Friday, April 30, 2010

How to make Homemade Cleaning Products~part one

Furniture Polish:

This is the first one I made and I am not too wild about it. I made it in bulk and keep it in the frig. The problem is it gets too thick and you have to set it out early and shake the it well to remix everything.
1 Cup Olive Oil
1Cup Vinegar
½ Cup Limon Juice

Makes 2 Cups in Spray Bottle

Combine 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar, and 2 tsp. lemon juice and shake well. Dip a clean and dry cloth into polish and rub wood in the direction of the grain. Refrigerate any remaining polish.

Dusting Spray
This sounds a lot easier!
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 cup baby oil
Put into a spray bottle~

Glass Cleaner:

I use this mostly for glass and my All Purpose Cleaner for everything else because it smells so good!
1 Cup Vinegar
1 Cup Water

Combine 2 cups of white distilled vinegar and 2 cups of water. Use on counter tops, kitchen floors, windows, mirrors, and any other hard surfaces. For tough jobs, warm the cleaner in the microwave.

All-Purpose Cleaner

I love to clean everything with this because it smells so good!
2T vinegar
1 t Borax
Hot water
a few drops of a mild dish detergent
10 drops of essential oil, optional

In a 16 spray bottle put vinegar, borax and hot water. Swish around until borax has dissolved. Add the drops of dish detergent and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Add the essential oil (I like using jasmine or lavender).
 Homemade Floor Cleaner
I put mine in an old shampoo bottle and sprinkle on the floor as I go!

½ Cup Vinegar
1 cup Water
5 drops of oil--smell (I use lemon or orange)

For Linoleum, Tile, Stone and Laminate floors:
Mix 1 C White Vinegar to 2 C water. Put in a spray or shampoo bottle.
Wet cloth, wet floor.


I saved the best one for last! This is better than the store bought!
simply mixing equal parts of vodka and water in a spray bottle and lightly covering fabrics. add 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil for every 2 cups of water. I use Jasmine for the spring/summer!

Organic Produce--what is worth the extra money!

The new Dirty Dozen:
12 foods to eat organic and avoid pesticide residue

By Dan Shapley

Fruits and veggies are an essential part of a healthy diet, but many conventional varieties contain pesticide residues.

And not all the pesticides used to kill bugs, grubs, or fungus on the farm washes off under the tap at home. Government tests show which fruits and vegetables, prepared typically at home, still have a pesticide residue.

You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by as much as 80% if you avoiding the most contaminated foods in the grocery store.

To do so, you need the latest info from the why the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list of foods most likely to have high pesticide residues. Since 1995, the organization has taken the government data and identified which type of produce has the most chemicals.

This year, celery takes the number one spot and both blueberries and spinach make an appearance (displacing lettuce and pears).

The best way to avoid pesticide residue on foods is to buy organic produce -- USDA rules prohibit the use of pesticides on any crop with the certified organic label.

Here's a closer look at the 2010 Dirty Dozen:

1. Celery

Celery has no protective skin, which makes it almost impossible to wash off the chemicals (64 of them!) that are used on crops. Buy organic celery, or choose alternatives like broccoli, radishes, and onions.

2. Peaches

Multiple pesticides (as many as 62 of them) are regularly applied to these delicately skinned fruits in conventional orchards. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit.

3. Strawberries

If you buy strawberries, especially out of season, they're most likely imported from countries that have less-stringent regulations for pesticide use. 59 pesticides have been detected in residue on strawberries. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and pineapples.

4. Apples

Like peaches, apples are typically grown with poisons to kill a variety of pests, from fungi to insects. Tests have found 42 different pesticides as residue on apples. Scrubbing and peeling doesn't eliminate chemical residue completely, so it's best to buy organic when it comes to apples. Peeling a fruit or vegetable also strips away many of their beneficial nutrients. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include watermelon, bananas, and tangerines.

5. Blueberries

New on the Dirty Dozen list in 2010, blueberries are treated with as many as 52 pesticides, making them one of the dirtiest berries on the market.

6. Nectarines

With 33 different types of pesticides found on nectarines, they rank up there with apples and peaches among the dirtiest tree fruit. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include, watermelon, papaya, and mango.

7. Bell peppers

Peppers have thin skins that don't offer much of a barrier to pesticides. They're often heavily sprayed with insecticides. (Tests have found 49 different pesticides on sweet bell peppers.) Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include green peas, broccoli, and cabbage.

