Tag Archives: natural

Moving a Protein Tub

These supplemental protein/energy tubs for cattle are 200 lbs!  Obviously, i can’t pick it up to move as i shift cattle to new paddocks.  Here’s my solution using stuff found around the farm.

img_8286
Even half eaten, it will weigh over 100 lbs.  Although i can tip it on the side and roll it onto the sled, I found that i can just leave the sled under the tub; the cattle don’t tear it up.  I just hook on and move.  The black plastic is old plastic from a destroyed bunk feeder, the white pipe is actually the G2 plastic post from Powerflex Fence which i cut to length.  
img_8308
Full, these weigh 200 lbs.  Leaving the sled under the tub means just hooking on and going.  No more tipping, lifting, rolling, and handling in general.  The older i get, the more important this is.  In fact, i design my work around my bad back, hips, shoulder.
img_8309
When done,  very lightweight for easy pick up and storage.

 

Wool – Regenerative Fiber

The impact of plastic pollution – why wool is the sustainable choice

‘British shoppers’ addiction to new clothes is putting the future of the planet at risk.’

As a nation, British shoppers buy more new clothes than any nation in Europe, with people buying twice as many items of clothing as they did a decade ago.

‘Fast Fashion’ – the reproduction of highly fashionable clothes at high speed and low cost – has far-reaching effects in terms of plastic pollution.  Discarded clothes are piling up in landfill sites (government figures indicate that three in five garments end in landfill or incinerators within a year) and wildlife in our rivers and seas is eating synthetic fibres dislodged in the wash.

The Government Environmental Audit Committee recently announced plans to work closely with major fashion chains to reduce plastic waste and encourage recycling, and could call on the fashion industry to create a demand for longer life garments, along with a ban on dumping clothes in landfill. These are two key actions where increasing usage of natural fibres (such as wool) can make a real difference.

So why is wool a better choice?

Wool is recyclable

Products made out of synthetic fibres can take up to 40 years to degrade, while wool – a natural fibre – degrades in a fraction of that time. This is because wool is made of keratin, a natural protein similar to the protein that makes up human hair, which can be broken down naturally without causing an environmental hazard.

Wool will also reduce waste to landfill as it decomposes in soil in a matter of months or years, slowly releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth.

Wool lasts longer

Wool is an incredibly complex natural fibre, providing many attributes that plastic fibres just can’t match. Its natural crimp and elasticity endures constant wear and compression, and its bulk resists crushing and matting, helping it withstand continuous wear.

Wool needs less washing

Wool naturally absorbs moisture when the atmosphere is damp, and releases it when the atmosphere is dry, supporting less frequent, lower impact washing, which in turn prolongs the lifetime of garments. A simple airing is often enough to refresh woollen garments – simply hang them outside on a dry day for a couple of hours.

Read more about the benefits of British wool at https://www.britishwool.org.uk/benefits-of-wool

References

https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/environment/environmental-protection/news/98810/british-shoppers-love-fast-fashion-putting

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45745242

Back to News & Events

The impact of plastic pollution – why wool is the sustainable choiceWool can help combat plastic pollution

Wool can help reduce plastic waste and plastic pollutionWool is recyclable, lasts longer, and needs less washing

Juniper Leaf Soap Recipe

I had a request for the recipes of the three soaps I gave to our mailman, who had given me some wonderful all natural home grown local beeswax, so I’ll start with this one! Using regular soap making directions, here are the ingredients for this 5.4 lb (after 4 week curing) batch.  Use a soap making calculator to help with oil selections.  There are a lot of them out there, just type in ‘soap making calculator.’

Juniper Leaf

24 oz beef tallow (i render our own grass finished beef tallow)

17 oz olive oil

17 oz coconut oil

4 oz shea butter

2 oz beeswax (locally produced usually)

9.45 oz sodium hydroxide

21.88 oz rainwater

5 Tablespoons of Juniper Leaf essential oil stirred in at trace.

Remember NEVER pour lye (sodium hydroxide) into hot oil (or cold oil).  Dissolve it into the water first.  I always wear safety goggles and rubber gloves when doing this and always outside.  The fumes coming off are very toxic and even the tiniest drop of the mixture will dissolve fabric and skin.

Never let the hot oil get on you either.  My goal is to heat the oil (slowly) and stir the sodium hydroxide crystals into the water and let cool so that both oil and lye water reach 106ºF to 110ºF at the same time.  (stirring sodium hydroxide into water can cause the water to quickly reach over 200ºF – be very, very careful!).  Once they each reach those temps, trickle the lye water into the oils which are being blended.  Coming to trace can be as quick as 5 minutes or more than an hour!

Many people use an immersion blender these days – very neat idea, but i’m using an old Sunbeam mixer that works just fine and didn’t cost anything.  Any implement used in soap making should be dedicated to that project.  Never use them for food again.

Making soap is a labor of love; unless you are set up with commercial equipment and plan to make a LOT to keep costs down, there is little profit in it unless your soap is so good that you can command a premium price.  And there are some out there that can.

There are so many excellent sites on the web with a plethora of ingredient choices, recipes, and soap making instructions and tips.  Take your time, educate yourself, decide how much effort and expense you want to invest, then go for it!  Or decide to purchase it already made.  That’s good, too.

Cheers!

tauna

Tips:  Try not to make a huge financial investment until you are sure you want to do this on a regular basis.  I still use an old coffee carafe to stir the sodium hydroxide into the water.  You can pick them up at second hand stores for less than a dollar and they can easily take the heat.  Estate sales or second hand stores may also yield a workable mixer.  You can choose to stir by hand, but i guarantee that will get old quick.  A lot of fun stuff can be used for soap molds, but remember you’ll be pouring very hot mixture into them – select carefully.  I finally broke down and purchased these very keen loaf molds from Essential Depot.  They really make it much easier.