Organic Gardening Resources

 

The following sites are recommendations from Rebekah Grifins class. Thanks Rebekah! ūüôā


How to build your own rain barrel

             http://www.bayteccontainers.com/plastic-rain-barrel-faq.html

            http://www.cityofbremerton.com/content/forms/MakeYourOwnRainBarrel.pdf

 

Build a compost pile

            http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/rrr/composting/by_compost.htm

 

Build a compost tumbler

            http://www.howtohomestead.org/?page_id=266

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcPz4XF-yUM&NR=1

            http://www.thefrugallifenews.com/2008/09/make-your-own-compost-tumbler.html

 

 

Books

 

Organic Gardening by Geoff Hamilton

 

Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth

 

Animal, Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Bulk Order Update

Hi everyone,

The bulk orders are still going on for the Bosh mixers, 3 cookbooks, nuclear kit, handwashers and pasta. There has been a great desire for fels-naptha, so I will place another order of that. Deadline is April 10th. Just e-mail me your specific orders and I will e-mail your amount back to you. If you want more specific info. on the things that we are ordering, just read on down further and get the information that you need.

 

If you are wondering “what’s the big deal about the Fels-naptha”, it is simple: a seriously cheap way to make your own healthy clothes detergent that isn’t full of chemicals and fillers. With 1 bar of soap, 1 c of washing soda and 1/2 c of borax, you can make 10 GALLONS of liquid/gel washing detergent that can last a really long time, or many loads of washing. That is AMAZING in itself! If you want other recipes for laundry detergents that are liquid, powder and softeners, go here for more info. http://www.aprilshowerspreparedness.com/category/classes/laundry-ideas/

 

For those who ordered Fels-Naptha, Washing Soda or Borax a few weeks ago, I am on my way to pick it up. You can get it from me after 5:00 tonight, or tomorrow morning before 3:00 or again after 5:00 daily pm.

 

The Bulk Seed order has been placed, so please, if you haven’t already, get Rebekah your money ASAP.

 

Looking ahead to the month of April.

 

If you have any recipes that include sprouts, could you please share them with all of us? Just e-mail me your favorites, and I will send them out to our group before our sprouting class.

 

Here’s a peek into our bulk orders coming in April:

 

Sprouts and sprouters

Shirley J Sauces to go with your pasta, for soups, pizza etc., and some more surprises ūüôā

 

Have a great day ladies!

April ūüôā

Bulk Order on Pasta- due April 10th, 2009

Hi ladies,

My friend who we bought pasta from before, has located some more if you are interested. Because we bought to much last time, he is giving me/us a huge discount. I was impressed by his pasta last time, so I thought I would offer it to you again. Orders for the pasta will be taken until April 10th, 2009.

Please e-mail me your order, and I will respond with a final invoice when I know the price related to the pounds that we order. Today it is .75 cents per pound, and that can go down to .50 cents depending how many pounds we buy in bulk.

Orders will be placed when final invoice has been verified and payment options secured.

Product pick up will occur Thursday April 24th. If you remember, the pasta went fast last time, so place your order sooner than later for the pasta that tickles your fancy.

Feel free to offer this to your friends, family and wards, but remember to only give me one order for your group and the pick up will be at my home only.

 

Pasta available:

170 cases available – 20lb. case of 1 ¬Ĺ” Egg Rotini at $.75 a pound = $15.00 per case

850 cases available – 16.5lb. case of Salad Macaroni (12 bags) at $.75 a pound = $12.38 per case

115 cases available – 40lb. case of Plain Orzo at $.75 a pound = $30.00 per case

500 cases available – 25lb. case of Large Egg Bows at $.75 a pound = $18.75 per case.

330 cases available – 25lb. case of Rainbow Bowties at $.75 a pound = $18.75 per case

250 cases available – 30lb. case of Acini De Pepe at $.75 a pound = $22.50 per case

25 cases available – 30lb. case of Ditalini (Salad Macaroni) at $.75 a pound = $22.50 per case

53 cases available – 25lb. case of Stars $.75 a pound = $18.75 per case

 

Have a great day everyone! April ūüôā

Save Money by Making Your Own “Peat Pots”

When I heard about this I was all over it. Can you imagine if we saved all of our toilet paper rolls throughout the year how many little pots we’d have come spring? We could really plant early and get a jump on the growing season! Not only is this a great idea, but it’s plantet friendly and saves a lot of money in many ways.¬†

Millions of toilet paper rolls end up in landfills every day. If you garden,¬†you’re tossing away money. Recycling cardboard toilet paper rolls into homemade peat pots for your garden is easy and economical.

You will need a plastic plant tray, or another shallow, flat container. Big box store garden centers will let you have trays for free. Look under the benches, or consolidate plants in another tray and ask for the empty ones.

