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



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.



DIY recipe for natural multisurface spray cleaner

Posted on December 16, 2012 at 12:40 AM

This natural spray cleaner was inspired by the lovely scent of a spray cleaner that used to be sold by a local Canadian Company. Unfortuneatley for all of us here locally who LOVED the smell it was discontinued. I was able to duplicate the scent as close as i thought by trying different essential oil combinations. This is a natural cleaner but not a duplicate of the original.

The original recipe seems to be  based on a witch hazel base with emulsifiers for the oils. When I am able to put together a similiar witch hazel based cleaning solution I will post the recipe for all of you to try.

This is a work in progress so please do comment on how it works for you/ or doesn't :)

For those who do not do a great deal of DIY things the recipe can be a bit labour intensive if you don't have the raw ingredients. I am putting together a handmade soap and environmental healthy cleaning product side to the farm so I have a lot of the raw ingredients here. 

Washing soda is heat treated sodium bicarbonate, I cannot find it in the local Ottawa area without ordering it in bulk by the pail.

However: washing soda can be made in your oven from heat treating or  "baking" the baking soda in the oven at 450 for 30-40 min.

The castille soap I make here at the farm but you can purchase a very small "Dr Bronners" liquid castile soap at any health food store that will last you a LONG time.

Please note: If you are local and want to get some of my castille soap and washing soda i will be more than happy to give you a bit to make your recipe. Particularily you local fellow epicure consultants who have been asking me for the recipe.

Natural All Purpose Cleaner

1 teaspoon washing soda

2 teaspoons borax

2 teaspoon vegetable based  "castile" type soap

2 cups hot water

Essential oils (your choice for scent,optional)

20 drops sweet orange oil,

20 drops bergamot,

4 drops  peppermint ( use the peppermint essential oil sparingly as it will completely overpower the other scents)


Mix all ingredients except the essential oil in a pot on the stove heat and stir until the borax and washing soda are dissolved

Pour into a spray bottle, this recipe fits into a 500ml spray bottle perfectly!

add essential oils and spray as needed, shake prior to using as there are no emulsifiers in this recipe  and the oils will separate out when the bottle sits. Use on  dirty hard surfaces in your home and enjoy the scent!

This formula is especially good at cutting grease. It can be kept indefinitely in a (labeled) spray bottle.

Happy cleaning everyone


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!