May Bulk Orders

(This is a sneak peek- bulk order on solar things still to come)

Sprouts

Wow Ladies,

I have spent many, many hours finding the best prices for sprouts that I have EVER seen. (For certified organic sprouts- I found some cheaper from farmer Jo’s backyard, but figured they wouldn’t be the best bet.)

After our sprouting class, we decided that we would offer 4 types of seeds just to keep it simple. We have HUGE minimums to get them at these prices, so please, offer this to your families, friends and wards. I will keep this sale going through May 17th. Our price is in green. (Prices do not include tax, and will have a S&H fee because I get to weigh and bag them all. 🙂 )


  • Alaskan Green Pea (200 lb. min.)

Wholesale $1.65 a pound, Retail: $5.86 a pound

These peas when spouted, taste like fresh peas in a pod! Can you imagine having these in the winter months when there isn’t any other fresh produce? Yummy! They take about 2-3 days to sprout. Delicious on salads or even as a snack! If you aren’t a sprouter, these peas will make you want to be!

 

  • Black Oil Sunflower (200 lb. min.)

Wholesale: $3.25, Retail: $6.84

These are black-shelled sunflower seeds and must be sprouted in dirt. Not only are they tasty, but beautiful to watch growing in your kitchen. They are VERY expensive to buy sprouted, and just pennies to sprout yourself. Good on salads, soups, wraps and as a snack. Yummy!

 

  • Chia- with (50 lb. minimum)

Wholesale $5.00 a pound, Retail: $12.00-$36.00 a pound!!!!

These seeds are #6 on Rebecca Lee’s list of things she couldn’t do without. She calls them “Mother Earth’s Most Powerful Super-Grain” because they are perfectly loaded with Omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. (Brain food). The chia seed is also able to hold 12 times it’s weight in water and is great for endurance, muscle and tissue building. It can be used in smoothies, cereal, salads etc. Eaten whole and raw, 1 Tablespoon can sustain an average person for up to 8 days!!!!  (Read  Rebecca Lee’s information regarding the chia seed. It is worth reading.)

 

  • Mixture of yummy sprouts in a 5-gallon bucket (no minimum)

(Adzuki, Mung, Lentils, Pea, Tricale, Wheat and Fenugreek all in diatomaceous earth.)

Wholesale $100.00, Retail $150.00.

This is a different mixture than the bucket I sold last year, as well as from a different supplier. It has more variety of seeds inside. I think that this is a child friendly mixture because it has some bigger seeds. (My little kids like finger food.)  Great in stir fry, on salads, sandwiches or as a salad itself. Really yummy! (A 5 gallon bucket of seeds is a 1 person, 1-year supply.)

The shelf life on any seeds (sprouting or garden seeds included) depends on where they are stored and what the conditions are there. As with all seeds, they are alive and need oxygen to stay that way. In a cool dark place, they can last up to 30 years, although hopefully you will sprout and rotate your seeds. You can live off of sprouts just like Daniel did in the bible and maintain good health and stamina.

 

If you are interested in ordering, please e-mail  your order to swissmiss1010@yahoo.com.  I will e-mail back your total, then you can mail or bring me your money. All money must be received before I will place your order.

Top 10 Reasons to Sprout

1. Only Pennies Per Serving- One tablespoon of seeds will fill a quart jar with several ounces of sprouts. A 4-ounce package will yield several pounds.

2. Simple and Easy- It take less than a minute per day to grow and prepare sprouts. Sprouts will grow nearly anywhere indoors, in any season. Sprouts require very little space and travel well. They are the ideal vegetables for campers, boaters and RVers. Complete, easy-to-follow instructions are provided in the sprouting kits, on the seed package labels and in the Handy Pantry’s book, Sprouting for Health in the new millennium.

3. Fresh and Fast- This “garden in your kitchen” grows very fast, in any kind of weather. No digging, planting, weeding, pests or chemicals involved. And there’s no long wait, as in seasonal outdoor gardens. Just 3 to 7 days to a bountiful, nutrition-packed harvest. When stored in your refrigerator, they will stay fresh for days- even weeks if rinsed properly.