Toilet paper rolls make great homemade peat pots for seedlings or small cuttings for the garden.

  • First, cut your toilet paper rolls in half.
  • Then cut¬†one end in four places, and fold the flaps inward to make a bottom. Cutting them in four places makes a square bottom, so you can fit more into a tray.¬†
  • You can put a small piece of masking tape on the bottom, but it isn’t necessary, because as soon as they are wet, they will stand up. (I would use paper tape if I needed to.)
  • Place the toilet paper rolls into the tray and add potting mix, then plant your seed or stick your cutting.¬†
  • You will need to water until your homemade peat pots are wet, so they will not suck water from the soil. If you have one, a larger tray or shallow pan to soak the toilet paper rolls is preferable to overhead watering.

For larger cuttings, and seedlings of plants that need more root space, only cut the toilet paper rolls with four cuts at the bottom. These taller homemade peat pots are great for rooting tomato suckers and woody cuttings for your garden, as they encourage the roots to grow downward instead of outward.

Recycling Other Cardboard Rolls

An alternative to toilet paper rolls is recycling cardboard rolls left over from wrapping paper, aluminum foil, and plastic wraps. These sturdier cardboard rolls can be cut to any size you need. The taller homemade peat pots are actually better for rooting woody cuttings for your garden, because they don’t break down as quickly.

Once your seedlings or cuttings are ready to transplant, you simply place your homemade peat pots into your garden soil or container, and they will break down just like real peat pots, becoming part of the soil.

Another way of recycling cardboard rolls for your garden is to flatten them and cut small pieces to cover holes in the bottom of pots. The water will get through, but the soil will not.

To keep weeds out of your pots, try recycling cardboard rolls by unrolling them and placing them on top of the soil, under a layer of mulch or rocks, much as you would use cardboard boxes in your garden.

If none of these tips for recycling cardboard rolls in your garden interests you, simply cut them up and put them into¬†your compost pile. Whatever you do with them, don’t just toss them out!

I’m sure that you can find a myriad of other ways of recycling toilet paper and other cardboard rolls. Using your imagination for recycling common everyday items that were once thrown away can go a long way toward saving our planet.

Idea comes from brighthub.com.

Top 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Have My Food Storage.

 

10. My neighbors have a TWO year supply! No, they don’t. They don’t have any
food. Did you know that 85% of the members of the church don’t have any¬†food
storage¬†at all? If your idea of food storage is to eat someone else’s
food…..this is a really bad plan.

9. I’ve paid tithing for 20 years…the church can give me a little food.
Many members believe that when the times get hard, the church is going to
come through like Joseph in Egypt. Absolutely not true. All the church
storehouses and welfare farms across the country would only feed 4% of the
members of the church. The church has been asking YOU to store food for 75
years. They’re NOT storing food for you. Thus, another bad plan.

8. I’m moving in with my children / parents! Really….that’ s just a bad
plan all by itself. But it points out that most members don’t have a year’s
supply because they’re PLANNING on eating someone else’s food! Of course,
since no one HAS any food, we have yet another bad plan.

7. I have a year’s supply…and the bullets to go with it! I’ve heard time
and again, “How dumb is that to go to all the time and expense of getting
food…just to have some guy with a gun come and shoot my family to take it
away?” Here’s a better question. Are you afraid of the guy with the gun? Or
are you more afraid of BECOMING the guy with the gun? What would you do if
your children were starving to death? Would you lie? Cheat? Steal? Would you
shoot your neighbor for his food? I guarantee… .if you were watching your
child starving to death, you would do anything you had to, to keep them
alive. If you don’t have your year’s supply, you are putting yourself in
danger of losing not only your temporal salvation, but your spiritual
salvation as well.

So far, all the reasons we don’t have our food storage involve eating
someone else’s food. Please, don’t put your family’s temporal salvation in
other people’s hands. No one is storing food for you. Not your neighbors,
not the government.. .not even the church.

#6. The boat and the 4 wheelers are taking up all my storage space!
(priorities! )

#5. 3 letters….Y2K. Ok, that’s 2 letters and a number….but they’re
always making way too much out of everything! This is never going to
happen!” (Every prophecy that has ever been given WILL happen.)

#4. If anything DOES happen, the government will be here within hours!
(insert laughter) Did you know the government has been telling us that we
need to have food storage? They’re actually CALLING it food storage! We now
have the government telling us to store food, water, medicines… whatever we
will need to be able to stay in our homes for several months.

#3. I can’t afford scrap booking AND food storage. (priorities again) The
average food storage can cost as little as a dollar a day. We live in the
richest society in the history of the world, and while there are cases where
money may be a problem, most of the time it is a matter of priorities. We
have chosen bigger homes, nicer cars, more tv’s, computers, vacations
..everything is more important than our food storage. If I asked, “Who has
a cell phone?” most of you would say yes. You pay at least $30 a month to
have a cell phone….that’ s about a dollar a day…the cost of one year’s
supply of food for your child. Is your cell phone really more important than
your child’s temporal salvation? You have to make food storage a priority.