8. Spinach

New on the list for 2010, spinach can be laced with as many as 48 different pesticides, making it one of the most contaminated green leafy vegetable.

9. Kale

Traditionally, kale is known as a hardier vegetable that rarely suffers from pests and disease, but it was found to have high amounts of pesticide residue when tested this year. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include cabbage, asparagus, and broccoli.

10. Cherries

Even locally grown cherries are not necessarily safe. In fact, in one survey in recent years, cherries grown in the U.S. were found to have three times more pesticide residue then imported cherries. Government testing has found 42 different pesticides on cherries. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include raspberries and cranberries.

11. Potatoes

America's popular spud reappears on the 2010 Dirty Dozen list, after a year hiatus. America's favorite vegetable can be laced with as many as 37 different pesticides. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include eggplant, cabbage, and earthy mushrooms.

12. Grapes

Imported grapes run a much greater risk of contamination than those grown domestically. Only imported grapes make the 2010 Dirty Dozen list. Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape's thin skin. Remember, wine is made from grapes, which testing shows can harbor as many as 34 different pesticides. Can't find organic? Safer alternatives include kiwi and raspberries

This is so depressing isn't it?! Ugh!

Reusable Products Unsanitary----really?!

So, it was brought to my attention that some small minded people think my reusable products are unsanitary, particularly my reusable tampons and toilet paper. I was a little shocked by this accusation because I feel this is no more unsanitary than your underwear, your silverware and your plates!

As a woman, accidents happen around that time of month and when this happens you don’t just throw your clothes away do you? No, normal people wash them and wear them again—the same concept I am using with my reusable tampons and toilet paper! It is sad that this is the mind set of everyday average Americans. We are a wasteful society but I never realized how wasteful.

Here is an eye opener about tampons—

Tampon and Sanitary Product Fact Sheet
By Angela Hywood, N.D.
Oct 23, 2006 - 11:39:00 am

The mucosal lining of the vagina is one of the most sensitive and absorbent areas of the body yet each month women expose themselves to a variety of hazards through the use of tampons. The average woman may have as many as 400 periods in their lifetime, and can use up to 15,000 tampons during this time. This is a very large number, and it is important to consider the health implications involved in the products that women use to capture the blood during their periods. It is also interesting to note that the testing for the safety of these products is usually conducted by their manufacturer and not by an independent body. The vast majority of women will opt to use either sanitary pads or tampons, or a combination of both methods. Let us consider each separately.


Most commercial tampons are made up of cotton grown according to the modern-day standard agricultural processes involving the extensive use of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. This cotton is then subjected to a chlorine-bleaching process which produces the dangerous chemical dioxin as a byproduct. Tampons may also contain rayon, a synthetic product made from wood pulp which also contains dioxin. The final tampon products may also have chemical fragrances added to them as a deodorant. This buildup of chemicals in the tampons can readily enter the bloodstream upon application of the tampon through the vaginal walls, which contain some of the most absorbent tissue in the body.


Dioxin is present in all tampons which have undergone a chlorine bleaching process, and unless the tampon is specifically labeled as non-bleached you must assume it has undergone this process. It is also present in rayon, a synthetic fiber which is often found alongside cotton in tampons. Although the levels of dioxin in tampons are quite small (and the tampon companies will readily point this out) they are still dangerous as dioxin accumulates in the fat stores of the body and can add up to very dangerous residual levels over time. When you consider the average number of tampons used by a woman in her lifetime, you can start to imagine that the buildup of dioxin in the body tissue will actually be quite significant. Dioxin is linked with the following effects in the body:

• Endometriosis
• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
• Breast cancer
• Ovarian cancer
• Estrogen dominant conditions
• Birth defects in offspring
• Immune system damage
• Sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma
• Hormone dysfunction
• Miscarriage
• Impaired fertility
• Lowered concentration ability
• Diabetes
• Impaired thyroid function
Pesticides, Herbicides, Defoliants

The many pesticides, herbicides, and defoliants sprayed on cotton crops, and in particular the group of chemicals called furans, remain in the cotton long after it has been harvested and processed into tampons. They can also easily enter into the bloodstream through the direct contact of the tampon with the vaginal wall. These have been linked with the following effects in the body:

• Birth defects of offspring
• Low birth weight
• Infertility
• Hormonal disruption
• Thyroid malfunction
• Diabetes
• Endometriosis
• Depression

26% of the world’s pesticide is sprayed on cotton. These pesticides have been shown to affect the health of wildlife and humans in a devastating way, and as a result, more and more people are worried about the use of pesticides in farming and choose to buy organic produce wherever possible. Conventionally grown cotton is sprayed with many pesticides that release toxins, including dioxin, into the environment, leaving residuals in the cotton. Cotton is grown around the world, and in many Third World countries, up to 70 per cent of farm workers include children aged five and many teenagers are actively involved in pesticide spraying. In addition to the practice of spraying, 50% of the conventional cotton grown in the world is genetically modified.

