Category Archives: Tutorials

A Lavender Gift Basket Give Away….

….over at Hardly Housewives! This basket includes Lavender goodies from our botanical shop over at Etsy. This gift basket includes Organic Lavender Cooking Buds, Lavender Salt Bar, Lavender Bath Salts, and our now famous Lavender Salve.


Organic Lavender Gift Basket


There are 4 ways to win this gift basket, and Jaisa tells you how:

1) First, go look through the LLFarm’s Shop on Etsy and leave a comment below with your favorite item from her shop… 

2) If you want another chance to win, be sure to “like” Hardly Housewives on Facebook here and leave another comment letting us know that you did (or if you already have)

3) Join the Hardly Housewives follower community – publicly follow Hardly Housewives via Google Friend Connect

4)… and for a last chance, add LLFarm to your “Favorites” on Etsy. 



I have had such a great time reading Jaisa’s blog and her excitement over food, my kind or girl! She is a Mainer (a person from the state of Maine) so she KNOWS good food. She is going to be making some Lavender Scones. This should be a great recipe so I will keep my eye out for it. I just love scones warm with melted butter and honey.

Stop on over there she has nicely posted our Farm House Lavender Lemonaid! Since it has been fairly warm here the past few days and the trees have started to bud out if FEELS like spring so I made a large pitcher of our lemonaid to celebrate spring.

Also while you are there check this oven mit out! This is my kind of project and so timely. Mine has a hole burnt right through the thumb! AND I picked up several pretty bath towels from the thrift shop just the other day. Now if I only could get someone to sew it for me… Not in the mood for the treadle machine lately…

I have had such a great time working with Jaisa that I hope/am looking forward to doing another give away with her.

Stop over at Hardly Housewives and in the comments let Jaisa know I sent you!


Also wanted to mention a few new ways to check out what we are doing around here.

Our new Organic Botanical Shop  -Most but not all that we offer are currently available there. There is also a brand new soap/herbal blog there to save you all from the over excitement and love I have of herbs and soap. This is a new format for the blog so I am still getting used to it, but there are a few posts.

Our Etsy shop -stop in there for specials and bulk orders of our soaps, salves and of course our Organic Herbs. We are running an Earth Day Sale from now until May 5th on every item in the shop!

Our Facebook Page Facebook/LizzyLaneFarm Botanicals -something new I am trying out. I’m not very good at the social media thing yet so keep that in mind when you stop over.

I’ll be back soon with the excitement of the new indoor mini green house we have and a peek at the seedlings…


Take care…



Seed Starting

Seed starting this year will be in a few short weeks. Last year I used the square 6-pack seedling pots with less than desirable results. After a few weeks of growing they needed to be transplanted into a larger pot, and I needed to do it all one more time before moving them to the garden.

This year I am hoping to avoid all that time wasted in re-potting, and try starting the seeds directly into the pot size I will need and put the whole thing into the garden. 2 1/2″ pots seems to be the answer for me. I have a few peat pots left from last year and will use those up but I’m trying to avoid another trip to the feed store for more.

For some reason everyone I talk to uses the same pot-repot method and I ask myself why? No one had the answer for me other than that’s the way it’s done. Hummm… Looking on line at many of my favorite blogs they do it the same way too…

I found this video using newspaper to make my own pots. I know it’s not a new idea and there is info all over the web about making them.  In fact when the boys were small newspaper pots we used all the time. Now 20 something years later I couldn’t remember how I did it. I couldn’t find the exact pots we used to fold but these seem like they will work great. I spent several hours trying to follow the directions on line I found, all I can say is the directions or video I found were very frustrating until I found this one.

Great and wonderful, except it seems our local newspapers are an odd size and when my pot was completed I didn’t have the tab at the top to fold over. So I discovered I need to rip about 2″ off the long side and I end up with the needed tabs. Now my pots are smaller but will still work.

Then my friend came over and saw me making these and asked why I am going through all the trouble folding and ripping paper. She took a glass from the cupboard and in a matter of seconds produced a very usable pot. I found this video, exactly how my friend had done hers. WOW! Who knew, well actually many of you probably already knew this, Some times I’m the last to know!

After filling them with soil and getting them wet a few times I’m thinking round pots into a rectangle tray will not be a problem as they will form their own shape. I know the peat pots I used last year did.

So there you have it the beginnings of this years experiment for me. Also I am going to try an interesting method of direct seeding using homemade seed mats using think napkins. Here are very nice directions from a blog I enjoy. She has such a pretty picture perfect garden.

I’ll write about the results later in the season. They are very simple to make and I spaced these in alternating rows to take advantage of the garden space we will have vs straight rows.

In this photo the napkins look very large but they really aren’t there are several stacked together  so I can store them until it’s time to put them in the garden. I made a point to note right on the napkin all the info I will need later such as the variety, planting depth, mature size of the plant.

These are the new paper punches I mentioned a few days ago. After much time trying to print round labels for our salves and soaps I printed them out on an 8.5 X 11″ sheet of label material and used the punches to punch exactly where I wanted to. Works like a charm. The only draw back to these punches I can find is that the section you want to punch needs to be right on the edge of the paper because the punch doesn’t have lots of room to slide it into the paper very deep. It’s ok for what I am doing with them but if someone wanted a nice round hole in the middle of their paper without a fold it wouldn’t work at all. I’m very happy with them. These came from Joann Fabric and at the time were 40% off, making them very affordable.