2. I’m waiting for the cannery to sell Papa John’s dehydrated¬†pizza! Food
storage¬†has always had a stigma attached to it. If it’s not wheat, beans and
powdered milk, it’s not food storage. With the system I use, food storage
can be sweet and sour chicken, tamale pie, chile and cornbread, beef stew,
shepherd’s pie, minestrone.. .even¬†chocolate chip cookies! Your imagination
(and your pocketbook) are the only limitations you have. (Wendy’s system is
can be found on her blog , the link is below

And the #1 reason why I don’t have my year’s supply of food? A year?? I
thought it was 72 hours!!

You KNOW you should have your food storage. You WANT to have it, but it can
be so overwhelming! How much do I buy? Where do I store it? How do I cook
it? It seems like an impossible task…. but it’s not. The important thing is to
do something.

 Wendy DeWitt

Group Buy on Seeds

Hi everyone,

Rebecca taught an amazing class yesterday on gardening, passed out catalogs and we are offering a bulk sale on garden seeds. There are some fantastic varieties at great prices. Have fun choosing which ones to buy. I want five of each!

Have a great day, April ¬†ūüôā

P.S. Thanks Rebekah for a great class with a ton of important information. You inspired me completely. I am going to grow a row of sunflowers, so that I can try all the groovy stuff you talked about in your class. (Wouldn’t Mary Englebrite be so proud!) In the fall, I will post what I am talking about, on a later post about Sunflowers.

 

 

Hi everyone! I am trying to get the seed order finalized. If you didn’t get a chance to order at the class today, or if you didn’t make it to the class, here is some more info for you. I think a lot of people didn’t really understand what we are ordering- These are non hybrid seeds that you can store in your food storage or plant in your garden. You will be getting a lot of seeds- the amount will vary depending on how many people order, but in general it will be 5-10x the amount you would get in a packet from the store. There will be plenty to plant and to store.

 

The more people that order, the cheaper they will be. For example, the seeds that are most expensive right now is the corn- mostly because not many people ordered it. But the people who are getting it will get a lot of seeds. So if more people order, the price will drop, as will the number of seeds you get.

 

Here is a list of the current prices and how many seeds (approx.) you get for that price. As more people order the price will fluctuate, but it will only get better!

 

Please try to get me your order in by the end of Friday, and then we can get payments figured out and get these ordered next week. (So we can start planting!) Please send your order to Rebekah Griffin at milkmaid35@gmail.com. We didn’t have enough demand for compost tumblers and rain barrels, but if you would like to order some pots, we could use more orders to get better prices. These are biodegradable pots for starting plants and can be directly planted into your garden to eliminate transplant shock.

 

  • 2″ pots $7 for 100
  • 3″pots $12 for 100
  • 4″ pots $12 for 50

 

OK, here are the seed prices.

  • Green Beans, bush .60/100 seeds
  • Green beans, pole 2.55/100 seeds
  • Dry Beans, white 1.50/80 seeds
  • Beets 2.50/120 seeds
  • Broccoli .93/500 seeds
  • Canteloupe 1.05/95 seeds
  • Carrots 1.00/1000 seeds
  • Corn, sweet 2.00/150 seeds
  • Corn, dry/field 2.53/220 seeds
  • Cucumber .68/355 seeds
  • Kale 1.38/100 seeds
  • Leeks 3.00/500 seeds
  • Lettuce 1.00/600 seeds
  • Onions 1.50/500 seeds
  • Peas .65/165 seeds
  • Green Peppers 1.00/77 seeds
  • Pie Pumpkins .75/25 seeds
  • Carving Pumpkins .75/25 seeds
  • Radishes .60/250 seeds
  • Spinach .70/830 seeds
  • Acorn squash .90/32 seeds
  • Butternut squash 1.00/57 seeds
  • Spaghetti squash 1.00/ 62 seeds
  • Zucchini 1.30/70 seeds
  • Yellow squash 1.22/110 seeds
  • Roma Tomatoes 1.23/147 seeds
  • Heirloom slicing tomato 1.58/147 seeds
  • Cherry yellow pear tomato .94/100 seeds
  • Turnips .60/7900 seeds
  • Watermelon 1.40/275 seeds
  • Parsley .85/6600 seeds
  • Basil .40/417 seeds
  • Thyme .75/3375 seeds
  • Mint 1.67/1250 seeds
  • Cilantro .68/1000

 

Thanks! Rebekah

March 15-31st Bulk Buys

Hello Sisters,

Quite a few things today- hold onto your hat:

Everyone who has ever purchased handwashers, honey, or a WonderMill, they are here at my house. ūüôā ¬†And, if you ordered Fels-Naptha, Washing Soda or Borax, they have not come in yet, but will hopefully, before Thursdays class! Then, you can come and get that, and attend the gardening class too!

