Thursday, December 29, 2011


   I couldn't continue on this series of Beginning a home-business part 1 or Another-in-beginning-home-business Part 2 without including a very important if not the Most IMPORTANT aspect to a home business. 
continue reading here determination 


      If you are not completely determinded to succeed in your home business, you will not see it through to completion. While beginning our Soap Business many road blocks came along and made me question my intentions, or my determination. Because my vision came from the Lord and He was leading in it, I had a comfort zone that others may not experience. I knew that what I had done each day was a success. I had been faithful to what I had been called to do. This meant that I was growing in my faith and also in my earnestness to obey the Lord. This was a success that I was grateful for.
     As Christians we are called to be faithful, not always seeing the end result but knowing that our faithfulness was the character trait with the most value.
     Although financial success was the first goal, I was quickly challenged in that with just the amount of leading the Lord was doing. What I had begun to help my husband, turned out to be what helped me the most. Seeing the Lord leading in each area turned out to be the biggest blessing of starting a home business. 
    Financial success is important especially in our tough economy but spritual growth is by far the biggest investment we can do for our family and ourselves.

     Please feel free to message me or write to me for any help I can offer you. If you are considering a home business, I just want to encourage you to step out in faith! And to see the Lord work!
God bless you all,
 Love Karen

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Another in the Beginning a Home Business Series!

I sure hope that I can encourage each one of you to be the entrepreneur that you are feeling led to be.  This is the backbone of this great Country that we live in.  If you are being led, and find that each time you pray, you are more excited to start an enterprise...your next step may be to seek out a expert in the field of Web Design. 
    I was so blessed by a Web Designer that knew each aspect of my business.  Her speciality of creating a home business helped me so very much, but besides this, she encouraged me to step forward in Faith.  She offered a hand in each area, and if she didn't know answers she would help me to find them.  She really was a Godsend!  You can view her designs and her talent here 
     Each one of the steps I took brought me closer to a launch date, but there were many glitches that came along the way.  I am happy to say that each one I would meet in prayer.  As I prayed I was given relief.  I would still face the problems, but I had a faith that I was being directed to begin a business.  I was walking in faith and needed the growth.  This helped me to keep things in a perspective that each trial was given to me to increase my faith.
   Maybe you are not being called to make soaps...or maybe you are not sure what you would do.  I would encourage you to do what you enjoy.  Do what needs to be done.  And do what you have experience doing. 
     We have spent many years growing organic produce and marketing at local farmers markets.  I would encourage you to seek this market out.  This is a Great way to market without much expense.  Most markets are easy to get into and you will be able to make friends and get to know your customers. 
    Baked items are highly sought after.  Cookies and Candies can be sold in our State without a license.  Find out what your local laws are BEFORE starting a business.  Look for items that can lead people to them.  If you are thinking of cookies, make sure your cookies are freshly made with plenty of delicious scents filling the air.  Do you ever walk by a candy or cookie store?  Do you smell the scents?  Mmnn is what you think!  This is what bring people to buy.  And this will be what leads people back to you.  Scent has an enormous benefit, it lingers in our brains and reminds us of what goodness is!  When you are deciding what your business may be, remember to use this to your benefit.
    I also want to encourage on diversity.  Working to diversify your business will bring you more income.  A plus is that if there isn't a need in one area it may spark an interest in another area.  Also we have experienced how beneficial it is to our family to provide as much for customers as possible.  Yes, it includes more work, but also increases more pleasure for your business.