Home Made Laundry Soap Revisited

laundry day


I have talked about making my own laundry soap before here, and here. and this is a wonderful recipe and I have had great results for a couple of years now.

A few months ago I started playing around with liquid Castile soap and just love it. I took the basic recipe and modified it a bit with great results. While a bit thinner than the original recipe it is a time saver.

Here is what I do.

In my 5 gallon bucket I add 4 cups of hot water from the faucet. add to this 3/4 cup of liquid castile soap, 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup of borax. STIR until all is dissolve, add enough warm water to almost fill the bucket and let it cool a bit. Then add my essential oils. About 1/2 an ounce works well. My favorite combination these days is tea tree oil and lavender.

Once cool I give the bucket a good stir and let sit 24 hours. The next day give it a good stir again the top will have a thick jelly like surface with water underneath. Then I use a large measuring cup to transfer it into liquid laundry soap container I have collected. I find that the top line on the cap is about the right amount for a load…about 1/2 cup. I the containers I have are the non-concentrated kind so the caps are large. Before each use give the jug a good shake.

For the rinse cycle I use 2 downy softener balls with vinegar. Don’t worry, you won’t smell the vinegar when the laundry is done.

laundry soapI don’t often use the dryer but when I do, a muslin bag filled with dried lavender tossed in works great. Smells great and no problems with static.

I have also discovered the wonders of those foaming liquid soap dispensers. For my birthday I was given a rather expensive bottle of the liquid soap. It was wonderful but sure didn’t last long. I must wash my hand 20 times a day if not more. Any way, I saved the dispenser and started adding about 1/4 cup of the liquid castile soap, a few drops of essential oil and a pinch of borax then fill the container with water. This works great.

So what recipes have you discovered with liquid castile soap?

Jewel Weed Salve

jewelweedThis is the first of September and the Jewel Weed is in full bloom. I just love this plant.  I love the beautiful flowers, I love the healing value of this plant and I love playing with the seed pods. When you touch fully ripe ones they burst open and send the seeds flying. Great fun.

Summer often brings poison ivy rashes while haying and it will soon be fall here and that means it’s time to cut back the brush, rake up leaves and another round of poison ivy. Sad but true, no matter how hard we try someone always catches it.

Fresh Jewel Weed leaves and stems picked fresh from the plant are the best choice when using this to cure poison ivy. But when it’s not in season what do you do? Well around here I make a salve, and freeze the stems and leaves in ice cube trays.

Freezing fresh leaves and stems is easy. Simply pick the leaves, flowers and stems, cut them into small pieces and place into a container with a pouring spout on it, a glass measuring cup works great for this. Place the cut plant in the measuring cup and add enough distilled water (tap water will work too.) to just cover the plant material. Let this sit overnight on the counter, the next day pour it, plant material and all into ice cube trays and freeze. When frozen place the cubes into a storage container in the freezer until you need it. When you do need it, simply rub the frozen cube on the rash and it should help a great deal.

jewelweed1Salve has been popular around here too. My sister has used I bet 6 containers of it herself this summer. She always catches it from the hay, or from the dogs who run through the stuff then love up to her…. Not much she can do about it, around here house she has removed all the plants but the fields and woods around her house are full of it. She doesn’t want to keep the dogs tied so it’s a given she will catch it before the season is out.

She also uses this salve before going out into the yard to work as a barrier on her skin, works well for her and she swears by it. When she is done into the shower to use the Jewel Weed soap.

So here are some general guideline on how to make your own.

Pick fresh flowering Jewel Weed early in the morning after it has had time to dry. Hang the plant roots and all in a cool dry dark spot until it is completely dry and the leaves crumble easily. Don’t worry about pulling up the plant, it is an annual and will not come back next year from the same plant if you didn’t pull it up. Don’t pick all you find leave some to spread seeds so you will have more next year.

When dry crumble the entire plant minus the dirt from the roots into a clean jar. Cover with olive oil, put on the cover and let sit in the sun for a few weeks.

When ready, strain the oil and put the plant material into the compost pile. Warm the infused oil until hot, melt beeswax and blend the two together. Then pour into clean containers and label. I like to make this salve on the thin side (less beeswax) so it spreads on the rash easily without lots of rubbing!

This will help dry the rash and soothe the itching from it. Applied several times a day should do the trick.

llf country store bloggerIf you aren’t up to making your own or don’t have access to this wonderful plant I offer the salve at our Country Store in 1 ounce tins. Soon I will also be listing some Jewel Weed soap.

yarrow salve 4x3

I also have there tins of Yarrow salve. This salve is good for everyday itchy bites and minor cuts like paper cuts as it will take the pain away quickly.

Don’t use Yarrow Salve on deep or dirty wounds as Yarrow will heal it to quickly and may trap in the dirt and any bacteria. We have also been using this salve on bruises with good success. Awhile back Sage, our horse stepped on my foot, leaving a big swollen bruise and small cuts. I applied the Yarrow salve several times a day and before going to bed. It took the swelling down quickly and helped with the bruising. Good stuff to have in you first-aid kit.

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