 

More March Bulk Orders:

When things hit the fan, (whatever that means) there are 4 books that I will take with me. My scriptures, and all 3 of these books. Having lived on our garden and food storage for almost 1 year now, I can honestly tell you, that all of my cookbooks have been thrown out the window, (not really, just thrown out of the kitchen into the library) because they are really useless. I do not have the majority of ingredients to make anything and substituting ingredients with powdered or dehydrated something just makes a mess most of the time.

So, here are the top 3 cookbooks that I have PROVEN worthy of emergency, or long-term cooking in my case.

 

Prices do not include tax or shipping, but that will be minimal as always. E-mail me your order, and I will add it all up for you.


¬†¬† ¬† 1. Cookin’ with Home Storage‚ÄĒby Peggy Layton.¬† Regularly $16.95

I have used this cookbook when I can’t find what I am looking for in any other book- now I just look here first. I have been VERY pleased with everything I have tried, and love this book!!!! ******

 

 

10-29  books- $13.99

30-59 books- $10.99

60+ books- $9.99 


¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†2. Mix a Meal–retails for $14.95¬†

This book is all about fast food. If you remember from my earlier classes, there is no such thing as fast food when you have to soak beans over night, and then cook them for the next two.  This book is full of mixes from pancakes and cookies to ranch dressing to sloppy joes and many others. It is also a must!  *****

 

10-29 copies–13.99

30-74 copies-  $12.49

75+ copies– $10.99


     3. Bee Prepared Cook Book  $15.00

This is a ‚Äú¬Ĺ inch binder book‚ÄĚ that is full of information that you might want to know about every grain, and how to use it. The recipes are also very good! *****

Many of you ordered this last year, and we have been adding to it ever since. I thought that I would offer it again for those that didn‚Äôt get it last year. As with all things since last year, the price has gone up too! All of the recipes that I will and have sent you from my classes can be added under their chapter headings. All you‚Äôll have to do from there is contribute yourself, print them off, or get the ones we have done in the past from http://www.aprilshowerspreparedness.com¬†then and add them to your ‚ÄúBee Prepared‚ÄĚ cookbook. Wow! What a great idea! (I‚Äôm glad I thought of that!)

 

     4. Bosch  (Deadline March 31, 2009)

  • Universal Plus 800 Watt¬† Reg. $399.99

5-10 ordered  $350.00 without blender, plus tax

 

  • Classic 700 Watts Reg.¬† $389.99

5-10 ordered $325.00 without blender, plus tax

 

      5. 6th order of handwashers. (Can you believe it? You would think that we do a lot of laundry or something!) Price increase to $13.00- everything is going up now-a-days!  www.breathingwasher.com 


     6. Nuclear Kit (Can save 20 peoples lives) Post sales are still $50.00 until March 31st.

Nuclear kit Contents:‚Ä®

 

Nuclear War Survival Skills ($20.00 retail)
kI chemical

USP 40 grams   ($26.00 retail)


Book of Revelation Today   ($14.00) retail


Restoration of the Republic  ($12.50 retail)


Trace mineral liquid label seconds (3 month supply) $24.00 retail)

DVD Last Day Devastation vs. Latter-day Preparation ($10.00 ea. DVD)‚Ä®

DVD A more Perfect

Union
KI tablets   ($8.00)


Liquid electrolyte spray energy salt and sprayer  (12.00)

 

Last but not least, Macey’s has their Case Lot sale going on, and there are some great prices. Make sure that you compare with the Lindon cannery though, because some of their prices cannot be beat!

 

Homemade Sanitary Pads

I know what you are all thinking, but this is something that we have to think about ladies-OK, I must totally admit that I am one who said, “EEEeeeew, that is totally gross”. But the fact remains, that this is a natural thing that all of us girls all experience- as do our husbands and sons sooner or later. If we don’t think about it, the alternitive is really the EEEeeeew part! Fortunately, having 6 daughters, we bought all of the supplies we needed long ago! The employees at Costco followed us around with their jaws dragging on the floor, and many of them asked us if we were Polygamists, or house parents of a “girls-only dorm” when the realized, that those carts my husband and I were pushing and dragging behind us were full of pads and tampons alone! (Please do not line up at my house when the time comes, we also bought a gun that day!) ūüôā

I came from a house hold of 6 daughters myself, so I saw first hand, how many cases of feminine products six girls could go through quarterly, and knew that this is something I DID NOT want to live without- ever! However, I have changed my tune after reading the information below, realizing that we could have flown to Europe as a family on the frequent flier miles alone, from the purchase of those same feminine hygiene supplies that took us 5 carts, on two separate occasions to fill! Next time, when we need to restock, I think that I will seriously consider purchasing some thread and some fun dark fabric (like big flowers, stripes or polka-dots for example,) then take that trip to Europe, with several zip lock bags in my suitcase. The trip to Europe would be a lot more fun and memorable anyway!

