In the Barnyard: Who are Bohemian Farmgirls?

Bohemian Farmgirl is something that has evolved over years of trying to figure out how to weave all of the meaningful parts of my life together. This is what it means to me, and if it touches part of your soul then my guess is that you are a Bohemian Farmgirl too.

1. Growing a Family--First and foremost, comes family. This may be your biological or chosen family, but whomever your family includes, it's roots dig deep and provide grounding for growth above the surface of the soil.

2. Planting a Farm--Modern homesteading is a way of life for a Bohemian Farmgirl. This may include anything from a windowsill garden to acres of land, buying local and supporting small farms to growing and raising all of your food yourself, and cultivating dreams of homesteading no matter if you live in the city or country.

3. Nurturing a Creative Life--This is the heart of a Bohemian Farmgirl and what brings us all together creating a community of ideas and inspiration. Living a creative life is the wellspring of joy that provides energy to make our dreams reality, no matter what the circumstances. And we all help each other along the way.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Green Housekeeping vol. 2: Free Recipes

Baking Soda and white vinegar have multiple uses around the house. Vinegar is a natural disinfecant and baking soda absorbs odors, so they make a great natural cleaning duo.  Here are just a few recipes:

Drain cleaner
1 cup baking soda plus vinegar (about a quart)
          Pour baking soda down drain.  Slowly pour vinegar down drain.  Allow to fizz and then continue to add more vinegar until you've used up the quart.  Let sit for about 15 minutes, then flush with hot water.  This is a good maintenance cleaner for drains and it will assist with clearing up soap residue that contributes to clogs.  However, it will not clear big clogs caused by hair.  The best way to tend to hair clogs is prevention!  Use a drain catch and empty it daily.  You can also use this recipe on kitchen sinks.

Soap Scum Scouring Cleanser
Spray bottle filled with white vinegar plus 1 small box of baking soda (this will last you quite a while...)
         Spray area to be cleaned heavily with vinegar (sink, tubs, tiles, showers).  Vinegar is a solvent, so allow it to do some of the work for you by letting it sit for a few minutes before scouring.  (But not so long that the vinegar dries up or you will have to spray it again!) Then sprinkle some baking soda on the area to be cleaned.  Using a wet scrubbie pad (you can buy "green" ones in the store now) or a loofah*, apply elbow grease to the area to scrub off the soap scum.  It will come off just as easily as if you had used a toxic cleaning agent. Rinse well to remove all the baking soda.  You may even want to wipe the area down with a little all purpose cleaner (see vol 1 recipe). 
*A loofah is the inside of a gourd that has been dried out.  Commonly used in the shower on skin as an exfoliating device, it can also be used as a household scrubbie.  To get more use out of your loofah, slice a piece off about an inch or 2 thick and save the rest for later.

Laundry Booster
Add 1/2 to 1 cup baking soda to the wash cycle with your soap.  Add 1 cup vinegar to your rinse cycle in place of fabric softener.  Note:  your laundry will come out smelling mildly of vinegar if used in the rinse cycle.  To combat this (if you are offended by the smell as I am) add about 10 drops of essential oil as well.  I like to keep a separate gallon of white vinegar aside just for laundry and I pour a few tablespoons of lavender essential oil directly into the container.  I just shake it up each time before I pour it.  This makes my laundry smell like lavender and vinegar, but the vinegar is less offensive!  It will fade nicely if you dry your clothes on a clothesline outside in the sun.

Litterbox Deodorizer
Clean out empty litterbox with vinegar.  After you add your litter, sprinkle some baking soda* in the box and mix.
* Save an empty plastic jar with a lid from your grocery shelf and poke some holes in the lid.  Add baking soda and 1/4 tsp essential oil.  Stir well to mix.  Sprinkle onto litter to freshen.

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