Organic cotton avoids the practice of spraying crops with these pesticides, and organic standards do not permit the use of genetically modified cotton.

Fragrances and Deodorants

These substances are added to the tampon product during processing. Although they can also enter the bloodstream in a similar way to the pesticides and dioxin, they can also have an effect locally in the vagina and cause allergies and skin reactions.

Toxic Shock Syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome is not caused by the chemicals discussed above, but rather from an overgrowth of staphylococcus aureus bacteria in the vagina which causes a release of toxins and poisonous substances into the bloodstream. These toxins can cause a sudden fall in blood pressure and death. The presence of the tampon in the vagina for prolonged periods of time can encourage the growth of the staphylococcus bacteria, as can the use of synthetic fibers in tampons. The occurrence of these symptoms in conjunction with tampon use may be a sign of toxic shock syndrome:

• Diarrhea
• Vomiting
• Sunburn-like rash
• Dizziness
• Confusion
• Cold and clammy skin
• Fever


Sanitary pads are subject to the same considerations above in terms of the chemicals in the cotton used, the bleaching process, and the use of fragrances. Although they are in less contact with the internal vaginal wall they are still in contact with the external mucous membrane and chemicals on them can enter the bloodstream this way. Pads are also often made with a dry-weave plastic cover which can cause irritation and localized allergic reactions.

Safe Alternatives?

The good news is that there are many alternatives available which are better for you and for the environment.

• 100% organic cotton unbleached, chlorine-free tampons and pads- make sure to change tampons often to lower the risk of toxic shock syndrome. An internationally available brand is NatraCare (available from health food stores)

• Reusable vaginal cups- these are easily inserted and held in place by the vaginal muscles and can last up to 12 hours before needing to be changed. If you are allergic to latex make sure that the cup you buy is made of an alternate material such as silicone. Can last up to 10 years.

• Washable cloth pads- these are often held in place on the underwear by Velcro straps and can be washed by hand or in the washing machine

• Sea sponges- these are inserted into the vagina like a tampon would be and changed at roughly the same interval as you would change a pad or tampon. They can be washed by soaking in vinegar, and will last about 4 cycles.

And other about toilet paper—

Author: Michelle Janosi
Article Source:
Provided by: Canada duty tariff

Toilet Paper and the Environment

Did you know that with every tissue roll that’s used, we’re signaling the death of yet another tree and in a virgin forest? Yes, plenty of you may not know about this troubling fact but here’s the truth about where our toilet paper comes from.

Softest Toilet Tissue = Swaths of Virgin Forest

Unfortunately, the soft toilet paper you may take for granted is actually manufactured from millions of trees in a virgin forest. Soft toilet tissue is not from just any virgin forest either as the forests of Canada are the main supplier of American toilet paper. Even the fact that these are farmed forests, the lumber of which could be used for more worthwhile causes like building homes, does not mitigate such an act of atrocity against the environment, all for the sake of a tidy bottom.

Here in the United States, there is much emphasis on using the extra-soft, multi-ply quilted toilet tissue. Supposedly, it makes for a better wiping experience, thanks in part to the aggressive marketing promotions of toilet paper manufacturers.

When more people use recycled toilet paper, more virgin forests will be saved. Just think of the environmental benefits it can bring – less soil erosion and less ozone layer destruction, to name just a few.

Now, this is not to disparage the American public. On the contrary, this is to make the American public and the rest of the world know that a lesser quality toilet tissue will do the job just as well. It’s not exactly sandpaper, if you must know and your butt won’t care whether the toilet tissue used is not extra-soft, floral-printed and finely scented either.

Pick Your Recycled Toilet Paper

Now that I made my pitch for recycled toilet tissue, the next step is to educate you about the right kind of recycled tissue paper. The best pick is the unbleached kind because its processes are more eco-friendly. This is because the bleached kind has to go through a de-inking process where chlorine is used to make it whiter. Only then will it be subjected to further processes like pulping. Keep in mind that chorine-based chemicals can produce toxic compounds like dioxins and organochlorines.