(Did you know that we, who live in the States, are the only ones who freak about such “personal, private” things? Everywhere I have traveled, topics such as theses are common table talk. These are the facts of life and that is just the way it is. Perhaps it is because others might be more comfortable with themselves and their sexuality? Perhaps it is a cultural thing, (a Mormonism) to be so modest about things? Regardless of the reasons, if I hadn’t already broke the bank and made a storage shed to house all of theses supplies, ūüôā I would DEFINITLY start sewing, and book my trip to the Swiss Alps to eat Swiss chocolate and fresh yogurt (what am I talking about? I make fresh yogurt twice weekly, and have a two-year supply of Swiss chocolate in the freezer?) and happily consume it while basking in the spring sun soaking up the Jung Frau!)(That is an amazing glacial Mountain 1/2 a days trip on several special mountain trains from Zurich, Switzerland, my favorite place in the world!) The funny thing is, I can soak up the spring rays sitting on my front porch, gazing directly at the beautiful Mount Timpanogos, listening to our Swiss goats bleating, while grazing with her two kids! (The grass is always greener isn’t it?) Enough of this romanticism, let’s get on with the show!

 

 

 

Homemade Sanitary Pads
Okay, but  EEEwww . . .  NEW 10-9-05

 

I learned about homemade cloth menstrual pads on a¬†Christian Ladies’ message board in 2002.¬† I had just been diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS.¬† Some of my symptoms were heavy, irregular and painful menses which left me feeling very much like¬†the¬†Woman in the New Testament with the issue of blood¬†who touched Jesus’s garment to be healed.¬† I even joked that I had periods of biblical proportions.¬† Financially, we were in a tough spot at the time.¬† Making decisions between groceries or sanitary pads is not a pleasant place to be so I was tickled when another mom shared a link to homemade pads.¬† I ran some simple ones up on my sewing machine that day and have pretty much been a convert ever since.

Before the 20th Century, most women used cloth pads or “rags” during their menstruation.¬† Disposable pads didn‚Äôt become common in America until after WW II.¬† Among rural and low-income women they didn’t catch on until the 1960’s.¬† As with diapers, there have always been people who prefer cloth to disposable.¬†¬† Disposable pads do not biodegrade very quickly.¬†Plastic diapers and sanitary napkins are likely to be two of the most common artifacts that future archaeologists will find when excavating landfills from the 20 and 21 Centuries.¬† I wonder what kind of commentary this will be on our present lifestyles?¬† Only time will tell.

 

Outer Pad with Wings
Cut 2 with flap extended & 1 on fold with flap closed

Inner Pad
Cut 2 of flannel and 1 or 2 of filling or more flannel

Printing Instructios:  Set Margins to 0.25 or 1/4 inch each.

 

To make your own sanitary napkins you need the following supplies:  

  • A sewing machine with a zigzag stitch.¬†¬†

  • Flannel:¬† Old flannel shirts & baby blankets work beautifully but new flannel works fine too.¬† Be sure to wash it in hot water before using to prevent shrinkage.
  • Thread
  • Snaps or Safety Pins
  • Scissors¬†

The Outer Pad
Begin by printing both of the patterns and cutting them out. The Inner Pad is a large oval.  The Outer Pad is actually 2 patterns in 1.  With the long straight side extended, it is the topside.  You will need to cut 2 of these.  With the long straight side folded in, it is the bottom side.  Place the straight edge on a fold of fabric and cut 1 of these. Look at the pictures for examples.   

Make 1/2-inch hem down the long straight side of each of the 2 top pieces.  Straight stitch or zigzag stitch this hem, as you prefer.  Now arrange the 2 upper layers of the outer pad over the lower layer.  The front hems should overlap slightly, or by about 1/2-inch. 

Zigzag stitch around the outside twice.  If desired you may straight stitch down the dotted lines shown on the picture to the right.  This allows the inner pad to fit more securely inside the outer pad and also makes folding the wings a bit handier.  

Some women apply a snap or button to the wings at this time.¬† Place them at points “A” in the illustration.¬† Velcro is not advisable because it has a tendency to chafe.¬† Personally, I don’t¬†like¬†to go through all the work of applying snaps or buttons so I use a safety pin instead.¬† Large diaper safety pins work beautifully for pinning the wings together.¬† To the right you will see a picture of the pad pinned closed.¬†¬† The wings fit around your underwear just like disposable pads with wings.¬† Some women wear the pad with the pocket seam facing down, next to their underwear.¬† Other women prefer the pad placed with the seam-side next to their skin.¬† Try it both ways to see which you prefer.

