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Progress on an Alaskan Homestead

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I can’t believe the year is almost over with.  Its Mid-November, the ground is fully covered with snow (finally), and we’re just about done for the season. 
This year seemed to be more about protein farming than our garden really; when I sit and ponder it.  Slowly but surely our property is becoming more and more productive.  In July I posted that it seemed as if our meat rabbit production was not doing as well but suddenly come September that all changed.  We had two surprise litters and we had a friend drop off some of her grow outs as she was getting out of rabbits for a while.  This pushed our meat harvested massively up.  That definitely helps counter the cost of raising the rabbits.  While I love my breeder rabbits (Bones, Pepper, Dorothy, Cadbury, Butterfinger, Granny Cookie) they are not simply pets.  As any protein farmer knows, these are also my livestock.  I get to know each and every one.  Their likes and dislikes, who enjoys what kind of food and who tends to be more or…

Cafe Mocha Hot Process Soap

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Brew coffee triple strength several hours prior to creating batch of soap.  This will be used for the lye.  I like to add cloves into the brewed coffee as it adds a bit of a complex smell later.  

SoapCalc © Recipe Name: NewPrint RecipeTotal oil weight3 lbWater as percent of oil weight38.00 %Super Fat/Discount5 %Lye Concentration27.883 %Water : Lye Ratio2.5864:1Sat : Unsat Ratio60 : 40Iodine41INS176Fragrance Ratio0.5Fragrance Weight1.50 ozPoundsOuncesGramsWater1.14018.24517.09Lye - NaOH0.4417.05199.92Oils3.00048.001,360.78Fragrance0.0941.5042.53Soap weight before CP cure or HP cook4.67574.792,120.32#√

Avocado Spearmint Hot Process Soap WITH FINISHED PRODUCT PICTURES

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SoapCalc ©Recipe Name: NewPrint RecipeTotal oil weight2 lbWater as percent of oil weight38.00 %Super Fat/Discount5 %Lye Concentration27.285 %Water : Lye Ratio2.6651:1Sat : Unsat Ratio39 : 61Iodine56INS156Fragrance Ratio0.5Fragrance Weight1.00 ozPoundsOuncesGramsWater0.76012.16344.73Lye - NaOH0.2854.56129.35Oils2.00032.00907.18Fragrance0.0631.0028.35Soap weight before CP cure or HP cook

Avocado Spearmint Hot Process Soap ~~~Stay tuned for final picture!

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SoapCalc ©Recipe Name: NewPrint RecipeTotal oil weight2 lbWater as percent of oil weight38.00 %Super Fat/Discount5 %Lye Concentration27.285 %Water : Lye Ratio2.6651:1Sat : Unsat Ratio39 : 61Iodine56INS156Fragrance Ratio0.5Fragrance Weight1.00 ozPoundsOuncesGramsWater0.76012.16344.73Lye - NaOH0.2854.56129.35Oils2.00032.00907.18Fragrance0.0631.0028.35Soap weight before CP cure or HP cook3.10849.721,409.61#√Oil/Fat%

Winter is coming

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Six more weeks till Winter. Or so the story goes told by Alaskan Natives and sourdoughs alike.When the fireweed has bloomed all the way to the top, we have six more weeks till the snow flies. So far this break up and then into summer, we’ve had some successes….and some failures.That’s pretty typical though. The garden is doing well but could be doing better thanks to the late start because of our vacation in the lower 48.That is a killer here since our growing season is so short.









We got to harvest a large bunch of garlic scapes earlier this week.Yes indeed, garlic scapes.SUCCESS! The garlic survived the winter! We’ll have garlic later this summer to harvest. We’re about 2 days away from harvesting our first zucchini and summer squash of the season.Our kale and broccoli rabe this year barely sprouted due to the fact that we got a late start on it.We should have direct sowed the seeds in May, however in May we were racing against the clock to build the chicken coop instead.So we have 4 …