Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Does your Soap Contain "Sustainable" Palm Oil?

Caters News Agency: Rescued Baby Orangutan 
Does your soap contain "sustainable palm oil?"  Even though I make soap I still like to try other handmade soaps a couple times a year.  It's always a big disappointment to me when I see an essential oil soap that I would love to try, but find 'sustainable palm oil' in the ingredients.  None of my soaps or body products contain palm oil or 'sustainable palm oil,' because I believe that label is pure greenwashing.  The 'sustainable' palm oil rating is something that is industry enforced by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which makes it highly suspect.  UK Daily Mail Online reported yesterday on 7 endangered Sumantra Orangutans whose forest homes were destroyed by the bulldozers being used to make way for more Palm Oil production.  The company responsible was PT. Sisirau, a member of the RSPO.  Read the full story here.

If you are looking for palm free soaps, I hope you will check out Aquarian Bath soaps and shampoo bars.  I recently received this feedback from a palm oil free customer on Etsy after she tried my Lavender Rose Geranium Soap:

I've recently switched to palm-free soaps these last couple of months and have spent probably a couple of hundred dollars trying different brands. I've found that some have not much lather, too much of a grape seed oil feel and/or not a strong enough smell for me...Your soap has the perfect blend of ingredients for a wonderful lather and skin softness. My skin has never felt so soft and balanced!... I LOVE your soap!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ponce Inlet Nature Preserve Photos

Earlier this month I set up at the Ponce Inlet Garden and Craft Show.  The best part of the event was Thursday afternoon when Moira and I stopped at the Ponce Inlet Nature Preserve and took a walk through the woods and dune to the ocean.  

But first, Moira and I set up products the afternoon before the show.  Unfortunately there were very few shoppers at the event, but I am hoping to do one or two more Holly Hill or Daytona area shows before the end of the year.  After set up we headed straight for the Nature Preserve.

I love the natural tunnel formed under the canopy.

Walking through the dunes.

Moira age 8 1/2.

Goldenrod in bloom along the path to the beach.

Just minutes before jumping in the water fully clothed.

We had the beach all to ourselves.

The wind left a long stretch of beautifully patterned sand.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Top 10 Reasons to Label and Avoid GMOs

I recently wrote another article for the EcoEtsy blog.  I hope you will check it out and share with your friends in California where there is an initiative on the ballot to label GMOs.  This is my top 10 list, but please check out the full article which also includes comments from one of my EcoEtsy Team mates, Nancy of SoulRole and the full length film Genetic Roulette, which available to watch free through November 6th.

Top 10 reasons to label and avoid GMOs
1) We have a right to know what is in our foods, so we have the freedom to choose what to eat and what kind of agriculture practices we support.  Without labeling we don’t know what is in our food, though it is estimated that 80% of processed foods contain GMO.
2) The US falls short in best accepted policies for GMO labeling.  50 countries now label genetically engineered foods including Australia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, the European Union and China.
3) Serious health issues are linked with GMOs in humans and animals including: cancerinfertility,allergies, and irritable bowels.  We do not have assurance of safety.  The Food and Drug Administration does not test GMOs despite warnings from it’s own scientists.  GMO manufacturers suppress independent safety testing with patenting of seeds.
4) Herbicides and Pesticides used in GMO farming are highly dangerous to farmers health.
5) GMO farming increases use of toxic herbicides creating superweeds.  These superweeds lead tomore pesticide  use.
6) GMOs contaminate the natural and Organic seed supply through pollination between GMO and Non-GMO crops.
7) GMOs do not improve crop yields.  This is particularly important in the context of climate change and drought.  Organic crops have shown to consistently produce better under drought conditions.
8) GMOs are dangerous to the livelihood of farmers.  Unlike traditional crops farmers are not allowed to save seed to replant for future sowing.  Farmers face expensive court battles, including Monsanto versus Vernon Hugh Bowman whose case will be heard in the Supreme Court.
9) GMOs promote seed slavery.  A seed is not an invention. That is why patents on seeds are illegitimate. Even in a genetically engineered crop, the original seed come from farmers. Patents on seed are based on biopiracy… Patents on seed allow corporations to prevent farmers from saving andexchanging seed. Thus patent violates farmers’ right to save, use, reuse, breed and exchange seed as their commons.
10) Labeling will offer more options for the consumer at no extra cost, because they will have the opportunity to vote with their dollars.  Opponents of Prop 37 suggest that labeling GMOs will result in increased food prices.  However there is no evidence that  food prices have increased in the many countries that have implemented GMO labeling.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Easy DIY: Aromatherapy Ear Drop Recipe

Yesterday I made my first guest post at the Norwegian nature photography and simple living blog Kanelstrand.  The post includes an aromatherapy ear drop recipe that I have been using for many years.   How simple?  It just has 3 ingredients: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lavender essential oil and Tea Tree Essential oil.   Easy DIY: Aromatherapy Ear Drop Recipe | Kanelstrand  I will be writing simple home remedy posts at Sonya's blog once a month, and I'll be sure to reshare them here.  