The Inner Pad
The inner pad is the absorbent part of the sanitary napkin.  It slips inside the pocket of the pad.  The beauty of this is that you can use as many inner pads as necessary for the rate of your flow.  During heavy times, or overnight, use 3 or 4 Inner pads.  For a lighter flow use only 1 Inner pad.  For a panty liner, use the outer pad without an inner pad.  The reason you use several layers instead of 1 very thick layer is because several thinner layers are easier to wash and have a shorter drying time.  Additionally, the many exterior surfaces of the pad layers makes them more absorbent than a single thick pad would be. 

For the inner pad you want to cut at least 3 layers, maybe 4, depending on the thickness of your fabric.  Use the same pattern for all of the layers. Use flannel for the 2 exterior layers of the inner pad.  Use 1 or 2 layers of flannel or terry cloth, cotton quilt batting or another absorbent material for the interior layers of the inner pad.  I used old flannel shirts, a flannel baby blanket and an old towel for my fabric.  The towel was ripped and had a few holes.  I used it as the interior layer of my inner pads.  The flannel baby blanket was the exterior of the inner pads, and the flannel shirt was the outer pad, the part with wings.

After cutting out your layers for the inner pad stack them neatly.  Zigzag stitch around the edges twice.  Trim the edges if desired.  I used dark thread in the picture so you could see it against the light flannel.  Make 2 of these inner pads for each outer pad.  They are very easy to cut and stitch, so you may want to make a few extras for heavy days.

After completing each part of the pad, slip the inner pad inside the pocket of the outer pad.  Pin it in place and see how it feels.  You will be surprised at how comfortable it is. 

Washing and Maintenance
When you make your own pads you have to wash them instead of tossing them into the garbage.¬† Keep a small bucket of water with a lid in the bathroom, preferably out of the reach of children and pets.¬† Add a spoonful of vinegar if desired.¬† Remove the inner pad from the outer pad.¬† Soak the used pads in the bucket of water.¬† Drain the water into the toilet before washing the pads.¬† The water can also be used to water house plants because they like all the extra vitamins and minerals. Make sure you use cold water so that the stains will come out.¬† I wash every morning.¬† Some women stash all of the used pads in a pillowcase or plastic bag and wash them all at once when their period is over.¬† I don’t do this because I have a washer in the house and I find it more sanitary to wash them every day.¬† They can drip dry or machine dry.

If you do not have a washing machine, then they may be washed by hand.¬† Run cold water over them in the bathtub to remove most of the blood.¬† Place the pads in a medium bucket or tub.¬† Add a little soap and cold water.¬† Using a clean plunger, plunge the pads until they are as clean as you can get them.¬† Plunge for a good 10 minutes for the best results.¬† Rinse the pads well and squeeze them dry.¬† Hang each pad by it’s own clothespin and they should dry pretty fast, even in the winter.¬†

If you like, you can iron the pads, but do not use starch on them.  Be careful not to use fabric softener either because it will make them less absorbent.

A No-Sew Alternative
If your sewing skills are lacking, or you simply do not want to go through the trouble of sewing your own pads you can try this instead.¬† Purchase absorbent terry-cloth dishtowels.¬† Wash them before using.¬† Fold them into rectangles about 3 or 4-inches by 10 or 12 inches.¬† Use safety pins to pin them into your underwear at both narrow ends (the front and the back).¬† These are a bit bulkier than home-sewn pads.¬† They are quite comfortable though, and are a legitimate alternative.¬† They may be washed the same as home-sewn pads.¬† I’ve also seen washcloths recommended.¬† Fold them into thirds, or quarters (long ways) and fit them into your underwear.¬† Apparently they stay in place without pinning because of the friction between the terry-cloth and underwear.¬† For heavier flows fold together 2 or more wash cloths.

 

About Fabrics
When I made these, I used fabrics I already had in the house.¬† You may purchase new fabric instead if you like.¬† Use a sturdy double-napped flannel if you go this route.¬† It will last the longest and give you the best results.¬† Cotton quilt batting is very nice filler, but you can also use additional flannel, which is less expensive. Wash everything before cutting or sewing.¬† Flannel will shrink.¬† After sewing, wash the pads again before using.¬† This helps them hold their shape better.¬† Men’s flannel shirts and flannel baby blankets make excellent flannel for your own menstrual pads.¬† They can sometimes be found for 25¬Ę or 50¬Ę a piece at yard sales, which makes pads very cheap to sew at home.¬†¬† Brightly colored fabric is less likely to show stains than solid colored or light fabric is.¬† I prefer to use patterns and dark colors for this reason.