    I have included a list of each step that you may need to take
1. Pray for Guidance
2. Wait and be patient
3. Pray again
4. Wait some more!
5. Choose out a business Name
6. Seek professional Advice
7. Find out Business Laws in your Area
8. Find your market. And look for a niche that others may not have thought of
9. Remember to find a way to increase your sales, by increasing your products
10. Make your business as professional as you can
      I might include here that we have started all of our businesses on a NO DEBT policy.  This has been a blessing to our family.  We haven't had to lose money to make a payment and pay an interest loan at the same time.  Our business strength has been increased by less stress in our hearts and lives.  This may be possible from ways that you might not expect.  I urge you to be as practical as possible.  When we began a cookie business, we started with a large mixer that was paid for by making cookies.  This mixer is professional quality with a professional price tag but that was cut in thirds by a business that had closed down.  Each new item you purchase must be able to be paid for by the business to lower your stress.  Keeping your business stress free is one of the biggest gains you can make!
     Praying that I can bless you today!  Remember to feel free to message me or to write to me if you have personal questions.  God bless you,  Love, Karen

Monday, December 26, 2011

Beginning a Home Business

    I would love to share a little of how I started our Goat's Milk Soap Business for other Homeschooling Mothers that need a way to help their families.

     When I first got the Vision from the Lord to begin a Soap Business, I was very uncertain of how to begin.   This uncertainty made me hesitant in stepping out in Faith. 
    The First Step if you are seeing a Vision, or hearing a call from the Lord is to

Step Two; Wait!
Step Three; Pray again,
And Step Four; Wait!

     Now I write some of this in fun....but honestly that waiting was the hardest part for me.  I would rather jump into most things and worry later if I do things correctly.  When beginning the Soap Business, I had to wait and research. 
     Researching is very important.  I found that researching began to take away the fear I had of starting a business of my own.  Once I was able to put things into a list, I was able to accomplish SMALL tasks, that led up to bigger ones.
    My first action, was to procure a business license!  I needed a business name to do this, so I began praying for a Name that was lovely as well as "catching!".
    Victorian Rose Soap Company is our registered Name.  We registered it with the State of Oregon as well as registering our Website Name.
    Next we began assembling recipes, supplies, and needs, as well as oodles of information!  This took hours of research.  Even though I had been a soap maker for many years, I had to have far more information to sell soaps than to produce soaps for our family's use.  This research allowed me to adjust recipes with ingredients that I have studied and used in our own home for our family's health and body care.  I have a strong love for natural products, so this blends well with our Soap Business.  I did face a challenge deciding if I wanted to make "UN-natural products available"  I met this with prayer and with a lot of questions to others asking them if they preferred all natural or Beautifully scented? I felt strongly that offering each would help others to learn and use all natural products. 
    When gathering supplies, you will be faced with many questions.  I found this to be one of the many trials of starting a business.  How many soaps do you want to produce?  How many items do we really "need" to start a business?  Just how much do we spend to begin a business?  All of these questions were really answered by my husband and the Lord's leading and providing.
     Steps forward were beginning to shape our business, I will continue on the following this list on my next postings.  I am super excited to be able to share with you ways to help your family.  And if I can answer any questions for you please feel free to leave me a comment in my comment box.  I am also able to personally answer questions if they are of a personal nature. 

Titus 2:4,5 then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.  Love, Karen

Day After Christmas Thoughts

     So what do most of you do the day after Christmas?  Is it a day spent relaxing?  A day that you don't have to cook, because of leftovers?  A day that is quiet because the Children are happily playing with presents?  Is it a day that you can put the Holidays behind and begin again to be rested?

"Long after the angels disappear into the heavens, the shepherds return to their flocks, the magi journey home, and the great star sets, JESUS remains.

The Child in whom we rediscover God's great love for humanity becomes the adult Redeemer who challenges us to imitate His selflessness and compassion in order that we might transform our world in love.

May we allow the miracle of CHRISTmas to continue long after the holiday trappings have been packed away.

May we welcome the adult Messiah and His challenging Gospel to recreate our lives--making the peace, justice, and hope of this holy season a reality in every season of the new year." ~Author Unknown

     Christmas is a Gift to us, that doesn't stop on December 26th, our Gift of Jesus continues all year around.  Yes, we thank God for sending Jesus on Christmas, but are we thanking Him as much on Dec. 26 or 27th...etc.?

    Praying that you are all blessed this Gifted Season, and all Year Long with the Joy and Peace of Jesus!  Love, Karen

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Giving Gifts!