4. Toxin-free Food-Sprouts are as sweet and pure as Nature intended food to be. The Handy Pantry supplies only natural, untreated seeds, with up to 99% rates of germination, grown especially for sprouting. Almost everything we carry is now organic.

5. Complete Foods-Sprouts are real health food. They are full of life- as you will see in how fast and luxuriously they grow. The right combination of sprouts contains everything needed for life and health. All their many nutritional elements are easily assimilated and readily available to your body. When home-grown, you know they are pure, and you can enjoy them at the peak of their perfection.

6. Tasty and Delicious-Bursting with flavor, you may be surprised how truly delectable they are. Enjoy them in salads, on sandwiches, stir-fried, steamed, or even baked in wholesome, home-made breads. You will find several recipe ideas in our book, Sprouting for Health in the 90’s. Check out our sprout recipes!

7. Highly Nutritious-Several contain more protein than cooked meat-at a tiny fraction of the cost. The presence and balance of amino acids makes this protein more digestible. All sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and fiber. When exposed to light, several become rich in chlorophyll. For specific nutritional qualities of each, see Sprouting for Health in the 90’s.

8. Low in Calories / Low Fat-One fully-packed cup of alfalfa sprouts contains only 16 calories. These are simple sugars for quick energy. Sprouts contain no cholesterol and provide several essential fatty acids. Sprouts are the perfect weight-loss and body-purification food for the 90’s.

9. Help Detox your Body-Chlorophyll helps cleanse and oxygenate the blood. Enzymes aid in the digestion and assimilation of nutrients, and contribute to the body’s life force. Fiber aids elimination and their lecithin helps the body get rid of cholesterol. A raw food diet is one of the best ways to detox your body.

10. Build your Immune System- Antioxidants protect you from radiation and toxic chemicals. They help the body to cleanse, detox, rebuild and heal itself. Sprouts are rich in antioxidants and help protect you from the health scourge of the 90’s- toxic build-up. Antioxidant enzymes are especially important, because they are essential for the proper function of the immune system. Sprouts are one of the best sources for these important nutrients.

 

List via Wheatgrasskits.com

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH

Question:

What is DIATOMACEOUS EARTH?

Answer:

Diatomaceous Earth (organic shell flour) is good for keeping seeds dry and preventing insect infestation. This allows us to leave the oxygen in the buckets of seed without worrying about insects. Removing the oxygen from the buckets will reduce the shelf life of the seed causing them not to sprout. If you are storing seed, we recommend that you open the buckets periodically (once or twice a year) to allow them to be aerated. You can pour them from one bucket to another.

Diatomaceous Earth washes off the seeds when they are soaked and rinsed. When used on grains, it is safe to eat, so you can leave it on when grinding grain into flour or cracking it for cereal. You never know it is there.

Why’s and Hows of Sprouting

 

Growing and Using Sprouts

 

Sprouts are a great benefit to good health because it provides vitamins, protein, minerals, live enzymes, and fiber to your diet.  Typical foods set aside for storage are traditionally low or nonexistent in vitamins and minerals.  They contain few calories if any and no cholesterol.   

Varieties of seeds:  Alfalfa, radish, broccoli, adzuki bean, garbanzo, lentil, mung, soy, whole green peas, wheat, rye, kamut, triticale, buckwheat, and spelt are only a few.  Many mixes are also available on the market.   Do not eat tomato or potato sprouts as they are poisonous.

 

Sprouts nutrition: Sprouts are great to eat for everyday living and especially in an emergency situation.  They provide nutrition needed that is lacking in cooked seeds.  Little has been published on nutrition facts of sprouting seeds but what have been researched shows sprouts are a high source of vitamins A, B, B complex, C, D, and E, They also contain minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus.  Alfalfa sprouts can add up to 35% of your protein to a diet.  Many sprouts are a means of getting fiber in your diet.

How to sprout:  Sprouts are easy to produce and require no special equipment or knowledge.  There are several sprouters offered on the market that are easy to use.  The important thing to remember is that seeds need to be kept moist, warm, and dark.  A simple jar with cheese cloth over the top and fastened with an elastic will work. 

