Farm News/Blog

Natural Bug Repellants

Posted on May 23, 2017 at 4:50 PM

Its been a while since I posted but with the bug season upon us 

Its bug repellant season!

I have had some great results with catnip infused in oilive oil as a quick repellant but I have seen some great recipes online that i would love to share

Good luck out there and I hope some of these work for you

Make your own Natural Deodorant Baking Soda Free :Recipe 3

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 3:20 PM

Getting snowed in over Christmas ( which i don't mind at all on the farm) and having had enough of Christmas Turkey I started looking through my recipes from last year and made some improvements. The natural deodorant recipes i posted last year were great but not for some people who had some sensitivity to baking soda ( myself included ) After using recipe one and 2 for about 2 weeks I started getting a reaction to the bajking soda and had to stop using the deodorant.

Here is a Baking soda free deodorant recipe for those who are sensitive.I have left the original recipe 1 and 2 up as some folks have had great results with these

It makes just enough for one deodorant container

Homemade  Deodorant Recipe #3:

1 T coconut oil                                                   

1 T beeswax

2 T shea butter

2.5 T arrowroot powder

1 T clay, (I used bentonite but kaolin or french green would be fine also)

1/4 t vitamin E oil (2-4 capsules)

2 shelf-stable probiotic powder capsules (optional)

essential oils– aprox. 10-25 drops

The 2 combinations of essential oils that i used were:

10 drops tea tree, 10 drops sweet orange, and 10 lemon with bentonite clay

I also made the recipe with a different type of clay and  used 10 drops bergamot  15 sweet orange and 5 peppermint with rhassoul clay, and without any probiotic capsules



On the stovetop, ( I used a double boiler) melt coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax, stirring with  a small spatula. 

Add the arrowroot and clay, stirring well.                                               

Remove from heat and add vitamin E oil.  

Let the mixture cool to the consistency of pudding and then add probiotic capsules and essential oils (if using).  

With a small spatula, press into deodorant container, making sure that the tube is rolled all the way down.

Cool in the fridge overnight.

I will keep you all posted how this works for me!

Enjoy and happy holidays

Home made Laundry soap

Posted on December 1, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Its been a while since i posted a new message in the blog. Things have been very busy on the farm, we now have Kahtahdin sheep as well as the horses and Chickens. Its definitely not dull around here

Due to request i am posting my homemade Laundry soap recipe

For the soap you can use your own handmade soap, i use a 100% lard laundry bar that i make myself but any laundry soap bar will do.

The soap also separates out so stir prior to using



2.4 ounces of soap (grated)

½ cup washing soda (double for ultra cleaning power)

½ cup borax (double for ultra cleaning power)

Dissolve in pot on stove with approx 4-8cups water

Put in a bucket

Add enough liquid to equal 2 ½ gallon

Shake or stir before using

Use 1/2 cup per load of laundry

also can be used in high efficiency washers due to the low sudsing properties of the soap



More home made horse treats

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 10:05 AM

I recently found a great article on regarding feeding of horse treats and making your own including a recipes and links to other sites for horse treat recipes.

The auther even conducted horse taste tests and focused on healthy for your horses but good to eat and palatible treats

enjoy the recipes and links

Here is one easy and common treat recipe the author recommends:


1 pound oat-based sweet feed

½ pound flour

4 cups molasses

1 ½ cups beer


Mix flour, molasses, and beer thoroughly, making sure flour is well-blended. Add sweet feed slowly, covering all particles. Divide mixture between four well-oiled 12-by-15-inch pans. Place these in an oven set at a low temperature (200-250°F). When the mixture begins to set, cut it into 20 bars per tray. Then place it back into the oven until completely dry. Remove treats from pans and place each bar into an individual bag for ease of handling. These can be very sticky if not baked until completely dry, and baking times vary. For a healthier option, replace the sweet feed in this recipe with whole grains and grated carrot or apple.

The author also shares a few of her favorite equine treat recipe resources:

Passion for Horses recipes: Easy-to-Make Horse Treat Recipes: Moniteau Saddle Club's 16 pages of treat recipes:

Ottawa Basic Soap making Workshop

Posted on February 3, 2013 at 5:20 PM

This category is a companion to the soap making workshops I teach and is a resource for the workshop participants.

Anyone who has an interest in home soap making is welcome to use these recipes as well.

The basic all vegetable soap recipe we use in the begiiner hot process soap making workshop is posted along with other recipes and the most popular eight lye calculators

Please click here to access the Soap recipes page  I will update and add recipes from time to time so please check back often.

Prior to using any recipe always verify your ingredients with the lye calculator.