Are you looking for a place to send a Gift?  Are you seeking an end of the year deduction?  A large need that only each one of us, giving any amount will help?  I have a few thoughts for you.

    I have a Dear Friend that has traveled to Ghana to build a small hospital for the village of Yiwabra. has a great video to show you the work in progress and the needs that are so very large.  The People of Ghana are a hardworking people that have many needs, amongst the biggest is a medical clinic.  Any amount will help to support the work being done.  You can also like them on facebook!/yonkofa

A Dear Family in the midst of a Crisis with their Son; Noah!  If you feel led to give, any amount, it will make a difference.  I know that our times are hard, I know this so well.  Please consider gifting any amount and knowing that the Lord is caring for this family....Your gift will allow Him to WORK in You!

     Another need that if you can donate any amount will make a big difference in  the life of a Little Boy named Isaiah.  Isaiah has Down's Snydrome and a Ipad will make communication a possiblity for him.  I would love if you can send any amount to him here

     I would just love to thank all of you for Considering these needs.  I would love to see my blog make a difference in the lives of the hurting, the needing, and to be able to send love to those that have serious needs that we aren't able to understand.  Thank you so very much!  Love, Karen

Merry Christmas!!!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
-Isaiah 9:6
'The Prophesy of a Savior, given to us in Isaiah for all of Mankind. 

~For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." ~Luke 2:11

Wishing your Family a Very Blessed Christmas Day as we remember Christmas is about the Christ that was born in a stable, to come unto Mankind to Save us from the Sin of this World.  As we gather around and sing the Carols, and partake of the Blessings ...let us not forget

Jesus is the Reason, We Celebrate the Season!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

We have our Winners!!!!

Merry Christmas!  We have Three Winners to our Giveaway!

And the Winners are:

Caroline from The Modest Mom

Kathleen Davis

Gail Harris from The Imperfect Housewife

Congratulations to all of our Winners!  I will need each of your addresses!  Email
We are so happy to be mailing you each out three bars of our Beautiful Christmas Soaps! 
Merry Christmas to you all, and thank you so much for taking the time to support our Small Farm Business!
God Bless You!

For all of you that didn't win, we will gift you a 15% off discount when you enter "Victorian Rose" in our voucher box at checkout.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wonderfully High-Antioxidant Rich

This Soap will be available on our Website for sale on Jan. 1, 2012 

It's Our NEW BATCH....a Wonderfully High-Antioxidant Rich....Sea Buckthorn Oil with Pomegranate Concentrate~ Dead Sea Salts Soap!
Scented in Sweet Orange, Lemon, and Citrus Blossom! 

We have been working hard to get more Soaps made, and I am so thankful for incredible Ingredients! We have been given so many wonderful gifts from the Lord to guide us on our paths of seeking healthful ways to nourish our Skin.

Our Sea Buckthorn Plant (Hippophae Rhamnoides) covered in Fruit ripe and ready for picking.  Take Note of it's very sharp thorns!  I have had the incredible pleasure of drinking whole Sea Buckthorn Juice made from our fresh berries juiced with water and plenty of Sweetner!  Sea Berries are VERY SOUR and tastes very like Orange Passionfruit Juice.

Our beautiful Soap of Dead Sea Salts Soap with Sea Buckthorn Oil, and Pomegranate scented with Sweet Orange, Lemon, and Neroli Essential Oils.  Displayed with Imported from Russia, Sea Buckthorn Oil.
We are also pleased to bring you our other product using the Fabulous Sea Buckthorn Oil

Additional Information on the benefits of Sea Buckthorn Oil, can be found here 
Seabuckthorn Berry Oil and Seabuckthorn Seed Oil both possess nourishing, revitalizing, and restorative properties. Seabuckthorn Berry Oil is a beneficial ingredient in formulations intended for acne, dermatitis, irritated or dry skin, eczema, skin ulcers, postpartum pigmentation, burns, scalds, cuts, and tissue regeneration. The stimulation of tissue regeneration is helpful in the treatment of burns, bedsores and poorly healing wounds. Seabuckthorn Berry Oil helps reduce the damaging effects of sun radiation. It can effectively combat wrinkles, dryness and other symptoms of malnourished or prematurely aging skin.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Another Giveaway!!!