Among other health problems, dioxins can lead to decreased immune response, cancer, learning disorders and diabetes. Is wiping your bottom with virgin forest soft tissue worth all these risks? Definitely not. So, again, always opt for toilet paper with labels that say “chlorine-free”, “bleach-free” and “unprocessed”. If your grocery store doesn’t stock these types, then you should definitely ask them to.

You do also have the option of using water to tidy your bottom. It’s cleaner and it’s cheaper, not to mention that fastidious people do it with a bidet.

Do you have an iPhone? Greenpeace created a new iPhone app that helps you find the best recycled toilet tissue. Essentially, the app gives iPhone users a quick and handy guide to finding the greenest toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, and paper napkins sold at the supermarket.

Help save ancient forests by downloading the Greenpeace guide to recycled tissue iPhone app at the iTunes store.

~~~Or you could use cloth like we do! Saves money Saves the environment!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Homemade Mouth Wash

Duste swears by this stuff! She has had teeth problems and bad breath and this mouth wash has changed all that. After just a day or so of using this she noticed a huge difference.
Bonus--she no longer had bleeding gums! She was starting to get a sore tooth and that has gone away also!

So, this mouth wash is worth giving a try--If you can get past the salty taste this will do wonders for your mouth!

2 cups Warm Water
1 teaspoons sea salt
10 drops Tea Tree oil
10 drops Peppermint oil
Mix Warm Water with salt--stir to dissolve salt--add oil--stir again--pour into bottle.
Add mint leaves if desired!

Hippie Granola

This is an old Hippie Granola recipe from way back~
Super Yummy and Super Easy!

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup peanuts or toasted almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (I often omit this ingredient, as I tend to forget to buy it)
scant 1/4 cup cooking oil (not olive)
1/2 cup honey

--Add After Baking--

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried fruit (dried apricots, craisins and dried apple are all delicious choices)

Mix the oat, nuts and grains in a large bowl. Measure oil into the measuring cup and swirl it around before pouring into bowl. Then measure out the honey in the same, unwashed cup. The oil will help the honey exit the cup. Toss everything together until evenly coated and then pour out into a baking pan. I use a large roasting pan, as it keeps everything contained. A cookie sheet with a lip also works, but you have to stir it slightly more carefully if you use that.

Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, turning it with a spatula every ten minutes or so. You want everything to be an even golden brown. When it is finished cooking, returned the baked granola to the mixing bowl, add the raisins and fruit and stir to combine. Stir gently several times as it cooks, so that it doesn't clump together too much. Enjoy

Thursday, April 22, 2010


 Documentaries you should see--a mixture of uplifting, thought provoking and concerning eye openers!

The Dirt on Farmer John / Food, Inc / Fast Food Nation
 King Corn / Go Further / Gender Rebel / Modify
America the Beautiful / The Natural History of the Chicken
Commune / No Impact Man / Capitalism: A Love Story 
Crazy Love / Dear Zachary / The Business of Being Born
51 Birch Street / Capturing the Friedmans / Dark Days
The Bridge / My Kid Could Paint That / Born into Brothels 
Sicko / Jesus Camp / The Beautiful Truth

Do you recommend one that is not on this list? Please leave a comment with the title and I will check it out! Happy watching and learning!

Food, Inc.

Did you catch the TV debut of Food, Inc on PBS last night?
If not, then I would recommend you see it!

It is a lot like the other documentaries I have recommended--an eye opener for what "they" don't want us to know. It also brings to light how out of touch we are with our food. That boneless skinless chicken breast was a living and breathing chicken!! I know it is easier not to know sometimes but that is a childish approach to things. It’s our responsibility to know where our food comes from. We can not trust those pictures on the label. We can not trust that the FDA has our best interest at heart because they don’t. Now everyone is motivated by money. It is amazing how low the food standards can be for the right price. Our Fast Food Companies are running our food supply and that is a terrible thing. They want food fast and cheap and they don’t care about quality. Quantity over Quality is bad, especially when it comes to our food!
Sometimes I feel everyone is asleep but a handful of us. No one can be paying attention or this would not be happening! WAKE UP PEOPLE!! This is what you are feeding your children, family and friends! This is why we have an over weight issue, this is why diabetes has taken over; this is the reason behind many health issues! Our food should not be engineered by scientist but grown by farmers! It is not natural for food to last months or years on our shelves or in our refrigerator—those are chemicals keeping that food from spoiling. Chemicals you are ingesting in your body with out knowing the consequences!

