Tag Archives: thistle

Snow Still on

The snow is still on along with some ice and this prickly thistle must have some vital nutrients since i observed a few of the cows purposefully selecting bits off this frozen plant. Typically, they’ll only eat the flowers off in the late spring, but this cow is showing her calf how to strip off the branches and leaves and eat them here in winter – leaving the stalk. Otherwise, there is a lot of fescue and other grasses they will thrive on with a bit of effort in this paddock. Not doing the more intense total grazing right now since there is more snow forecasted and i sure don’t want more polybraid strung out again. Uggggh. Additionally, these paddocks they are grazing now are really just gleaning in preparation for better total grazing next winter.

A couple days after this photo, we finally received enough sun to melt the completely iced up polybraid so it could be reeled up. It took some effort (my farm is not flat and there is still crunchy snow cover) and i surely slept well that evening, but i did reel up all 4 polybraids (a bit over 3000 feet) and pull posts, hauled them all home and put them in the fertilizer shed where they belong before arriving home well after dark. So glad to have that project done.

Cows eating prickly thistle.

Soap Making

I’m no soap queen, but since I want the best soap available for my family and myself, the least expensive is to make it myself – although that is still not cheap.  The time spent and the materials to purchase or make add in to dollars per bar.  However, when it’s so icy cold outside, this is the time to restock our soap supplies for the year or sometimes two year’s worth!

If you figure your cost of soap remember to add in the cost of skin oils or lotions you use.  Commercial soaps typically have the glycerin removed so it can be sold to you in a separate bottle of lotion.  Home-made soaps still contain the naturally occurring glycerin.

Although it has been cold, it certainly is convenient for cooling the lye quickly!  Nothing more romantic than standing in 4 degrees Fahrenheit under a full moon at night stirring lye water!  😉

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Disaster strikes with the 100% tallow – totally crumbled, so will have to rebatch this one! Aaargh!

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Seven batches set out to cure – This will take at least four weeks before the soaps are ready to use. The plastic containers hold bits and pieces that will be used for making laundry soap.

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Shaving Soap made with Bio-Char – really excited about this soap. Will have to see how it feels once cured, but it is one of the prettiest soaps I’ve ever made! Also contain bentonite clay for slip.