During cold damp winter months, it is important to keep your ears covered with a hat or a scarf. Exposure to wind can quickly lead to a chill.  When the body is chilled it is more susceptible to infections. This is something that has been understood in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many generations. It is always advised to protect the upper back or "Wind Gate" to avoid wind chills. Also importantly, do not go to bed or send children to bed with wet hair. It is too hard on the body to sleep with wet hair and it can often lead to stuffiness in the ears or head. After swimming one should take care to clear the ears of any water that has gotten stuck. This can be done after swimming by tilting the head to the side and filling the ear with a small amount of rubbing alcohol (Isopropanol) and then lifting the head to let the water drain out. If you are not comfortable using rubbing alcohol, then plain water can also work. Now that you know a few things you can do to prevent ear troubles, what can you make to have on hand just in case for ear aches?

Aromatherapy Ear Drop Recipe

Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil and essential oils to an amber glass bottle.  Label the bottle with the ingredients and date and store in a cool dark place out of reach from children. I use this oil around 3-5 times a day if I have an ear ache.  If it is cold out, one should warm the oil bottle in the hands first before adding drops to the ear.   To apply turn the head to the side, add a few drops of oil to the ear canal until the drops are felt to 'fill' the ear. Put a piece of cotton gently outside the ear to prevent the oil from leaking out. Avoid stuffing a small piece of cotton into the ear canal where it could become stuck.

*It is important to choose pure esentials oils that have not been adulterated or extended for this recipe. There are many disreputable sellers who extend their oils with chemicals. You can test for purity of an essential oil by adding a drop of oil to a piece of paper. After 24 hours there should be no residue visible on the paper.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Celebrating World Food Day

In honor of World Food Day today, I created this Etsy collection which includes herb and vegetable growers, seed suppliers and defenders against GMOs.  I especially liked the Vote yes on 37 Label GMOs T-shirt.  I also found a gem of an Etsy shop, called TheFferyllt which consists of many many heirloom PIF listings.  PIF stands for 'pay it forward.'  These are 20 cent listings plus shipping.  The sellers asks that you pay if forward for doing something nice for someone else. Enjoy.  

In honor of World Food Day will you ask your friends and family in California to vote yes on Prop 37?  Thanks for spreading the word!

'Happy World Food Day - Say No to GMOs' by AquarianBath

Happy World Food day to you all.

Yes on 37 Label GMO...

25 variety heirloom...

Monsanto Evil No to...

20 Organic Heirloom...

Chard - Swiss Five ...

Holy Basil Tincture...

Soy bean,Tofu bean ...

Ten Packets of Heir...

Black Aztec Corn Se...

No GMO, Anti Monsan...

Heirloom Red Elepha...

GMOS, Get Your Hand...

Non-GMO Turnip Seed...

Say NO To GMO's...

Okra - Clemson Spin...

Organic Heirloom Ka...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Photos from the Daytona Beach Seed Freedom Swap

Thank you to everyone who came out yesterday for the seed freedom swap in Daytona.  We had a lot of fun trading seeds and it was great to meet some new people.  I had a lot of help from my co-hostesses Kim from SFGGardens and Bee from FLGardening.  Good job ladies!  

Big thanks also to Dave Shroomer who helped me keep Tessa busy swinging so I could talk to all the new people and help them find seeds.

I knew that Wes from Green Winters was bringing seed, but it was a great surprise that he also brought a big bowl of garlic, shallot and onion starts.

I got some new seed that I had been wanting Kale, Collards, Cauliflower.  Most of the feedback I got was 'let's do this again soon!'  I'm all for it.  I did a little research and found that the last Saturday of January is national seed swap day.  So my hostesses and I will plan again to do a swap sometime around that day.  If you have a day and time preference for seed swapping let me know with a comment below while we are still in the planning stages.  

Also if you would like to know about upcoming seed swaps or related garden events, I just created a mailing list for up coming seed swaps.  Sign up for seed swap announcements here.
If you are already subscribed to my blog by email or to my Daytona local events and workshops newsletter, you do not need to subscribe to this new list to receive seed swap updates..

