Sunday, March 31, 2013

Yet another giveaway

I promised didn't I?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am in fact giving away one Jam or Jelly to the winner of this giveaway.  The giveaway starts April 1st at midnight and ends on April 13th at midnight.
At the conclusion I will announce the winner and that winner will receive whichever jam or jelly that sounds good to them that I have listed at my Etsy store.

Now in order to win you do have to fill out the question on the giveaway, at the very least, but if you want more entries simply tweet this and like the page.
Now one extra bit.
If I hit 100 page likes by the end of this contest (April 13th) I will give one extra jam or jelly (your pick) to the person who shares my page and gets me the most likes.
I will be watching my page closely over the next two weeks to see who wants the free jam or jelly the most.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Free Seed Giveaway~One last update


I have one last batch of seeds left to give to any who would like them.

Due to the overwhelming response I have nothing left other than Long Island Cheese Pumpkin seeds and I barely have much left of those! 
These grow into gorgeous pumpkin like squash with brilliant orange flesh. Long Island Cheese pumpkins are very sweet and are great for making pies, breads or even soups. 
This weekend I will probably be making a recipe I found on Southern to use up our one last Cheese Pumpkin (hence the reason I can offer a few more seeds!)

Pumpkin Pecan Bread
This recipe makes 3 loaves of pumpkin bread, perfect for gifts or holiday entertaining.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin pureé
  • 3 1/2 cups self-rising flour *
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts


Combine sugar, eggs, and oil in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until well blended. Stir in pumpkin pureé. Combine flour and spices; gradually add to pumpkin mixture, beating until blended; stir in pecans. Spoon mixture into 3 greased and floured 1-pound coffee cans or 8 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pans, or 2 9 x 5 x3-inch loaf pans. Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 10 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in cans or loaf pans for 10 minutes on wire racks. Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.
Makes 2 to 3 loaves of pumpkin pecan bread. *If you don't have self-rising flour, substitute with 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 4 teaspoons of baking powder.

Now all that being said, stay tuned because very shortly here I will be doing a altogether different sort of giveaway that some might actually enjoy and to top it off, this one will have no postage due or what not.

Best thing to do keep up with the status of the giveaway? Like my page on Facebook or follow me here! 
It should be posted within the next week.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Last Call for Free Seeds

A few might recall I posted a giveaway for free seeds a while ago.  I do have a few left to give out which I have listed down below here but here's a bonus for those who received some of those free seeds. A bit of history.
I am the type of person who loves reading the history behind a plant.  How did it become so popular? Why is this certain vegetable or fruit so expensive in the grocery store? Why does it have that really weird and sometimes musical name?  To me, this makes it so much more enjoyable to know all about the plants that I grow. 
So I decided to post some of the research I did while working on a project called Vegucation Outreach that is being used here to encourage kids eat their veggies.   

Something to keep in mind about the winter squash.  Many say this "Oh you have to have ROOM to grow THOSE plants!"  I beg to differ.  I have been now for the past two seasons training my heavy winter squash to grow vertical. Up fences.  I save my orange and onion mesh bags and when the plant sets fruit I simply put it in the bag and support it with zip ties.  This allows the fruit to still breath, it supports it as it becomes heavier and heavier, thereby ensuring that the fruit doesn't pull the entire vine down, and it keeps it off the ground so we can plant other things below it.  This year we will be doing this for both winter squash and watermelon and by the sound of it, our entire fence will be covered this year.  (stay tuned for that!)

Here's all that's left.

  • Acorn Squash
  • Long Island Cheese Pumpkin
  • Marina di Chioggia
  • Kabocha Squash
  • Delicata Squash
  • Carnival (also heard it called Festival) Squash
  • Galeux D'eysines
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Santa Claus Melon

  • Now, a warning to the last minute folks out there. There is very little left of the Red Russian Kale.  A note about the Red Russian Kale.  You want a plant that will grow during winter? That will go through a hard freeze and still bounce back and in fact will be sweeter than before?  This is your plant. We have these planted in our front yard and back this year.  We've had numerous freezes, frosts and a few snow falls.  These guys take a licking and keep on ticking! Really amazing. Come a month from now I'll be eating a lot of fresh kale out of the garden.  These are also very proficient at providing MASSIVE amounts of seeds.  When you go to harvest you can expect to find Red Russian kale seedlings all through your yard. They will germinate and flourish everywhere and once they do they are hard to keep down. They are tough little plants that are also, a superfood!