That chicken in your frig right now has been thru so much abuse before getting to your table. It lived in a chicken house with no windows or fresh air with thousands of others. It could barely walk after eating a diet of growth hormones and corn. In the middle of the night people come and throw it in a small cage with several other chickens and that is that. Its life is over after only a month, never seeing the sun or the chance to peck in the grass. Cow and pigs aren’t treated any better. Forced to eat corn and growth hormones and never getting to graze. You don’t realize what is taking place when they are butchered or what exactly is in your meat and that is how they want to keep it. If people demanded to know then maybe all this would change. Ignoring this will not make it go away—educate your self and then let’s do something about it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Change didn't happen over night!

That is right--we did not make all these changes over night. We started, I would say, late 2007 with something easy, Recycling. I set up a recycling sorting area and we recycled paper, plastic, glass and cans. This was it for a few years. Then in 2009 we went to an event in Greensburg, Indiana where we met Jana Bass with Bass Farms. We bought some lotion, hand sanitizer, shampoo, conditioner and body wash. We LOVED it! Like I have said before it made a huge difference in my hair and I thought it was healthy before! Then my little nephew Keaton Michael started to crawl. That is when I wondered what was in these cleaners I was using? So, I did some research and found out how easy it was to make my own. Making this cleaner led to making that cleaner and before I knew it I was making everything! From there I was hooked!

Then in 2010 I decided to eat healthier. At the same time got into more documentaries, which led to how our meat lives before getting to the super market. From there I found Schacht Farms, a local farm that treats their animals right by allowing them to graze and feeds them what they were to suppose to eat. Then we decided to look into cloth diapers, that led to reusable tampons and the family cloth.

So, my point to all this is going "green" is a process. It takes time, research, trial and error. I have learned to never say never because you don't know how "green" you will or can go. When I first ran across Reusable Tampons and Family Cloth I thought no way--but here I am and it isn't that hard or gross. Everything I do is easy, cheap and do able for anyone. I do not mean to come off as preachy and what works for us might not work for you. But every little change helps and it is fun to see how "crunchy" you can be. (not to mention how much money you can save) So, good luck in finding how "green" or "crunchy" you can go~

The beginning---where all my craziness started!

The Frist Blog I posted on my Facebook in March 2010------

Well, one day while doing our budget I wondered what else I could cut back on and decided to research homemade cleaning products. After checking out a few websites I found my favorites and bookmarked them. Reading everything I could I made my own list of which ones I would try. Well, making this homemade product lead to making that homemade product and before I knew it I made everything I could possibly find how to make! The internet is a great thing--how did we ever live with out it! Then I put them to the test--I cleaned my house with every product I made and was shocked to find the things I made cleaned as good if not better than the things I bought at Walmart! And to think all the money I have spent on making my house clean and smell good and it really doesn't cost that much to make myself!

So far we have spent a little over $100 but of course that is start up cost--maintaining cost will be far less.
So our dependence on Walmart is depleting!
We get our shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotions from a wonderful women who makes all natural products--her website is ---Her stuff last longer and works better than anything at walmart!

Next our meat--we discovered a new natural whole food store on Central Ave that sells Organic Grain Feed Beef. Which led me to -- they sell beef that was Grain Feed and allowed to graze the fields like cows were meant to. There are no hormones, steroids or antibiotics used. The meat is healthier and leaner. We have watched lots of documentaries on the cruel and unhealthy treatment of our beef that is being sold in grocery stores around the world and restaurants. Ever noticed the girls are getting younger and younger and their bodies are maturing at a fast pace--could it be the hormones in our beef? I am so glad Columbus, IN has farmers that give a hoot! And if you must eat meat people it is your responsibility to eat Happy Cows!

And guess what else, that leads me to Organic Milk--will this ever stop! Do you know what is really in the milk that you buy at the store because I have no clue! But Walmart does offer Organic Milk so for that I will continue shopping--not to mention their Organic frozen lunch food options the offer!

So, by this summer I would like to have all meat in my house to have come from local organic farmers. I will go to the local farmers market to buy my fresh produce until my own home grown have come in and maybe I will try to can this fall! Have I mentioned we are now beginner Composters? Yes it is true, Talisa and Duste are going back in time! I may have gone off the Hippie Deep end but I think my body will thank me!

