sure many of us have been dealing with it.

In an act of desperation this past weekend I whipped up a batch of soothing lavender sugar scrub. I had forgotten how simple and fast it is to make.

Unlike the scrubs you find in drug stores, department stores or in beauty supply shops, homemade scrubs are much better for your skin, don’t contain chemicals and are much, much cheaper. The part I like best is my ability to tailor the fragrances to match my mood or the season. If I want a soothing, relaxing scrub I use lavender oil. Early spring days, when the sun shines and the weather warms call out for a bright orange vanilla scented scrub. And, after a day of work in the garden or cleaning out the barn something from the mint family is perfect for those tired sore muscles. With the number of essential oils available the possibilities are endless. So—choose your favorites and enjoy!

Basic Sugar Scrub

Materials & Supplies

2 cups coarse sugar

1 cup olive oil

15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil or oil blend

1 clean glass lidded jar


  • Combine ingredients in a bowl, stirring well to combine.
  • When mixed well pour into lidded jar.
  • Use homemade sugar scrub to slough away dead skin and moisturize skin.


NOW—sink into a hot tub and pamper your winter skin!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

After months with nary a drop and a drought that threatens house, farm and factory the skies FINALLY opened up at the close of dusk today.  The storm that was promised days ago has arrived with more than half an inch so far.  It’s a far cry from the 15+ inches we need to get us back on track, but it is a welcome beginning.

The long awaited pinging off the roof is a beautiful sound as I hunker down in front of a warm fire watching an HBO mini series about our Founding Fathers. What could be better?

All I can say is Halleluiah!  Keep it coming.