    Now, I do have to say, this offer is not exactly free.  There is a cost somewhat.
    Like last years Black Futsu Seed giveaway the only thing I ask on this one is that if you are interested you must cover the postage.
    This means, unlike last year when people sent me a self addressed envelope with postage included (.45 postage on one envelope, .45 on self addressed envelope. .90 grand total), you will only have to send .46 to me via Paypal.
    If you prefer you still can send me a self addressed envelope with postage but I suggest the Paypal method to save a bit of $$$ and I did have quite a few people report that they sent me envelopes that I never received.
    I will cover the cost of envelopes.
    If you are interested in this offer you can email me.
    If you are interested in getting some almost free seeds this is all I ask.

    1. Email me your address and advise me which seeds you are interested in.
    2. Send me .46 via Paypal. 
    3. Upon receipt of the .46 I will send you whichever seeds you would like(that I still have available) to the address you sent me on step 1. 
    As you can see. Simple.  I will send you about 5 to 10 of each seed you wish.  Supplies are limited and of course rules of first come, first serve apply.

    So here is your history lesson for the day. Enjoy!
    Galeux D’esyines (Heirloom)
    It is an outstanding warty variety. The sweet orange flesh of this variety is great in soups. The fruits weigh between 5 and 10 kg. For decorative purposes, it should be harvested before overly mature, because the peanut-like warts continue to grow and will cover the entire fruit. This variety does not keep for long.
    Very old variety mentioned in France, in 1885, in the book “Les Plantes Potagères” of Vilmorin-Andrieux. It is also known as "Brodée Galeuse". 
    Does not store well.  These are simply too sugary to stay good for long.

    Marina di Chioggia (Heirloom)
    Marina di Chioggia Squash are flattened in shape, and have rough, greyish-green, heavily warted rind.  Inside, they have sweet, orange flesh with a rich flavour.  They will weigh 4 to 10 pounds (1 3/4 to 4 1/2 kg.)  Vine-type plant.
    95 to 105 days from seed.
    Marina di Chioggia Squash is named after Chioggia, a seaport near Venice, Italy.
    Stores very well. I just ate my last one from my yard about a month ago.

    Delicata Squash (Heirloom)
    Grows on a semi-bush type squash plant, that grows 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm) tall
    The plant has relatively poor yields, and is susceptible to disease.  Delicata Squash was introduced in 1894 by the Peter Henderson Company of New York City.  The susceptibility to disease made growing it commercially unfeasible, particularly because the thin skin also made it harder to ship. Consequently, it fell out of commercial favour, being replaced by the improved variety called Cornell Bush Delicata Squash.
    Stores for about 3 months after harvest.

    Kabocha Squash (Heirloom)
    An average kabocha weighs 2-3 pounds but can weigh as much as 8 pounds.[2]
    It has an exceptional naturally sweet flavor, even sweeter than butternut squash. It is similar in texture and flavor to a pumpkin and a sweet potato combined. Some can taste like Russet potatoes. Like other squash-family members, it is commonly mixed in side dishes and soups or anywhere pumpkin, potato, or other squash would be. 
    The kabocha was introduced to Japan by Portuguese sailors in 1541, who brought it with them from Cambodia. The Portuguese name for the squash, Cambodia abóbora (カンボジャ・アボボラ), was shortened by the Japanese to kabocha
    I purchased mine from the grocery store and then kept the seeds.  The one we had went bad fast but it's my own personal belief that this was most likely a squash that had traveled quite a bit and was already pretty old as it was available at the store in July. 
    Carnival Squash (Hybrid)
    Carnival Squash is shaped like a slightly flattened pumpkin with hard, thick, colourful rind that is mottled with green, yellow, orange and cream.  They grow to be 5 to 7 inches wide (12 1/2 to 18 1/2 cm.)  They have coarse but not stringy yellow flesh, with a sweet, mild flavour that improves with storage.  F1 hybrid semi-bush.  85 days from seed.  The Carnival squash is a a hybrid of Sweet Dumpling and an Acorn squash variety, both descendants of squashes native to Mexico.
    Plant 4 or 5 seeds in each hill after all danger of frost, keep well-watered. Each vine will produce many squash which can be harvested in the fall.  Acorn squash are indigenous to the western hemisphere, so they were not known to Europeans until after the voyages of Columbus. Pre-Columbian Americans had been using squash as a food source for as much as eight-thousand years. The acorn squash most likely originated in Mexico and Central America.  Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew squash on their plantations. 
    Mine stayed good for about four months before we ate them. They were still good!

