Tag Archives: life

Make Your Own Buzz!

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Next week is National Pollinator Week! I didn’t even know this was a thing, but I’m glad it is and I think it needs to be shouted from every rooftop. This week is brought to us by the Pollinator Partnership, who I found out is funded by Monsanto and Bayer. Ugh. The very organizations that are killing them via  “Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-tolerant ‘Roundup Ready’ crops,  Monsanto’s insecticide-producing, genetically engineered ‘Bt’ Crops, and  Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds treated with Bayer’s insecticides”. Read more about it here… it’s sickening.

I feel like the situation is dire for our pollinators and our food supply so I still feel that our pollinators are worth celebrating and talking about.

What can you do?

1. Avoid buying bee killing pesticides like: Monsanto’s Roundup, Dow’s Rodeo or Bayer 2-1 Systemic Rose and Flower Care. Don’t forget that seedspotting soil and plants are also pre-treated with neonics.

A quick weed killer that can be used in place of Roundup is as follows:

-1/2 cup of salt, preferably sea salt or Himalayan salt

-1 gallon organic or non-gmo vinegar

-1/4 cup all-natural dish soap (for sale at local health food stores)

Mix ingredients and place in a spray bottle. The correct ratio is a 1/2 cup of salt for every gallon of vinegar and 1/4 cup for this recipe.

For seeds try:

•    GrowOrganic

•    Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. 

•    Seeds of Change

•    The Seed and Plant Finder 

•    Seed Savers Exchange

2. Let Dandelions and Clover grow in your lawn. This is by far the easiest thing that a person can do. Bees love them. Don’t worry, we won’t judge you for not having a perfect lawn 🙂

3. Plant bee friendly flowers: lamb’s ear, which has some added benefits that you can read about here), hyssop, lupine, bee balm,  coneflowers, heather, lavender, heliotrope, etc. You can also find mixes that are native to your region to make things super easy.

4. Buy Organic. Let your dollars do the talking for you. Support organic farmers. If they are local, even better!

5. Add Your Name. Sign Petitions to let your voice be heard regarding passing the Saving America’s Pollinators Act .  Another petition can be found here.

Also, tell Lowe’s to stop selling bee killing plants and pesticides here.

The more I read about this, the sicker it makes me. I am hopeful that the message will continue to spread and we can change this course before we lose our valuable pollinators.

Source: Honey Bee Health via Organicconsumers.org

 

Experiments in Body Products

I finally found some motivation to concoct some body lotion. I have been using sweet almond oil for some time and while I find it satisfying, I was ready to try something different.

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I pooled all my yummy resources and over a double boiler on low-ish heat I mixed:

  • 1 part coconut oil
  • 1 part sweet almond oil
  • 2 parts organic shea butter.

I added a few tablespoons of vanilla extract for some perfume, or as we like to call it in our household, “smellum.” Once it was mixed to my satisfaction, I placed the bowl in the fridge with a large sign that it is no longer a consumable product (lest someone mistake it for some delicious fruit topping or something bizarre that I haven’t imagined yet).

Once it’s been chilled, read: firm, take a hand mixer to it and whip it good! I put mine in a glass jar for display amongst the many jars already found in my bathroom.

Here’s what I like:

It’s easy. This didn’t take much time to put together. I happen to have all these products. All I needed was inspiration.

It smells amazing. I love the smell of vanilla.

Here’s what I perceive to be the downside:

It’s kinda greasy. I expected this though because the sweet almond oil lingers on the body for a bit. I just put my fancy robe on after I slather it on my body and pretend I’m in a luxury spa. I brew a hot cup of tea and sip on it until I feel it’s soaked in my skin. This can be tough if you are in a hurry in the morning, but it forces me to slow down and enjoy the process of easing into my day. That might sound a bit hippy-dippy but it truly makes for an enjoyable morning. I do not apply lotion to my feet at all unless I put on slippers. I’m terrified that I’ll slip before it is absorbed by the skin. I just don’t want to hit my head on the tub or something. That could be a disaster.

My dog loves it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t like to be licked. It’s just icky to me.

The amount of lotion that is made should last for quite a bit of time because I don’t apply a ton of it. I particularly like the vanilla smell. I found some neat facts about vanilla that just reinforces my feelings about vanilla:

  • The vanilla plant is an orchid, native of Mexico- it’s the only edible orchid.
  • Vanilla is the world’s most second most labor-intensive agricultural crop.
  • The flower only blooms for 24 hours. If it doesn’t get pollinated, it will die.
  • Historically, vanilla is described as an aphrodisiac
  • Additionally, it is a remedy for fevers.
  • Vanilla is the most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States.
  • Mr. Thomas Jefferson brought vanilla to the United States in 1789. Hats off to you sir!
  • Adding a few drops of vanilla will cut the acidity of tomato-based foods- this is a useful tip!

Obviously the vanilla in the recipe is optional. Maybe you substitute essential oils. How about some herbs? Lemon zest? What’s your flavor?