Yes, We are in the Christmas Spirit at Victorian Rose Soap Company!  In fact we have already had three winners!!  We are so excited by sending out Gifts that we are having another Giveaway! 
This Giveaway will run for One week and End on Monday December 12th.  We will award three winners with 3 of our Christmas Bars! 

These Soaps are made with our Enriching Goat's Milk and all our soothing oils; Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Olive Oil, and Castor Oil, as well as Shea Butter that is an excellent addition for its wonderful benefits to your skin.

Our GIVEAWAY will include three Christmas Soaps for each winner and shipping included!
(the soaps will be our choices)
To Enter Please use our Comment box

**Special Note**
If you are commenting as annoymous, please leave your first name and the initial of your last name, so that I can reach you if you win :)
Winners, will be announced here on Dec. 12, and also on our facebook page.  You will need to check back to see if you are the winner!

To enter Please send us a comment in our blog comment box
For Additional entries, you may do the following;

Go to our website at
to view our soaps, and come back here and  tell us what your favorite soaps are
one entry
(One additional comment in our comment box)

Follow our Blog 
two entries- two additional comments

Like Victorian Rose Soap Company
If you already Like us on Facebook, please share about our giveaway and if you have a additional page on facebook a share on that will count for an extra entry.

Follow us on Twitter 
If you already follow us, please tweet a post about our giveaway
one entry
 (One additional comment in our comment box)

Share on your Blog,
 (please post a link to your blog post when you enter)
Five entrys (five additional comments in our comment box :)

Drawing will close on Dec.11,2011
Our Gifts to you will include a Lovely Christmas Gift Bag which will make this a Perfect Gift for giving away or for putting  your own name on it 
Merry Christmas!!!
Jesus is the Reason
to Celebrate the Season! 

Friday, December 2, 2011


We have a gift to give!  A Great Big Thank You for Entering Our Giveaway!  A Gift of Free Shipping (a $5.75 value) off of orders $15.00 or more is FREE when you enter "Gift" into the voucher code on our Website

Our Body Butters make Great Stocking Stuffers!

They are very nourshing to dry skin or skin that is chapped from the cold.  I keep one in my purse for use while I am out shopping and exposed to commercial soaps.

Our Christmas Soaps are great for having on hand for quick gifts or Stocking Stuffers as well.
Thank you all for the Support you have shown our family!  And Merry Christmas to ALL!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

And the Winners ARE......

We have used Random Drawing to help us with Our Giveaway

And the Winners are:

Country Girl
Kathleen D.
Naomi R.

Congratulations to our Three Winners!!!!
Please contact me with your addresses so that we can happily send you your gifts! 
Thank you everyone that entered!  We are so excited to have made new friends!  Shared more of our Soaps with our readers, and we look forward to getting to know all of you better.  Please stop by facebook, twitter, or leave me a comment in our blog comment box.... and say, Hi :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Christmas Giveaway!!

     We are so excited to share a Christmas Giveaway with our readers.

Candy Cane Spearmint Essential Oil Cut Bar

Here at Victorian Rose Soap Company we have been making Christmas Soaps.  Our selections of Soaps has been growing, we have included two new luxury bars as well as our decorator soaps.  These Soaps are made with our Enriching Goat's Milk and all our soothing oils; Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Olive Oil, and Castor Oil, as well as Shea Butter that is an excellent addition for its wonderful benefits to your skin.  We have many soaps that are an All Natural Soap scented with pure essential oils, as well as some lovely fragrance scented Soaps.

Our new Luxury Soaps are very LOVELY!  We have made a bar with The Dead Sea Salts, which is reputed for being healing to the skin.  Dead Sea Salts benefits are well known throughout the World.  This bar is scented with Peppermint, Tea Tree Oil, and a touch of Sweet Orange.  This bar is so wonderful!  I felt like I had been in a Sea Bath, it left my skin very soft!  The top of the bar has a sprinkling of the Dead Sea Salts, for an exfoliate effect. 