    Long Island Cheese Pumpkin (Heirloom)
    105 days.  A longtime favorite on Long Island very popular for pies. Flat, lightly ribbed fruit look like a wheel of cheese with buff colored skin. A very good keeper of excellent quality; 6-10 lbs. each; a beautiful heirloom variety.
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the first place Long Island Cheese pumpkins were made commercially available—they were introduced in 1807 by Philadelphian Bernard McMahon.
    These store very well in cool conditions.  I still have one lonely little cheese pumpkin sitting on my floor. No soft spots, still in good condition.

    Santa Claus Melon (Heirloom)
    Named as it was once the only melon available in the United States during Christmas time, the Santa Claus Melon shares its greatest similarities with the honeydew. The melon has a sweet flavor and fruits will grow to 10 pounds. In addition to its late ripening period, this variety is known for its long shelf life, and can last for months off of the vine.
    This is also callled piel de sapo.  It originated in Spain, where it is widely grown to this day. 
    Can be direct sown in warmer climates after soil temperatures reach 70, plant 3-4 seeds 1/2” deep in hills 3-4’ apart on rows 5-6’ apart.  Once established, thin to two strongest plants.  For cooler climates start in pots in the greenhouse and transplant later when night time temperatures stay above 55 degrees.  Start seedlings 3 weeks before last frost. 

    Red Russian Kale (Heirloom)
    Red Russian Kale was introduced into America via Siberia by Russian traders in the 19th century.  It is very frost resistant and has a distinctive sweet flavour compared to the other varieties.
    The Leaf is eaten in Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter (for best flavor). They may be eaten raw, in salad, steamed, boiled, soup, sauté, stir fried or roasted.
    Germination Temperature: Optimal 55-75°F
    Days to emergence: 3-8 Days Minimum or 5-15 Days maximum

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Status of the seedlings

    It has now been seven weeks since we started our seedlings and this year, once again, we tried a different way.
    That's the way it is with gardening and gardeners in general.  Many ask me as of late to give them advice and most times I'm left stuttering and speechless.  Because most of it boils down to trying something over and over again and just simply finding what works for us.
    Out of all the seeds we have started it now appears we have a WHOPPING two plants that are being stubborn so far.
    One newspaper pot containing an Italian Pepperocini from Baker Creek and one newspaper pot containing a seed for a Chocolate Habanero have yet to germinate.  All the others are doing their best, growing closer and closer to the grow lights we purchased for them this year.
    Now, while I bang my chest and announce in a false baritone voice "me good gardener!" I do feel there is a need for tweaking our methods here.
    Our plants are doing pretty good however they are all showing signs of being a bit leggy which means they have thin stems and are a bit weak.  This is usually due to poor lighting which has always been a problem in the house we reside.  Unfortunately we are cursed with several issues which severely restrict the availability of good light.
    I can, with some ease, grow plants that enjoy shade or filtered light but trying to grow plants that need or require full sun conditions, during the winter, in our house is pretty challenging.

    We have now transplanted our seedlings, most of them anyways, at least once.
    I am still contemplating if I should grow one more variety of tomato called Egg Yolk Tomato.
    This is a list of our current seedlings.

    Japanese Black Trifele
    Black Cherry
    Christmas Grapes
    Rut ger
    Ingegnoli Gigante Liscio
    German Strawberry

    La Traviata, 
    Purple Stripe Edirne,
    Brazalian Oval Orange

    Bell Peppers:
    Pinata Mix Sweet peppers
    Sweet Chocolate Bell Pepper

    Hot Peppers:
    Jalapeno both hot and mild
    Bhut Jolokia (We have gotten AMAZING Germination rates and growth from these little guys! Amazing!)
    Italian pepperocini. (like I mentioned earlier only one has actually germinated, even after two plantings. Weird.)

    My one lone watermelon I started earlier, Cream of Sasketchewan is still hanging in  there.  I get the feeling that that little guy is really craving the sun.  While it doesn't look sad it definitely looks as if it would go nuts the moment the late spring or early sun hit it.  