About the Pattern
I created this pattern free hand after measuring commercially available, disposable pads.  My pattern is a little bit wider and longer than some patterns available on the Internet.  This is to accommodate the average woman, who is a size 14 or larger.  Standard pads and liners are created for a size-6 woman.  Pads made from this pattern are less likely to leak because they are large enough to fit properly.  If you are a smaller woman, or prefer slightly smaller pads, there are several other patterns available online.  You will find them linked below.  Note:  Some of the sites may refer to ideas you do not agree with.  Please overlook anything you find offensive and focus on the useful information instead.

 

Cloth Menstrual Pads Main Page
Patterns & Instructions

Born to Love
(HM Tampon Alternative)

One Woman
Practical Information

Natural Choices
The Cloth Menstrual Pad
Many links with lots of information

Cloth Menstrual Pads 
by Debi Elrod
Patterns & Instructions

Instructions for Cloth Menstrual Pads
Patterns & Instructions

Many Moons Menstrual Pads
Patterns & Instructions

Frugal Baby Pattern
Scroll down to see information on making your own sanitary pads

Museum of Menstruation or MUM
www.mum.org
Everythign you ever wanted to know about the history of menstruation.  Fascinating!

 

Okay, But EEEwww . . .

I’ll admit, many people have this reaction the first time they consider homemade pads.¬† It¬†is¬†weird.¬† We never see anything about it on television so that’s the first sign that it’s NOT socially acceptable.¬† Sewing and using homemade pads seems like something that only weird-os and freaks do, probably off in the woods somewhere, or maybe a nice cave in the wilderness where they can commune with nature and get in touch with the moon.¬† Nice women would never use homemade pads.¬† After all, your hands get wet and you have to touch your own body fluids which is kinda gross.¬† Plus you have that icky bucket in the bathroom so everyone knows that you’re up to something sneaky.¬† The whole idea is enough to make some women vomit and make some men run for cover in a sweaty, testosterone filled locker room.¬†

Believe me, I sympathize.¬† I had to get used to the idea before I became a convert.¬† For some women the conversion process happens overnight.¬† For others of us, it takes time.¬† We have to go slow, talk it over with other women, learn a lot more about it, and try it secretly to see if it really does work (it does).¬† If we have always hated pads, then homemade ones may seem like an even more uncomfortable way of dealing with a monthly necessity.¬† Everyone may say cloth pads are more comfortable, but just because it works for them, doesn’t mean it will be the same for us.¬† Besides, the bucket in the bathroom is just tooooo gross.¬† And what if the husband sees them and laughs at them or thinks that we’ve lost our minds.¬† What if the mother in law visits and sees the bucket and we have to explain it to her, or a visiting preacher’s wife, or worse yet, the Preacher?!!!¬† Gee whiz, it all becomes such a statement, and honestly, this is not the type of statement that most of us want to make to the world.

Relax.¬† Take a deep breath.¬† It is less weird than it seems at first glance.¬† Think about women from the past.¬† Our hearty ancestors who pioneered this country; while they rode their covered wagons west, what did they use every month?¬† What did Native American women use back when they owned the continent?¬† What about Eve and her daughters?¬† What did Sarah use?¬† Well, Sarah was barren, so maybe she didn’t need them.¬† But what about other women in the bible? Give it some deep thought. Queens and peasants, Pilgrims and Puritans, they all have one thing in common.¬† They had to use something to catch their monthly flow.¬† If you visit the¬†Museum of Menstruation, you’ll discover all types of articles that inventive women have used over the years. Absorbent sea sponges and baby socks have been used as tampons.¬† Animal fur, dried plant fibers, and various types of cloth have been used for pads.¬†

The truth of the matter is that cloth pads are not weird.  Disposable ones are.  Disposable pads and tampons have been commonplace for less than 50 years.  This means that pretty much all of the women who are currently menstruating have only been exposed to disposable choices for their monthlies.  Pads or tampons seem to be the only option.  This is very much a comment on our current society.  We use everything once and then toss it away.  Disposable feminine hygiene products are a big scam perpetrated by manufacturers who want to keep us on a leash so we have to keep buying their products.  They are making as much as TEN to TWENTY Thousand dollars per woman over her lifetime.  If you think of the millions of women in the USA alone, the profits are staggering! 

