Farm and Soap Updates

How we Fared in the Flood

farming Vermont

How we Fared in the Flood

Vermont has been in the news lately and not for a great reason. Our county has seen worse flooding than during hurricane Irene and many towns and farms have been hard hit. We are fortunate enough to be a hillside farm, so while we have seen minor washouts and truly impressive volumes of moving water, our animals, plants and home are safe. Here's what is normally a small creek on the farm. Even though we've escaped the worst of the flooding, we are dealing with saturated soil in our pastures, which means making mud pits is a real danger. It can...

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How I Use Solid Dish Soap and Handle Super Greasy Dishes from Salve Making

soap making

How I Use Solid Dish Soap and Handle Super Greasy Dishes from Salve Making

Solid dish soap is a great way to reduce plastic waste in your home and is also quite economical. I always keep a bar by the sink with a dish brush for hand washing (please don't try to use it in your dishwasher!) As with most cleaning tasks, hot water works best. I wet the dish brush and then scrub it over the bar a few times to load it up with soap. Then I scrub the dirty item as I normally would, rinse and put on the drying rack. If you prefer the sink or basin full of soapy...

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Handling aggression in laying hens

farming

Handling aggression in laying hens

Anyone who's ever had chickens has seen the origins of the term "pecking order" first hand. Pecking and flapping at each other is pretty normal behavior for chickens, both hens and roosters, but in its extremes it can lead to severe injury and cannibalism. So let's talk about how to avoid this and also what to do if you have a severely "hen-pecked" chicken. Breed Choice At least some level of chicken aggression is tied to genetics. Breeds described as "nervous, restless and active" tend to have more aggressive tendencies, while "docile, calm, easily handled" birds are less likely to...

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Can I Use Your Soap as a Shampoo?

soap making

Can I Use Your Soap as a Shampoo?

A question that I've been getting more and more frequently over the past few years is, "can I use your soap as shampoo?" I give the most honest answer I can, which is that I know many customers who use my soap as shampoo and it seems to work well for them. I actually feel pretty out of touch with the shampoo bar revolution, mainly due to the fact that, well, I don't use shampoo!  A Personal Hair Washing History Sometime back in the mid aughts I heard about an intriguing concept called the "no 'poo" method of hair washing....

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Winter Grazing in Vermont

farming

Winter Grazing in Vermont

The downside of farming in Vermont, especially farming that is focused on rotational grazing, is that 4-6 months of the year we have snow on the ground! Since I installed permanent fencing several years ago, I've been enjoying the ability to "graze" the cows on hay for a good part of the winter season. Here's how my system works. After grazing wraps up sometime in October, the cows head back to cow shed area to eat hay bales in the "sacrifice pasture". That means that this small area will get churned up, over grazed and muddy but all the other pastures...

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