    Purple tomatilloes are still growing. Like the others, they are a little leggy but I'm hoping as we get into the warmer months I can solve that by hardening them off outdoors.  

    A few more plants still have to be started.  Like my last blog on the status of our seedlings, I need to get the peanuts started as well as some of our herbs.   

    My Turmeric, amazingly enough, has held on through the winter and is actually doing quite well.  I'm hoping that by this summer we will be harvesting some, saving some that we can then use, hopefully, toward another planting.  That is if we are in a new house by this next winter.  I did also have ginger started up but, well, I started it but it never did its share of the work and fizzled out without even the slightest growth.  I have read that store bought ginger is treated so it will not sprout, much like potatoes are so that could be the reason for that failure.  
    Still, I might be trying again soon. Stay tuned for that.  

    Last but not least. Spuds. Taters.  We have them sprouting everywhere now!  The potatoes purchased a while ago started to sprout around Christmastime.  We did everything we could to delay them a bit and then, just recently, we finally decided to plant them.  Inside.  In pots.  And honestly, they seem very happy now.  It is rather odd at first to look at the plant and realize its not a houseplant, its a potato but then we've been growing a sweet potato vine in the house since early winter so whats one more tuber.  

    I did have more to write about, mostly pertaining to a plant called the Moringa Oleifera and how I thought it was sprouting but then I got curious.  I ventured back upstairs to check out the pot a bit further.  Upon moving the soil around a bit I discovered that what I thought was a Moringa seedling was in fact the beginning of a green onion resprouting. Obviously the bottom of a green onion somehow landed in the planter and was hiding.  Talk about having the wind taken out of your sails.  Oh well, maybe tomorrow.  Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday.  
    Take this as a reminder.  Spring is 10 days away!

    Making homemade Vanilla Extract

    How many of us go to the grocery store and pay for Vanilla Extract?  Raise your hands.

    Wait, no, never mind, because of course I cannot see you but if I could I would bet most of my readers here would raise their hands.  I know I normally would.  That is until recently when I discovered I could make my own Vanilla extract for use in baking and cooking and save a bit of $$$$ in the process.  This is just so easy that I cannot believe more do not do this.  Really.
    Why is it that so many things are actually pretty easy and yet we all believe they are difficult? Well except mayonnaise. I have yet to successfully tackle that one even with scores and scores of eggs down the drain or in the trash.

    Okay, now first and foremost.  Please keep in mind. I just started my bottles curing this weekend so I have yet to try out the finished product.  I cannot tell you yet what my thoughts are on the finished product that I have made.  I will be doing that in about two months from now.

    Vodka.  I have read in numerous sources that this doesn't have to be fancy stuff.  You don't need Absolut, Grey Goose or Smirnoff.  Any brand will do.  As long as it is 80 proof.
    Cost for us: 13.99

    Vanilla beans.  You need approximately 12 whole vanilla beans to 750 ml of Vodka.
    Cost for us: 26.50 for 4 oz
    I purchased mine from
    Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

    1st Step. Cut the vanilla beans in half. Nothing fancy.

    2nd step. Pour vodka into container. Put vanilla beans that have been cut in half into vodka. Close tightly and store in a dark area.  These will have to cure for approximately 6 to 8 weeks.  The longer they cure the stronger the vanilla flavor will be.

    In two months time I will be coming back and updating this to provide my own thoughts and feelings on this.  Now if this does turn out good then this will be an amazing cost saving for our household.

    Here are the economics. 

     At currently McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract is selling for $12.49 for 16 oz.
    Cost per ounce for store bought? $1.28

    Homemade vanilla extra has cost us a total of $40.49.  I am not including the cost of the bottles as we already had those on hand.  We might be buying some special bottles for our vanilla later on so I'll include that with my update if we do purchase them.
    The vodka we purchased was 13.99 for a half gallon.  That is 128 fluid ounces.
    Cost per ounce for homemade? .31

    Pretty amazing eh?
    I think so.  I just cannot wait to see how this stands up in baking and cooking!