The Ranting Continues..........Part 2 (What is behind all the Craziness!!)

Hello again!

I have made two more homemade products--mouthwash and shaving cream! Finally I found a use for the handheld electric mixer! ( I mash taters with a hand masher) I am in love with all the homemade products--it is fast, easy and cheap! CHEAP!

Ok, so you want to know the reasoning behind all this craziness--I am all for eco friendly things. I get it we need to be good to the earth but add that to saving me money and I am all in! I feel I would be more crazy to not want to save the earth and a little money! And I admit I like things that are fast and easy--the reason I do not make my own lotions, body wash and shampoo--so all these things I have made are just that fast and easy!

So, why did I start on this journey you ask, because I want to save money silly! I am all about saving all the money I can because like most of the time I have a plan! If I could spend less money then I could work less which means I will be happier--see it is a win win situation!

I have been working on our budget now for over a year to get things paid off as fast as possible. At first the pays offs came in a few short months now we are working on the larger debts and the payoffs take a little longer. By next month I will have my credit card debt paid off, then on to the heating and air debt. (we had to buy a new furnace and central air in 2009) That will be paid off in Oct. That is when we start on my student loan. We should have that paid off June-ish 2011. At this point most of my income will be extra every month!

I have battled with the electric and gas company to get my monthly charges down. We have insulated the basement beyond belief and had a wood stove installed. I think my record low on my gas bill has been $12 for the month of December/January! I have unplugged and installed energy efficient everything. We rarely use the air because our windows are lined up just right to get a good breeze through the house and we have ceiling fans in every room!

In the near future Duste wants to have geothermal and Solar Panels installed! That way all our electric will be paid for and the electric company will owe us! It is a great investment and thanks for tax credits you get over half of it back on your taxes! Another Win Win Situation!

See, I have a plan and a goal! My happiness is more important than money and I am so thankful Duste supports me in my craziness!

Happy Meat!!

Do you know how/where your meat lived?

We do because we buy our meat from Schacht Farms.
Our beef, pork and chicken are raised healthy and happy eating what they are meant to and grazing on the land. Good meat that is Good for us!

It is everyone’s responsibility if you must eat meat—eating our animal friends is wrong—the least you can do is eat the ones that had a healthy and happy life!

Chickens are allowed the freedom to walk around and peck at bugs and plants all they wish. They are not confined to cages with 6 other chickens, no room to walk or spread their wings and cages stacked on top and under them. This is exactly the condition of most store bought meat and egg laying chickens. The chickens on Schacht Farm are fed local grown grain and organic kelp. No hormones for these chickens!

As is the case with all their animals, the pigs are in an environment that most allows them to display their species specific habits, which in the case of pigs means grazing, rooting and wallowing. The pigs graze over
pastures, taking in large amounts of grass and legumes. They also get a daily treat of whatever is in season including pumpkins, hickory nuts, walnuts, seconds from the garden, wind fallen apples and so on. Locally grown grain and organic supplements are also provided for the pigs.

Cows are give access to many pastures. Because of this they thrive without the use of chemicals of any kind. They are fattened on pasture by grazing, not in a feedlot being fed grain. Most beef you buy in all stores are from cows crammed in a small space, unable to walk, with no access to grass. Instead they are offered grain feed 24 hours a day. This insures they will get big and fat faster and turn over for these companies are quicker. But because these cows are only fed grain and not allowed to graze they are sick, which is where the chemicals come in. They are also fed growth hormones to make them bigger, which mean more meat and more money. If they are not butchered as quickly as they are they will get sick and die. Their muscles break down making standing impossible and their organs begin to fail. All of this because America wants their beef fast and cheap. There are no studies showing the lasting effects on our bodies from eating this meat with all of these chemicals and hormones.

I recommend watching the documentaries: The Natural History of the Chicken, Fast Food Nation and King Corn.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Did You Know?

Do you know where your Milk comes from?