Happy Soapmaking


Home made Bug Repellant Recipes

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Having a number of  horses here at the farm one of the primary things is to make my dollar stretch. When bug season comes the commercial fly sprays from the tack shop we literally use by the gallon it seems. We live on a heavily forested area with a lot of ponds and prime breeding areas for insects. We have blackflies, a heavy mosquito presence, and of course the dreaded horse fly.

Below are a few bug spray recipes that I have found, formulated to fit what I like, and changed to what I use for what seems to work here and of course not smell too badly.

Feel free to try them out and I will be adding various different ones from time to time.

please note: these recipes are formulated from my own experience and every horse has different sensitivities. Use your own judgement when using different substances on your horses. Your vet is your best adviser as to what is safe for your horses health.



Fly Repellent Ointment like swatt


I use this a great deal and the cost savings are substantial as it only costs approximately 25%  of the fly repellent ointment in the tack store.My friends all have started using this mix and the cost savings are well worth the trouble to mix this upworth it

Repellant: I use Farnam's "wipe" brand 

I jar of vaselline any size

Mix chosen amount of wipe into a container of Vaseline, ( I use approximately an ounce of liquid per 4 ounces fof vaseline but if you use too much repellant the mixture is too runny to use as an ointment)

apply as needed to belly, flank and areas of horse that are being bitten. Works well for every bug from black flies and horse fly's  to mosquito

Recipe #1 Equine 

2/3 cup(167ml) Listerine Mouthwash

2/3 cup (167ml) apple cider Vinegar

1/3 cup (83 ml) vegetable Oil

20 drops (1ml) spearmint oil

20 drops (1ml) cedar oil

You can also substitute white vinegar if the apple cider vinegar is too strong smelling This one is quite effective

but my colt smells a bit like a pickle.



Recipe 2 Equine

2 cups (500ml) apple cider vinegar

2 cups (500ml) cold prepared tea (sage) or (chamomile)

20 drops (1ml) eucalyptus oil

20 drops (1ml)  lavender oil

20 drops (1ml)  citronella oil

20 drops (1ml)  tea tree oil

20 drops (1ml)  cedar oil

I also added 2 oz of Avon skin so soft (any other oil can be substituted if this is not available where you are)

20 drops (1ml)  emulsifier such as polysorbate 20 but you can skip this step  just  shake frequently

as the oils will separate

 Recipe #3 Equine ( My version of the Skin so Soft Mix)

2 cups (500ml) white vinegar

1 cup(250ml) Avon skin so soft (original formula)

1 cup (250ml) of listerine  

1 tablespoon of Eucalyptus Oil

1 tablespoon of Tea tree Oil

1 tablespoon of Citronella Oil

Formula for Roll On: Equine


I use this in a recycled bottle and roll iton around the ears and face (NOT close to the eyes)

20 drops Eucalyptus oil

20 drops Cedarwood oil

10 drops Tea Tree oil

10 drops Geranium oil

2 oz. carrier oil ( such as mineral oil )

Mix together in a 4 oz. container. Apply to skin as needed avoiding the eye area.

Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities .

Experiment with different percentages of essential oil.


 For Dogs! Natural Bug Repellent Recipe

10 drops Geranium oil

10 drops Lemongrass oil

5 drops Lavender oil

5 drops Peppermint oil

5 drops Eucalyptus oil (Some people like to use lemon scented)

2 drops Catnip oil

Mix the above with 1/4 cup water. Shake well before each use.

Use  all recipes at your own risk and please consult your veterinarian with any questions.



Home made Horse treats

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 5:35 PM

We always want the best for our equine friends

Here are some homemade horse treats for those that like to make thier own

Simple Molasses/Oat Treats

3cups flour

1cup oats

1 cup bran

1 chopped apple

1 chopped carrot

2 cups of molasses

 Mix flour bran, and oats together. Add molasses if the mixture is not doughy or more flour if you require a dryer consistency. . Add carrots and apples.  I dip a spoonful into loose oats and flatten in pan prior to baking Cook until golden brown at 350 degrees.

Peppermint Treats

2 cups of flour

1 cup of oats

1/4 cup of molasses

10 crushed peppermints

2 apples

Mix flour and oats together. Add molasses if the mixture is not doughy. Add water slowly until it is doughy. Add peppermints and apples.

Cook until golden brown at 350 degrees.