    Now a few extra notes.  I am highlighting here simply because they are a sponsor.  I purchase from them because they are a reputable company with good quality products.
    As we have moved into 2013 I have told my husband, Edward, time and again that I would really like to get my herbal medicine cabinet stocked again as it is almost completely empty except for a container of old Yarrow and Lavender.  While I do not dispute the effectiveness of most modern medicine, sometimes I just find the natural way is best for my family and I.
    There are many companies one can go through for fresh herbs and spices but is just awesome!  First, the amount of fresh herbs, spices and teas is just amazing.  They're website is super easy to follow and browse through and the orders are processed and shipped with lightening speed.  The prices are very reasonable which is something I'm always mindful about now a days.  All in all, this company has been a real pleasure to deal with.
    Usual readers know I only swear by something if I really have experience with that item and I can honestly say I fully endorse Mountain Rose Herbs if you are shopping for spices, herbs or teas.

    So fresh that smiles are guaranteed

    Two months later......................
    The vanilla has been sitting peacefully, on the floor, for the past two months.  From time to time, we would pick it up, shake it, open it to smell it, and hubby admitted that he's used it a few times to flavor his coffee.  I would say a month ago he announced it tasted delicious in his coffee so obviously by then it was almost done .  

    At this point, the first step was simply to strain the whole vanilla beans out of the now vanilla extract.  
    I lined my strainer with a coffee filter simply to keep some of the parts of the vanilla beans out of the extract.  Even with using the coffee filter,  it became apparent I would need to strain the liquid one last time which my son assisted me with.  I really wish I had a "scratch and sniff" capability on these photos as our kitchen smelled lovely during this process.  

    This time we strained the liquid with a paper towel which got out the rest of the parts of the vanilla beans and even some of the oil that accumulated at the top of our bottles.  Later on I will be purchasing some nice bottles from Mountain Rose Herbs so I can package these as gifts for the holidays. 

    Saturday, March 9, 2013

    My Clever Way of Storing Seeds

    Gardeners all have their own particular way of storing seeds.  Our tried and true methods to keep our seeds dry, safe, cool, and most of all, viable.
    For me, approximately five years ago, give or take, that meant storing them in their original envelopes in a tupperware container and hoped that they wouldn't get wet.  Many times I would get frustrated each year when I would try to start some seeds and I would have no success with germination.  Little did I know I needed to keep my seeds in a little better conditions than what I was doing.
    I sometimes did start a plant from seed but I would always succumb to running by the nursery, the local Home Depot or Lowes and get $20 worth of plants.
    Once I started growing more unusual varieties though, this could not work.  Most nurseries and greenhouses along with the big box stores simply do not carry varieties like Black Cherry Tomatoes, Delicata or Rouge vif d'etampes Squash.  I don't think I've ever seen any local store carry Bhut Jolokia pepper plants, Italian Traviata Eggplants or even Dragons Egg Cucumbers.
    So I began to truly see the value in saving my seeds from year to year, keeping my seeds safe when not needed and when I do need them, keeping them in a container that they would stay dry and organized.
    Just remember, not only does one need a container for when not in use but when it is time to pull them out of storage you don't want your seeds rolling all over the place.

    So here is what I came up with.

    I really like this idea a lot.  Each one of these will hold 24 containers.  First I have numbered each and every little screw on top on each container. 1 through 24. Next I set up an excel spreadsheet that I have numbered, again, 1 through 24.  This has a legend where I have listed what number 1 is, what number 2 is, what number 3 is, and so on and so on.

    The really excellent thing about this system is first, if we're bringing it outside to do some direct sowing, if the entire container flips over, no worries.  The seeds are not going anywhere as long as we have the tops screwed on.  We had one box (actually we still have it) that the entire box got flipped off a table and seeds flew everywhere!
    Be careful with a box such as this.  It just flips open easily and seeds will go everywhere.   If  you have seeds that look similar you'll be in a world of hurt later on.  
    We always make sure to screw each top on right after taking the desired seeds out so no stress there.
    Next, this has actually been left outside before. In the rain.
    Bad condition for seeds to be left in and yet, when we realized our mistake we ran outside and and lo and behold.  The seeds were still dry.
    I have not tried actually submerging this thing simply because usually now a days, as soon as we get another container, seeds go into it almost immediately. In fact with that said, I will be running here shortly to yet again purchase one more of these useful little items.
    Now, one might also think with my mention of needing to purchase one more of these things that they don't hold up for very long but actually our first one is from two years earlier and it's still doing great.  Its a bit scratched, pretty filthy on the outside but still works.  We now have three of these containers and we'll be adding another one shortly as I've added a bit more seeds. (strawberry spinach, red heirloom quinoa, egg yolk heirloom tomatoes, borage, to name a few)
    Another positive to this system is simply, when you run out of a certain seed you then just update your list, whether by scratching out the name of one, adding the name of another and then maybe going back to Excel to update again and reprint for appearances sake.  a
    I do that about twice a year now a days simply because we really do not go through that many seeds.