Seed amounts to use per quart jar:

  • 2 Tablespoons: Alfalfa, radish, clover, cabbage.
  • ½ cup seeds: Wheat, All Beans, Rye, Oats, Rice, Sunflower, Lentil, Hulled Buckwheat, and Garbanzo Beans.

Smaller seeds will not expand as much as larger seeds.  Some may soak up to 2-3 times heir dry volume in water.

Seeds need to soak 6-12 hours.   Place seeds in container or jar and cover with water.  Allow enough room to expand 3-4 times original volume.  Do not cover the container.   Drain the water and rinse seed.  Drain again.  You can use a thin cloth, cheese cloth, nylon stocking to fasten around the opening of the jar.  Secure it by using an elastic or bottle ring.  Place in a dark, warm place with the bottle upside down and elevated so excess water can drip out. Of course you need to put something under the bottle to catch the dripping water. Use a lid that permits air to move in and out of the jar. After the seeds have stopped draining, if you are sprouting very small seeds like alfalfa, cabbage or radish seeds, roll the bottle, coating the outer wall of the bottle with seeds. Leave the bottle on its side in the dark. Room temperature is best for growing sprouts, around 70 degrees F. Rinse the seeds twice a day, being sure to drain them well. (Do not neglect to rinse them. They will sour and be useless.)   

Length of time for sprouting:   Large seeds will sprout within two days and will be ready to eat.  Smaller seeds will take 3-5 days.  These bigger seeds such as beans, lentils, and wheat will have a white tail sprouting from the end of the seed.  They will be mild and tender.  Place in refrigerator to keep from maturing too quickly and preserver their flavor.  Smaller seeds such as alfalfa, radish and broccoli should be allowed to grow longer.  If the root becomes to long you may pinch it off before eating. 

For sprouts you are going to cook, let the sprout grow only as long as the seed. For sprouts you will eat raw (except wheat) let them grow up to 2-3 inches. Expose mature alfalfa, wheatgrass, buckwheat or sunflower sprouts to indirect sunlight for 4-5 hours. As they turn dark green their vitamin A content dramatically increases. (This is an important step, for if you don’t, your sprouts will have only about 1 percent of this vitamin’s RDA. Don’t expose bean sprouts to sunlight as this will give them an unpleasant bitter taste.) When your sprouts have grown to the desired length, rinse them again, and then put them in a sealed container with something to absorb the water on the bottom and store them in the refrigerator.

Sprouting adzuki and mung beans under pressure

These beans require a different method for sprouting to ensure large sprouts.  Place soaked beans in a small colander inside another container. Place several layers of burlap over the top of the seeds, and then place a 3-5 pound bag of marbles or small stones on top of this. Water every two or three hours to ensure adequate moisture (this prevents the root systems from over developing in their search for water). Keep them in the dark at all times or they will turn bitter as they begin to green. When they are 2 to 3 inches long, remove them from the colander and refrigerate.

 

Using your sprouts:

After sprouts reach their peak, they will begin to loose some of their flavor and nutrition values.  Different sprouts have different shelf life.  Storing in a refrigerator will help lengthen time.  Sprouts will last 2-6 weeks if kept cool. By growing small amounts at different times you will ensure you always have sprouts ready to use and eat.

Seeds with a fuzzy moldy appearance may only be the tiny root hairs on the stem.  Carefully look at the sprouts before discarding them.  You should not get mold unless you are not rinsing you sprouts twice a day.

Cook sprouted beans using the same recipes you normally use. Sprouted beans cook in 2/3rds the time of unsprouted beans. Heat kills a percentage of the vitamins and enzymes gained by sprouting, so simmer or steam slowly depending on your recipe, and don’t cook longer than necessary.

You can sprout a mixture of seeds to make great green salads all by themselves. You can also use raw sprouts in just about anything:

  • Blended in drinks.
  • Added to bean or lettuce salads.
  • Mixed with already cooked breakfast cereals.
  • Wrapped in tortilla or taco shells and smothered in your favorite sauce.
  • Added to soups and stews just before eating.
  • Sprout filled Won Tons.
  • Put into sandwiches.