At 15 months old, a female calf is a cow. Cows reach maturity in about 12 months. That’s important to the dairy industry. To make sure a cow makes milk, it is kept pregnant its whole adult life. We would like to think of a dairy cow peacefully munching grass in a meadow. But that is not how most dairy cows are raised. Most cows have a number, not a name. Almost all dairy cows are raised in factories where they’re fed a surplus of corn and soy—not the grass that is a cow’s natural food. A cow is built to digest grasses, with a stomach divided into four parts, which we call being a ruminant. Eating corn and soy and being crowded in a factory makes for problems for a cow. Factory cows get more diseases, so they are medicated constantly. Their food includes drugs like antibiotics and hormones. They also get gas, which can hurt their 4-part stomachs. Factory cows live from 3-4 years before they die. Cows that eat grasses in meadows live and produce milk for up to 20 years. They’re ones farmers name and don’t number.

Cows that are in a factory like setting are so over milked their utters get sore and infected. That is why when you buy milk from these companies, which is mostly what you find at convenient stores and Walmart, it has pus and blood in it. Ewww!

I currently drink Horizon Organic Milk but I am looking into buying from a local dairy farm because I have trust issues with people and places I can not see. It is a fact most companies slap on the Organic label just so they can charge us more money—and I don’t like to spend money. So, if I am going to spend more for something then I better have proof it is the real thing. I will keep you posted on my finding!
I recommend everyone watch Go Further!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Reduce Reuse Recycle

Reusable Toilet Paper and Reusable Tampons and Pads--Because I do not like to throw my money away or flush it down the potty!

Yes, I did just go there! Ok, Ok, I know the Family Cloth can be a little far from some people's reach. We thought the same thing. Then, like most things on this journey,  before we knew it we were all for giving it a try. For those of you who are new to reusable TP it really isn't one cloth that the whole family shares--at lest not in our household. We bought some cloth especially made for this use--perfect size and things--from Barb is great and her products help to make the transition to a greener life easy! We have started with around 50 pieces varying in sizes and absorbencies and a wet bag trash can liner. The plan is to no longer use Toilet Paper, although we will still have it for our visitors, instead we have cloth pieces next to the toilet and a special trash can for our used pieces. On wash day or when we get low on cloth I am going to empty the wet bag in the washer, throw the wet bag in as well and wash! Since I do not like to use my drier I will hang these out to dry as well! We have used these for a few days now and it isn't as big of a step as I thought.

Now on to Reusable Tampons and Pads. I did my research as usual and came up with a few options, two of which Duste and I decided to try. Duste is using the Diva Cup--a reusable cup that collects the menstral flow that you empty and reuse. She has used it for two cycles and loves it. You only have to empty it every 12 hours and she said it is super easy to inset and remove. I (Talisa) decided to use reusable tampons and panty liners. So back to  I went! She offers tampons in all absorbancies. I bought 10, five in two sizes, to start off with. After talking about it sounds like I need double that but this will do for now. I am excited to give these a try but sadly I will have to wait till next month. The plan is to never buy tampons and panty liners again. I am going to use my reusables and when I need to change at work I have a small wet bag and piece of cloth. When I am at home I have a wet bucket--also used for cloth diapers--that sits next to the toilet. I will drop the used ones in there and empty the water a few times a day till I need to wash and reuse. We bought an old mino bucket from (local) put some water in the bucket and can lift up the middle part to access the tampons. Also, when we change the water we don't have to worry about tampons going everywhere! The perfect solution thought up by Duste!
I love saving money! And can you think of a bigger waste of money than Toilet Paper and Tampons--something you can use only once, sometimes with barely anything on it and your just throwing it a way? Nope, that will not work for me! Not to mention all the terrible things they are doing to our environment to create that Toilet Paper and ask yourself what is in those tampons you are putting inside yourself--trust me if you knew you would run away screaming! Plus, for our dear old house having no toilet paper in the septic tank is best. After all we are not sure where the access is or when the last time it was emptied!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Homemade Cleaning Products~Easy and Cheap to Make~

Good for your home and good for the people in it!

List of things I currently make and use:

Laundry Soap          Fabric Softener
Dishwasher Soap     Liquid Soap
Dusting Spray          Fabric Refresher
Glass Cleaner           All Purpose Cleaner
Floor Cleaner           Toilet Cleaner
Mouth Wash            Deodorant
Hand Sanitizer

List of All Natural Things I buy and use:
Bodywash, Shampoo, Conditioner and Lotion from
These Shampoos and Conditioners have worked wonders on my hair! My hair has never been so healthy! My hair stylist has been so impressed with my hair since using Jana Bass's products! I love that I can have my products smell like what I want them to! The quality of her products beat anything store bought hands down and it last twice if not three times longer. And the best part--I know what is in what I am buying! Jana Bass is great!