    So as you can see. Easy.
    Now another person might have another way of organizing their own seeds and I'm not knocking their way in the least.  Just felt I should show mine.
    Comments? Questions? Feel free to ask.

    And with that said, I really have to head downstairs.  My husband is roasting green coffee beans outside and the smell is wafting up to the open window here in the study.  Smells like heaven.  Gotta get me some of that.

    Thursday, March 7, 2013

    DIY Powdered Dishwasher Detergent

    DIY Powdered Dishwashing Detergent

    Imagine my surprise when I discovered that you can make your own dishwashing detergent and if you are making your own liquid laundry detergent then you have almost all the ingredients on hand anyways.  Once again, killing the two birds with one stone.

    Where I had really no definitive recipe towards the liquid laundry detergent I did use one almost exclusively for the dishwashing detergent.  You can find the recipe here at  I did make one extra adjustment, just to see if it changed anything. I had some Dr. Brommers Peppermint Pure Castile Soap from one of my Wegmans shopping trips so I added about a tablespoon to the powder and mixed it in thoroughly.  While the powder now smells nice and minty, it did not do anything to the finished product.  The dishes just smell clean but not minty.   Lesson learned.  It does not make any difference if I add scent to the powder.  It doesn't affect the finished product. (Finished product = Clean Dishes)
    Now I must say, other than laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent is one of our other big expenses. Especially this time of year, when we're canning, preserving, drying, freezing and what not.
    We tend to run our dishwasher at least 7 to 10 times a week during the summer so we go through a LOT of dishwashing detergent.  It most definitely does not help that we have a super small dishwasher in this military house!

    So if you are interested here is the recipe.

    DIY Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

    1 cup borax
    1 cup washing soda
    1/2 cup citric acid
    1/2 cup kosher salt

    Now, one other note.  I used the citric acid I had on hand for canning, so this current batch probably cost a bit more.
    In the future I will be going with Now Foods Citric Acid on

    Now, like I did in the DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent.  Here's the Economics of this.

    Borax (76oz box) $3.38 (Used 8oz or 1 cup.  This means we will get approximately 9.5 batches.  Equals .42¢ per batch)
    Washing Soda(55 oz) $3.24 (Used 8oz or 1 cup. This means we will get approximately 6.87 batches. Equals .40¢ per batch)
    Citric Acid (7.5 oz) 4.99 (Used 4 oz or 1/2 cup.  This means we will get almost two batches of this.  Equals approximately 2.49 per batch)
    Kosher Salt (48 oz) 1.99 (Used 4 oz or 1/2 cup.   This means we will get approximately 12 batches from this.  Equals .16 per batch)
    Castile Soap (added this time only, will never add again as it is a waste, so I'm not going to throw the number in here.  Lets keep this simple, shall we?)

    Each batch will cost $3.47 to make.  We use approximately a tablespoon of detergent normally so this will last about 48 loads.
    Total cost of each load will be .07

    We used to use Seventh Generation Dishwasher Pacs.  Those cost us at the grocery store $4.80.  That was if we did not have a coupon which are pretty rare to find around here.
    Total cost of each load was .22

    .07 vs .22

    Yet again, Wow!

    I can see this cost savings adding up!  No more buying expensive dishwashing detergent for me!  Also, just a FYI, this really did not take up much time.  Maybe around 15 minutes total and that was spent measuring out each ingredient and then simply mixing them.  What probably added an extra 5 minutes was the time spent incorporating the castile soap fully into the dry powder.  Never again will I do that!

    March 7th Update
    Okay while I admit I still am totally in love with homemade laundry detergent we didn't stick with the homemade dishwasher detergent. Reason? 
    The stuff sticks in the container and we got a horrible ashy grime like coating all over our dishes after continuing for about 2 or 3 months.  Yuck.  
    I have heard some say to just use washing soda and salt.  Some say use use unsweetened lemonade to be used in place of the citric acid.  
    I'll be trying out many different ways here soon to hopefully figure this one  .  
    We go through dish washing detergent like crazy and honestly, I'm tired of seeing our money pouring down the dishwashers drain.  
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