Carrot and Apple Horse Cookies

1 cup sweet feed

2 cups bran

1 cup flax seed

4 large carrots, shredded

1 cup molasses

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup applesauce

Mix molasses, brown sugar, carrots and applesauce in one bowl. In another mix the dry ingredients. Slowly combine the molassess mixture with the dry ingredients. Add only enough molasses mixture to form a thick dough, add more bran if necessary. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil using a tablespoon drop batter onto cookie sheet and flatten slightly to form portions about the size of a silver dollar. Bake at 300 degrees for about 1 hour, flip and bake for an additional 45 minutes, until they are dried out. keep checking to make sure they don't burn.


Oatmeal Apple/Carrot balls

1 cup dry oatmeal

1 cup flour

 1 cup shredded carrots or apples

 1 teaspoon salt

 1 teaspoon sugar

 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

 1/4 cup molasses

Mix ingredients in bowl as listed. Make little balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Peppermint Surprise Cookies

2/3 cup sweet feed

1/3 cup molasses

1/3 cup flour


Mix all the ingredients except for the peppermints. Take a peppermint and put it in the middle of a ball of the dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 21 minutes. This makes about 8 patties. You may double the recipe as many times as you want.

Head Bobbers-  Horses Bob their heads when they eat these:)

1/4 cup molasses

3 or 4 apples, finely chopped

1 cup carrots, finely chopped

2 tablespoons corn oil

1 cup flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup bran or grain of your choice, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet. Mix apples, carrots, oil, and molasses. Then mix in oats and flour. You can either spread the mix on a cookie sheet and break apart after they are baked, or roll the dough out and cut into cookie shapes. Cook for about 20 minutes. Let cool.


December and a new unplanned addition

Posted on December 10, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Well its December and i cannot believe its actually been a month since i did a posting.

Here are the 2 DIY links for those that do not want to read the cat article


The hundred plus chickens from this year are all in customers freezers as well as my freezer, the only living things left here for the winter are the horses and the laying hens. And of course  ....the new edition. A very surly unfriendly feral tomcat.

Thankyou to my neighbor Jayne for dropping him off, he was originally dubbed flash, and I have added an alias: in Oscar the grouch.

I can't blame him for being rather unhappy as he sustained some kind of a bite just before he arrived. In addition to the big infected abcess on the top of his head he had some punctures under his jaw and he was thin and cold and....lets face it..mean!

So he's since been cleaned up, healed, fed and its done absolutley wonders to his weight but absolutley nothing to his surly demeanor. If anything he is much stronger and more enabled to claw and bit more effectively. And he has taken to serenading the household at 3am onwards to the dismay of anyone that needs to get up and work the next day. I've included 2 photos from the 4th and then the 18th of November. The abcess on his head has healed well with just a small scar  If anyone locally is missing this white tiger i'd be overjoyed to give him back.

In the meantime I am going to rig some insulated housing out in the barn so he has good food, and water and the barn occupants can be serenaded with his late night music offering. All of the cat sanctuary and rescue's are full and if i dropped him off at the humane society it would be a quick trip to a euthanasia in the end as he is not terribly adoptable with his curren demeanor. I'd like to at least give him a chance as he has already been through a great deal. He looks great now but still has the quintessential nasty tomcat attitude ( note the teeth sunk into the glove in the last photo)

So I'll get my DIY skills up and build Oscar a heated house out in the barn.

 I found these two cold weather  do it yourself ways to provide cats with cold weather housing.

Any comments or suggestions on rehabing a feral cat are most welcome.

Gardeners Hand scrub/paste

Posted on November 4, 2012 at 6:45 AM

gardener's hand paste  ( I found the original on Mother earth news but put my own modifications in)


 Mix together any of the following to form a nice, thick paste.  Here are some ingredients to try: 

olive oil   

handful of sugar 

kosher salt  

1 tsp dried rosemary or other herb on hand  

1-2 dried orange or lemon peels, grated (or zest of fresh citrus if you don't have dried)  

2-3 drops lavender oil or any other, if you have it   grated knob of bar soap   smashed up handful of almonds or other nut on hand  

1 glob of honey  

As withsome of my recipes, except when baking or making soap,I am not on exact measure. Just throw it all together and mix. If it looks too dry, add a bit more olive oil. Too wet, add more sugar or salt.  The olive oil and honey leaves your hands so soft. The sugar, salt and broken up almonds scrub away grime.  The citrus peel and lavender oil add such a lovely scent. {For anyone who knows about Arbonne products and have tried their Awaken Sea Salt Scrub-- this homemade concoction rivals that product, hands down, and you don't need to pay a fortune for it}  

 Keep at the ready, lid off, near your sink. I like to stick a largesoup spoon in mine to make sure I get a nice, thick blob of it. 

You will find yourself reaching for this even when your hands aren't full of dirt!