Lavender Silk Clay Bar

We have also added our new Lavender with ~Silk and White Clay!  This bar is so lovely smelling, and SMOOTH!  It has White Clay which is reputed for it's detoxing effects.
The Silk in the bar is a full protein source, which is known for revitalizing the skin.  I found it be soothing, and softening to my skin.  The bar is loaded with our Lavender Essential Oil and is calming, as well as the Lavender being known for healing skin ailments.
Our GIVEAWAY will include a bar of our Luxury Soap, and two bars of our Christmas Soaps for each winner and shipping included!

**Special Note**
If you are commenting as annoymous, please leave your first name and the initial of your last name, so that I can reach you if you win :)
Winners, will be announced here on Dec. 2nd, and also on our facebook page.  You will need to check back to see if you are the winner!

To enter Please send us a comment in our blog comment box
For Additional entries, you may do the following;
Go to our website at
to view our soaps, and come back here and  tell us what your favorite soaps are
one entry
(One additional comment in our comment box)

Follow our Blog 
two entries- two additional comments

Like Victorian Rose Soap Company
On facebook 

and share our Giveaway on facebook
two entries
(Two additional comments in our comment box)

Follow us on Twitter 
one entry
 (One additional comment in our comment box)

Share on your Blog,
 (please post a link to your blog post when you enter)
Five entrys (five additional comments in our comment box :)

Drawing will be closed on Dec.1, 2011 at (midnight PST)

We would love to give out a selection of our Victorian Rose Soaps to 3 blessed readers. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grinding Wheat and baking Bread

   Our bread baking:
     We have a Wondermill Grain Grinder found here

     This is a very handy mill and quite versatile, as I use it for grinding wheat as well as for grinding rice.  I also use it for grinding corn.  I love the fresh taste of grain freshly ground, but more than that, the health benefits of fresh ground will pay for itself in a short time. 
      I buy soft white wheat berries, which is pure wheat but with a softer consistency for baking.  I use this wheat for all our foods, including fresh baked bread. 
   I also use the grinder for gluten-free baking by using brown rice in our grinder and also tapioca flour.  Each of these I buy in it's pure form.  I use the grain on it's lowest setting for baking products. 
      I use the grinder for corn by buying organic popping corn.  This is easier on the machine and does not add too much oil to the grinder burrs.
     I am also an avid sourdough baker!  I love sourdough and use it regulary in my baking.  I love the book, La Brea Bread by Nancy Silverton.  
    I started my sourdough by using organic red grapes and fermenting them for two weeks, caring for my sourdough regularly, and producing a gorgeous sourdough that I continue to use and feed.  This has been the base for my sourdough for over five years.  I have read where people have had their own starter for as many as 100 years!

I usually make 12 loaves at a time!

    I make a bread with starter and fresh ground wheat as well as vital wheat gluten.  I ferment these loaves in baskets overnight, and then bake them on a hearth stone to produce a lovely bread, that my family all enjoys.
    I also love the wonderful pancakes that fresh sourdough makes as well as waffles.  We have a lovely Belgian waffle with sauteed apples and whipping cream.  It is very delicious to have the tangy taste of the waffles with the sweetened apples and cream!  The book can be found here .
or you can also look for it at your library.
    Using fresh ground wheat or grains improves your family's health, by keeping the vital nutrients intact and not losing them due to processing, for more information on this please go to:
    Using sourdough is also beneficial to the digestion, and the ability for the body to extract the nutrients from grains.  I have found that friends that eat my bread no longer have trouble digesting the wheat.
    We also have a family that loves fresh bread with slices of tomato and fresh olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a bit of basil and fresh ground pepper...mmn!!!
    I urge you to check out this book and to consider a grain grinder, it has saved us many of dollars, and has been a faithful worker in my kitchen!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Review of Our Favorites (some of them)!