At heart, I am a rebel.¬† One of my goals in life is to be dependant upon as few manufactured products as possible.¬† My life and my money are more valuable than that.¬† My freedom is more valuable than that.¬† I will not give myself over to disposable pads if there is a free or cheap alternative that gives ME control over my budget and my body.¬† Modern consumerism is a crock.¬† It is an illusion that makes us feel like we have a semblance of power over our lives, but really it’s just newspeak for letting commercialism and it’s attending obsessions consume¬†us.¬†Extricating ourselves from consumerism is frightfully difficult.¬† The strings and layers it encompasses are sneaky little buggers that are hidden in all aspects of our lives.¬† One of the ways that we can achieve more personal freedom and attain genuine control over our circumstances is to snip those strings every time we find a self-sufficient alternative.¬† For me, this means turning to cloth pads exclusively.¬†

I would rather get my hands wet than give Corporate America one more ounce of control over my budget or even more importantly, my body.  There are so many things I have to buy that when I find something I can make for myself, it is reason for rejoicing. 

Which brings us back to that bucket.¬† An ice cream bucket with a lid works great.¬† I keep mine under the bathroom sink so it’s not a topic of conversation.¬† Most women keep their disposable products in the bathroom, and the bucket is the same thing.¬† Stash it in a private place and don’t give it a second thought.¬† When I drain the bucket in the mornings, I do it in the bathroom while I’m already in there and no one is the wiser.¬† As I start the first load of laundry for the day, I dump the rinsed pads in there and they wash up with whatever else is in the laundry.¬† The wet pads cannot contaminate the other clothes in the washer.¬† Dirty clothes are dirty clothes.¬† Mud, dust, grime, dishcloths that have been used on bloody noses, rags used to wipe up the floor, it all comes out in the wash.¬† The clothes in the washer are getting clean and one type of dirt will not give cooties to another type of dirt.¬† After the washer has run it’s cycle, all the laundry is clean and ready to start its life anew, sort of a fabric version of baptism.¬†

I live in a house with boys.¬† They are blissfully unconscious of what the bucket is for.¬† They don’t even ask.¬† When they help fold the laundry, they just put the clean pads in the “Mommy Pile” and assume it is part of the world of women that they don’t want to know about.¬† When the boys were younger, and I had to wash my pads by hand with a clean plunger, I did it in the bathroom as part of normal, daily chores.¬† They had no idea and no care what I was doing in there.¬† I could have been cleaning the tub or the sink or the toilet as far as they were concerned.¬† It was all the same thing to them.¬† Now that they are older, and one is a teenager, they have chosen blissful ignorance about my pads.¬† Sometimes I have dried them by hanging them individually on a string strung up in the shower.¬† I close the shower curtain and the boys ignore them completely, the same way they ignore my bras and frillies when I hang them up to dry.¬† Fred doesn’t even notice the pads anymore, or if he does, they are just a normal part of married life.¬† He is married to a woman, and therefore there are feminine details he must get used to and accommodate.¬†

When I must travel a lot during my period, I bring a few plastic zipper bags to store any used ones until I get a chance to wash them.¬† In hotels they are easily washed by hand and dried by laying them over the tub, or for the more adventurous, by laying them over the heater in the room.¬† Fresh pads can be stored in zipper bags and used as needed.¬† Once we grow accustomed to the idea of using cloth pads, it seems like such a normal part of life, that the details become irrelevant.¬† The details of brushing our teeth or washing our hair are mundane.¬† No one is interested in them and we do them without a second thought.¬† Cloth pads are the same way.¬† Once we get into the cloth pad zone, it becomes abundantly clear that they are the best solution available.¬† Our first thought may be “Ewww!” but our final thought is “Aaahhh!”

 

The Story Of The Woman With The Issue Of Blood
Mark 5:25-34
(25)  And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
(26)  And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
(27)  When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
(28)  For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
(29)  And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
(30)  And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
(31)  And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
(32)  And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
(33)  But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
(34)  And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

This article may be copied or linked to as desired.¬†Please include a link back to hillbillyhousewife.com.¬† The patterns I made are placed firmly in the public domain.¬† They are not copyrighted and can be used however you see fit, even to sew and sell in your own home business.¬† ¬† –Maggie

From a Sarajevo War Survivor:


Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war Рdeath of parents and friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

1. Stockpiling helps. but you never know how long trouble will last, so locate near renewable food sources.

2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.

3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war¬†quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold’s.

4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity – it’s the easiest to¬†do without (unless you’re in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)

5.¬†Canned foods¬†are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without¬†heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy – it makes a lot of¬†the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs¬†enough heat to “warm”, not to cook. It’s cheap too, especially if you buy it in¬†bulk.

6. Bring some books – escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more¬†valuable as the war continues. Sure, it’s great to have a lot of survival¬†guides, but you’ll figure most of that out on your own anyway – trust me, you’ll¬†have a lot of time on your hands.

7. The feeling that you’re human can fade pretty fast. I can’t tell you how many¬†people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of¬†toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to¬†lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.

8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches

¬†Sources: Taken from an e-mail many years before this website existed and my sources didn’t matter. Sorry folks, but it is still a good list. ūüôā