Archive | June, 2018
Making your own organic soap offers the benefit of you knowing exactly what goes into it and what you will be cleaning your skin with. You can eliminate harsh chemicals or unwanted fragrances. These additives dry out your skin or wreak havoc on sensitive skin. You can make organic soap by taking earth-friendly,skin-friendly ingredients and creating a product that is equally as pleasurable.
Most of the hardware needed to follow this instruction on making organic soap can be found in your home, and the ingredients can easily be obtained from your local home improvement, drug or health store.
Line your box with your freezer paper or parchment paper. This will help release the soap when you are done making it.
Were your protective clothing. Lye will irritate and burn you if it comes in contact with your skin. Donning safety glasses, gloves and long sleeves and pants will help protect you from burns in case there are any splatters or spills while you are mixing the ingredients. The lye become neutralized by the oils in the recipe, making the soap safe to use.
Measure your ingredients using the food scale. Measuring the amounts of the ingredients will give you a more exact portion than doling out cups. You will need 6 ounces distilled water, 2.25 ounces lye, 10 ounces olive oil, 6 ounces coconut oil and 1 tablespoon(0.45 ounce) Castrol oil. Pour the lye into your bowl, the water into one of your measuring cups and the oils into the other measuring cup.
Add the lye to the water gradually. Stir slowly to avoid spattering. The reaction of the 2 items mixing will create heat and fumes. Once integrated, set the mixture aside to cool.
Lye automatically heats up to over 200 degrees and takes nearly 20 minutes to reach a temperature of 115 degrees.
Melt the oils, if necessary to bring them to liquid form.
Warm the oils, being careful not to get them too hot or you will have to wait for them to cool to proceed.
Take the temperatures of the oils and the water/lye mixture. You want them to be within 20 degrees of each other, somewhere between 32-38 C Rewarm the oils is necessary to get to this temperature.
Mix the lye water into oils. Do this slowly, stirring constantly.
Whisk or blend the mixture until it becomes the consistency of pudding. If you think you have blended enough, take the temperature of the mixture. The temperature should have risen a few degrees. This can take a few minutes with a blender or up to an hour with a whisk.
Pour the mixture into your lined box. Let sit for 2 days.
Check the soap with your gloves on. It should be solidified. Remove the soap from the box and cut in into bars. If the soap has separated or is crumbly, discard it and do not use.
Lay bars out flat to cure. Turn the bars every day for 3-4 weeks until they are dry.
Store your soap in a container that is ventilated.
Clean up all soap-making areas with your protective clothing on. To make sure you keep from being burned, it is best to wear your gloves and goggles until all your work area and utensils are clean from the lye.
“Organic gardening is not just the avoidance of chemicals, in the larger view, it is organic living using nature’s laws.”I read this quote by an unknown person some time ago and realized that my parents and others like them were organic gardeners long before the current resurrection of these principles. They didn’t use chemicals on the food they would feed to their children and gardening was a part of daily living to ensure there was sufficient food to preserve for the long winters. Everything was re-cycled and kitchen scraps were routinely thrown onto the garden to replenish the earth. Organic fertilizers such as manure were used and the only fertilizer on the roses was a bone meal. My mother and father produced the best-tasting vegetables and lots of them-enough to feed a family of seven throughout the winter. Birds, worms, and other signs of a living earth were welcomed into the garden.
In recent times synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides have become the practice most common among commercial agricultural practices. These practices have had some undesirable results such as the loss or depletion of topsoil, land becomes less fertile, and the excessive use of pesticides has resulted in pests resistant to the current chemicals resulting in the development of even stronger chemicals. Our environment is being damaged by toxic chemical spills, chemicals leaching into rivers and water supplies are contaminating our drinking water, and the effect of global warming is becoming a major part of the political agenda.
Our personal diet and health is a major topic of importance as more attention is being paid to the relationship between food and health. Research has demonstrated that organically grown vegetables are higher in vitamins and minerals than those grown with inorganic fertilizers. Gardening organically and growing as much of our own food as possible is one of the steps we can take to start healing the earth on which we live and in the process of healing ourselves. Several key components are fundamental to the practice of organic gardening.
- Practical Steps to Organic Gardening
- 1.Soil. The soil is kept healthy by working with Nature rather than against it. Practices include using organic fertilizers such as manure to replenish the earth and all refuse produced by the garden should be recycled back into the garden. Organic gardening uses all of the waste produced in the garden such as grass clippings, leaves, and leftovers from the kitchen to make compost that feeds the soil and keeps it full of the nutrients necessary to grow crops.
- 2. Avoid the use of all synthetic chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Eliminating the use of chemicals in the garden allows gardeners to not worry about children, pets, and wildlife coming in contact with synthetic weed killers and fertilizers on the lawn and shrubs. The food grown is pesticide-free,additive-free, and nutritious food for the table.
- 3.Sustainability. In his book, Gardening Organically, John Fedor defines sustainability as “the ability of a society or an ecosystem to function indefinitely without squandering the resources on which it relies.”
- 4.Environmental Stewardship. Gardening organically means that the environment benefits from the reduction in contamination of the water supply and air pollution. It means that we provide a habitat for wildlife including beneficial insects and animals.
- 5.Wildlife-friendly Habitats. Informal areas can be created to assist wildlife in their search for habitat where they can survive the destruction of many areas; destructions that have now endangered many species.
- 6.Intensive planting. Plants are spaced closely together to conserve water and shield the soil from sunlight thus helping to prevent weed seeds from germinating and growing.
- 7.Biodiversity. Biodiversity ensures that when a change in growing conditions occurs, a single crop from a monoculture does not lead to a crop failure. The food supply does not become jeopardized when a diversity of species are planted.
- 8.Rotating Crops. Crop rotation assists in the control against soil-borne pests and diseases. This rotation makes a difference in the productivity of the garden as those diseases that affect the plants are kept in check by the rotation of the crops to other areas of the garden.
- 9.Watering and Weeding. Rainwater can be saved to water the garden. Soaker hoses, drip irrigation, and watering by hand conserve water. Mulches are invaluable in both water conservation and slowing down weed germination.
- 10. Saving Seeds. Save some seeds from your best plants when harvesting crops. Many old varieties are being lost at an alarming rate and preserving this biodiversity is important. Some of these saved seeds have been used to develop new strains after the disaster has affected commonly cultivated varieties.