    Our Soaps:

     Star Anise Soap is a lovely bar with a very creamy lather.  It is soothing for the skin and bubbly as well. 
      Did you know that fishermen use Star Anise for attracting fish while fishing?  Yes Star Anise is a fish attractant!    Now I understand why we get asked if we have fisherman's soap? 
      Besides attracting fish when using this soap, Star Anise has the reputed benefit of being calming. 
     We have it in two lovely shapes and in all natural without any added color or synthetic fragrance.  The Star Anise Essential Oil is 100% pure!  It is one of our family's favorite soaps.  Loved by our smaller children!

     Spicy Ginger is also a family favorite.  It is pure Ginger Essential Oil with
a cute shape.  I like the way this lathers and the invigorating effect it has after use.   I love this bar first thing in the morning when I really need to wake up and feel refreshed, but didn't happen to wake up that way :)  Ginger Essential Oil is also known for it's warming properties. 

     The bars are incredibly creamy when using them.  They lather nicely and leave a very soft feeling to your skin, perfect for the dry skin problems.

     Another favorite, our Lavender Soap with Lavender Flower Buds.  Lavender has a calming effect.  This soap is perfect for late evening baths especially if you suffer from insomnia.  Lavender is also especially helpful for  those that suffer from headaches or migranes.  This bar is very soothing, it is soft on the skin and yet has a mild exfoliant from the lavender buds. 

Two of our lovely bars that are wonderful for your gardener's basket!

       I hope that you have enjoyed a few of our favorite soaps and learning more about what makes our Handmade Goats Milk Soaps so special!



Monday, August 1, 2011

Farmers Market Support!

Continuing my support of local farmers markets to celebrate the National Farmers Market week which begins next week. 
I thought I would post some pictures of our stand and contributions to a market that we attend. 

And our Goats Milk Soaps

  As well as the beautiful Oregon Coast

We have participated in Farmers Markets for twenty five years!  Our family has been involved with farmers markets in both Southern California where we used to live and now in Oregon.  Helping others learn about the benefits of buying local as well as educating people about the health benefits of fresh food, and supporting small farms, is an important endeavor to our family.

Friday, July 29, 2011

National Farmers Market Week is scheduled for August 7-13

     How does a blog about the Soap Making turn into a blog about small farmers....because we are small farmers making a living on our small farm!  Small farmers are the most important step towards returning this Nation back to what it used to be...a profitable Nation with strong hands and hearts turned to God for sustanance!
    Since next week in August is National Farmers Market Week
     I wanted to encourgage all my blog readers to visit your local farmers markets.  Go by and encourage your local farmers with your support.  I find that our best and faithful customers are those that know us, and know our family.  They begin to share with us in our joys and our trials.  We bond with them and their families as well. 
    I was reading a very wonderful article in the Small Farmers Journal and it was describing the destruction of the American food supply,  how each of the changes that have been made to ruin or alter food has become a poison, not only to our food but to our Nation.  I really appreciated one comment that Lynn Miller made as he is describing us small farmers with a wonderful WORTHINESS...the fact that our food is worthy of the price.  That we have a corner on the food because ours is heathly, grown with cleanliness, grown with purity..if you will, not contaminated with poisons that are in the process of killing our Country.  That our lives are built on caring for our land and for our soils.  That we haven't been extracting money from the government.  That we are small farmers with a dream and putting that dream into reality, making our farms vital and active with a "real return".
    I appreciate his very important involvement in our "movement", though I don't look at our lives as a movement at all.  Just a simple family farm, gathering their sustanance from the Lord and all His incredible provisions.  We seek His guidance in our lives through our farm.  He is the One that produces and we are a servant to Him.  Using land for what He intended it to be used for.
     If this economy has been hard on anyone, I would have to say the American Small Family Farm has had the most difficult time of making a living over anyone.  We work long hard hours with little income in return and meanwhile food prices are kept low for a very long time by Large Corporate Mega Farming.
    These Large Corporate "farms" have all but put the small farms out of business with their farming practices of using chemicals and migrant workers to produce vast amounts of poor quality food. 
    Now with the knowledge that we are learning on GMO foods, and their harmful results, on the negative side effects of chemical fertilizer including  hormonal problems caused from the synthetic estrogens used in most commercially grown food...we Need to be buying organic to protect ourselves and our families.  And just because a farmer is at a Farmers Market, does NOT mean that they are growing Organically...please ASK!
    And best of all we can grow our own food from organically grown non-gmo seeds.  I encourage everyone Nationwide to grow your own :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Busy Time for Our Family

