Farm and Soap Updates

Aluminum in Deodorant

soap making

Aluminum in Deodorant

I started writing this with intention of posting a short informative article about aluminum in deodorant. Several weeks and one deep hole of research later, here is the result. It is, I think, quite informative but alas, not short. If you'd like to skip the close examination of research, feel free to scroll right down to "Fear and Marketing." You can also take a look at the source list at the bottom, where I've noted a few articles which are fairly quick, easy reads and are from reputable sources. The rest of you, lets see if we can sort through...

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Good Spirits and a Broken Furnace

farming Vermont

Good Spirits and a Broken Furnace

I am not a great memorizer of quotations or poetry but there are a few turns of phrase that really do stick in my head. At the moment it is this: “There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.” - Aldo Leopold Currently there is no heat (or hot water) coming from our furnace, so consider my spirit in a place of safety. Luckily, it's not all that cold out and the wood stove does keep the...

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First Frost and Thoughts on Winter

farming Vermont

First Frost and Thoughts on Winter

Autumn comes early most years in Vermont. We had our first very light frost yesterday, can you see the tiny frost crystals on the grass? As someone who raises livestock on pasture in northern Vermont, frost heralds the coming transition from rotational grazing to stationary housing. This far north, it's an often untalked-about reality that farmers raising pastured livestock need to be just as good at keeping livestock stationary and indoors, as keeping them on grass. By the end of October, the laying hens are tucked away in their winter quarters and the cows have finished up the available grazing....

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Skunked!

farming Vermont

Skunked!

This is the face of a dog who deeply regrets her choices. Farm Dog Caraway got sprayed directly in the face by a skunk a few days ago and didn't realize how many baths would result. I'm hopeful she's learned her lesson, since immediately after getting sprayed she started frantically wiping her face in the grass, clearly the smell was not an enjoyable experience.  For those who might need to deskunk a pet in the future, I can recommend "Skunks Etc." enzyme wash as the most effective treatment I tried. It still took several rounds to make her even remotely...

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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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