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rosemary's Remedies: Onion Honey Cough Syrup Demonstration

I just watched a nice video from Rosemary Gladstar on how to make onion syrup.  I can't wait to try it.  It is very simple.  Just two ingredients onion and honey, though you can use garlic also.  It reminds me of the garlic honey that I make for cold and flu season.  You can watch Rosemary demonstrate and  discuss her method at Rosemary's Remedies  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ponce Inlet Garden Club's 30th Annual Garden and Craft Show October 12-13

The Garden Club of Ponce Inlet is holding it's 30th Annual  Arts and Crafts show Friday and Saturday October 12-13 at the Ponce Inlet Community Center lat 4670 S. Peninsula Drive.  Hours will be from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  This is an outdoor and indoor show.  I will be indoors with my soaps and bath and body products.  I have lots of new garden inspired flaxseed neck pillows that I am looking forward to bringing   See you there.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Preserving Culinary Herbs in Salt

Preserving culinary herbs in salt is a great way to have fresh tasting herbs year round.  It is especially a good method for preserving herbs that reach their peak during a hot and humid time of year.  I have very poor luck trying to dry herbs during the warmer months.  I recently harvested all of my French Tarragon at it's peak.  It was simple to save it.  I just loosely packed a clean glass jar full of fresh picked Tarragon and added fine sea salt.  The salt dehydrates while leaving their flavors intact.  When I saw this photo of basil preserved on pinterest, I had to share it.

Do you preserve herbs in salt?  If so which are your favorites?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Daytona Beach Seed Freedom Swap Tuesday October 9th

Daytona Beach Seed Freedom Swap
Tuesday October 9th 11 AM- 12 PM
Sunrise Park, LPGA & Riverside Drive in Daytona Beach

Please join me in the Global Alliance Fortnight of Action for seed freedom.  Here in Daytona Beach in support of this initiative we are hosting a Seed Freedom Swap on Tuesday October 9th from 11 AM until 12 PM at Sunrise Park (LPGA and Riverside Drive).  This is a free event.  The public is welcomed to bring open-pollinated seeds to share and trade.  New gardeners and those without seeds to trade are encouraged to come.  Our sponsors have generously donated seeds to share for this event.  My co-hostesses from FLGardeningSFGGardens and I will also be available to answer gardening questions.  

Why a Seed Freedom Swap?  What is Seed Freedom?   An answer from SeedFreedom.in

"Seed is owned by farmers who sowed, bread, saved and exchanged it for thousands of years. Sadly, the arrival of commercial seed industries changed the whole picture. Theses Multinational Corporation had successfully taken away the ownership of seeds from the hands of the farmers in the form of patents. At present, seeds are largely controlled by industrial giants like Monsanto, Du Pont, Syngenta and Bayer.

A patent is an exclusive right granted to an inventor to make and sell the patented product. Patent prevent farmers from saving or exchanging seed, therefore, undermining the farmers’ rights or seed sovereignty. Patent creates monopolies, which undermine the choice of farmers as well as all citizens as eaters.

A seed is not an invention. That is why patents on seeds are illegitimate. Even in a genetically engineered crop, the original seed come from farmers. Patents on seed are therefore based on biopiracy."

Join the Global Fortnight of Actions

Please join me in thanking our sponsors who have donated seeds for our Daytona Beach Seed Freedom event.  

Green Winters of Ormond Beach, Florida
Bonner Center Community Garden, Daytona Beach, Florida
Access to Organics, Beach Street Location in Daytona opening this month!
Moonlight Micro-Farm of Panama City Beach, Florida
The Garden Hoard of Livonia, Michigan
Big Value Garden Center of Daytona Beach, Florida

Green Winters Bonner Community Garden

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Join Aquarian Bath at the Holly Hill Friday Market October 5th

This coming Friday, October 5th I will be vending from 5-8 PM at the 2nd Street market in Holly Hill located at 101 2nd Street. The Friday market was previously discontinued, but this Friday Our Lady of Lourdes is hosting the market as a community building evening. Many of the former regular vendors will be there together with new vendors including Shroomer's Pizza and artist Daniel Fisher. There will also be live music. If there is a certain soap or product you would like me to bring, please let me know and I will be sure to pack it for you.  Check out my current inventory of products at Aquarian Bath.

New Lavender and Flaxseed Microwavable Heat Packs

Cupcakes seem to be all the rage lately so I couldn't resist this fun print.
These pillows are available in Lavender and Flax

I have lots of new Flaxseed Microwave Heat Packs in my shop this week. I've been gearing up for the holidays, as these have been popular gifts for the last few years.  It's about time to order more Organic herbs from Mountain Rose for these pillows, so I can start a (hopefully) final round of sewing for 2012.  It is always such a pleasure to receive a shipment of such powerfully fragrant herbs in the mail.

I think the high quality herbs that I use is why people love them so much.  Here is September's feedback from my Etsy buyers of my pillows:

~ Love, love, love it! 
~ I am SO pleased with the neck wraps and super fast shipping!! I will be ordering again!!!
~ Perfect! Thank you. 
 ~So nice. A very nice gift to my husband with chronic neck pains. Thank you! 

I loved the vintage feel of this golden floral fabric.
 I also made up this fabric in Lavender and Flax.

 I hope you like the new fabrics I chose. Which is your favorite?
This fabric reminded me of Florida and fun tropical concoctions.  I made this fabric up in Lavender and Flax.