     Whew, between getting to three markets per week, and running a Goat's Milk Soap business, our family has been busy! 
     Farmer's Markets are a lot of work and time,  but are a lot of fun and offer us an exciting time of harvesting and marketing our produce.  If you don't know where your local farmer's markets are you can find out here
    Cucumbers are a major market item for us.  We grow long English type of cucumbers that are mild and sweet without bitterness.  Young helpers are perfect for helping to harvest more than a hundred per market!  We grow a variety from Japan.  These are trellised up to save space and to make the cucumbers straight and long.  We use diatomaceous earth- (Diatomaceous Earth is a non-toxic, safe substance made up from fossils of freshwater organisms and crushed to a fine powder) on the young plants to keep the sow bugs at bay.  The d.e. has to be reapplied each time they are watered.  This is only necessary while the plants are small.  After they reach maturity then we only have to fight the mold or virus that infects the plants through cucumber beetles. 
     We are also at markets with Basil, Spinach, Chard, Beets, lettuce, summer squash, tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, herbs; rosemary, sage, mint and chives.  And of course our handmade goat's milk soaps.
     Tomatoes are a major crop as well.  We trellis them up as well and keep the suckers trimmed off to encourage growth in the plant and to keep them healthy.  Air flow is what discourages mold growth.  We also keep the clusters of tomatoes that are set down to three per cluster.  This gives us big tomatoes and also allows the energy of the plant to continue to grow into more tomatoes. 
     Weeds, are also a major source of work on our farm.  Weeding is something that always has to be done, but we try to get ahead of weeds by doing several different things we have learned to do to keep them manageable.  We use transplanting for most all crops.  We use a tiller to prepare the soil, and then place the plants that are several inches tall into the loosened soil.  The transplant cells we use, are from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply we buy these in many different sizes.  But our most common size is the 200 cells.  We also like the 115 size for starting basil.  And use the 64 cell for many types of large plants including broccoli, pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes.
     These cells, are perfect to begin seeds in and to keep the roots air pruned and then when we are ready to transplant, we use a pencil to push up the plant from the bottoms.  The plants dislodge easily and are then planted in the cool of the evening.  We premark the rows to be planted and can do many in an evening.  If you are growing for your own family, use them in intervals, planting in small amounts every two weeks or so, depending on family size. 
    We also weed early with tools that make the job easier.  We use a large wheel hoe that is more difficult but gets a lot done at one time.
    Hand tools from the Red Pig really are very helpful.  These tools may cost more but make up for it with the quality of the work that you can accomplish
Using hand tools allows you to have more control and to have little helpers see an accomplishment as well.
    I am very convinced with our food supply being corrupted by greed and corporate take over, we all need to be growing our own food.  I have felt a need to help others to have knowledge in what makes it work easier.  Besides it being healthier to grow your own food, it is also very fulfilling and you are able to see God's hand in your life and His provision for your family :) 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Pacific Coast!

     I thought all of you might like seeing a little glimpse of life here in Oregon on the Coast.  The beautiful Coast is usually cool and cloudy in Summer, but sometimes we can have a gorgeous day!

    Our little boys love the Ocean and the waves :)

     The evenings are also beautiful and cool, but the lovely sunsets are worth the chill!

The handiwork of God!
this is actually the sky :)

     I hope you have enjoyed a little look of the Oregon Coast and are planning a trip here to see what we are being blessed with :)