Thursday, October 09, 2008

As most of you know, we offer various classes, mostly here on the farm. And we LOVE doing so! We keep thinking about a way to offer classes online to our many wonderful customers across the world...but have yet to come up with a great plan to do so. (There are only so many hours in the day unfortunately!) HOWEVER, we do get lots of emails from our (inter)national customers about classes, so I thought I'd post about a few options here.

Our friends Tina and Maryanne, of The Essential Herbal and Lancaster Soapworks, are offering a REALLY spectacular-sounding online soapmaking class! Check out the details here on Tina's blog - they are limiting the class to a certain number of students, so I highly recommend signing up very soon if you are interested.

We are teaching a class here on the farm about Homemade Natural Cleansers. The class draws heavily on an article I wrote for the Herb Quarterly in the Summer 2008 issue. (Did you guys know that I write a monthly column for that magazine, as well as feature articles??) Anyway - it does have some really great recipes in it, if you can find a copy at your local library I'd highly recommend it. Otherwise you can order a copy from their website. I also recommend 2 books on this subject:

The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier is my favorite - it's packed with great recipes that really work.

Clean House Clean Planet by Karen Logan is also great!

We also have a great recipe for homemade laundry soap on o
ur website,and we DO plan to add more natural home cleanser recipes to our website soon, so stay tuned.....

Last, but not least - we do offer several natural dyeing classes here
on the farm - we haven't yet offered one on rust-dyeing, but I *did* write a tutorial for Hobby Farm Home magazine on how to rust-dye fabrics. It's easy, fun, and a great way to turn rusty "junk" into art. Here are a few items that are dyed with rust (all of these can be found in my etsy store, by the way...)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A few housekeeping notes: The Soleil limited edition perfume is sold out!

We still have 2 spaces left in our November Soapmaking 101 class, and several slots in each in our Natural Dyeing and Natural Cleansers classes.

Monday, October 06, 2008

We are being blessed with a GORGEOUS fall. I guess we deserve it, after such a wet/hot/miserable spring and summer.

The harvest is in full swing here. The still is running every day, weather permitting. I've distilled the season's tender herbs - lemon verbena, eucalyptus, lemongrass - the more tropical herbs that grow here as annuals. Now I'll concentrate on the hardier herbs - peppermint, comfrey, mountain mint, etc. We had a crop failure of several herbs - lemon balm and chocolate mint. Which is bizarre, as normally they grow REALLY well here. go figure.

I'm also drying herbs, and making smudge sticks. The picture above shows sweetgrass, mountain mint, and white sage, just cut. I bundle some of each together and tie it with a rubber band, as shown below:

These are hung in our drying shed, until they're dry, but not TOO crispy/crunchy.
Then we remove the rubber band, tie the smudge together with natural-fiber (cotton or hemp) string, and they are done!

Here's another online tutorial about making smudge.