Raw sprouts are so versatile that they can also be thrown into just about anything then cooked, such as:

  • Breads and biscuits.
  • Soups.
  • Pancakes.
  • Eggs and omelets.
  • Oatmeal or cracked wheat.
  • Sauces.
  • Mexican or Chinese foods.
  • Potato Patties.
  • Casseroles.
  • Dips.
  • Meatloaf.
  • Any vegetable.
  • Stir fried all by themselves.
  • Even desserts. Really, the sky’s the limit.

 

Helpful hints:

When cooking sprouts, it is better to steam or stir fry them than to boil them and discard the water. You only lose 20-30 percent of the vitamin C compared to 60 percent.  Black beans, pinto beans, soy beans, and other large beans are best cooked before eating.  They are hard to digest when eaten raw. Mung beans are the most popular in Chinese cooking. 

When sprouting grains some of the quickest sprouted are the hulled seeds.  Another name for hulled is groats which simply means that the seed has been hulled.    Buckwheat, barley, and oats are very popular.  Quinoa is the quickest of all sprouts as it only takes 30 minutes to loose its outer shell.  It is used in place of rice in many dishes and has great nutrition. Other grains for sprouting are wheat, rye, amaranth, and kamut.

Storing your sprout seeds:

It is suggested that if you plan to get all your vitamins from sprouts alone, that you store up to 125 lbs of a variety of seeds per year per person. If you have other sources for your vitamins, it is suggested you have 30 lbs of seeds set aside for sprouts to be eaten raw, and 30 lbs of sprouts intended to be cooked per year per person.

Many specialty companies exist that deal exclusively in sprout seed. Sometimes this proves to be more costly.  Before purchasing large amounts of storage seed intended for sprouting, purchase a small amount and test it to see if it sprouts well.

Sprouting seeds of vegetables will store up to 3-5 years if it is stored in a cool (at least 60-65 degrees F) dry place. If you are storing large seeds, it may be packed in containers to keep clear of bugs but do not nitrogen flush as they will not sprout.   Seeds may last up to 10-15 years stored in this way.  It would be helpful to ensure that you seeds are stirred occasionally to introduce oxygen back into them.  As your seeds get old they will take longer to sprout, and you will progressively get more seeds that won’t sprout. The key again is rotate, rotate, rotate.

Use several different kinds of sprouts to find what you like before purchasing a large quantity of seed. Do not purchase seeds intended for anything except human consumption. Many seeds processed by farmers and gardeners for planting have been treated with fungicide and or insecticide agents and are very poisonous. These seeds are usually, but not always dyed red. If in doubt, ask.

Other web sites with good information on sprouts include: 

www.lifesprouts.com

http://chetday.com/sprouts.html

www.sproutpeople.com

 

References: 
Information was taken from Rita Bingham’s book-Natural Meals in Minutes as well as from the website sproutpeople.com and life sprouts.com. 

Sprout/Pulse Recipes

HOW TO MAKE PULSE:

        Soak grain in water eight hours.  Rinse several times then drain.  Sprout for 24 hours, rinsing several times, then add other ingredients.  Store in fridge for up to a week. 

            These recipes can be made entirely from food storage, and without cooking!

You will then get the added benefit of live enzymes found only in uncooked grains, fruits and vegetables.


PECAN CASSEROLE

  •          2 C. wheat  (soak 8 hrs., sprout 24 hrs.)
  •          1 ½  sliced pecans (soak 8 hours)
  •          ¼ of a minced onion
  •           1 C. chopped mushrooms
  •           1 C. chopped tomato (or used dried tomatoes, reconstituted)
  •           1 C. fresh corn, or frozen
  •           1 tsp. savory
  •           1 tsp. basil
  •           ½ tsp. salt
  •           Can add peppers or celery.

 

FRUIT NUT PULSE

  •          3 C. grain (1 each wheat, oats, barley, (soak 8 hrs., sprout 24 hrs.)
  •             ½ C. almonds, soak 8 hours, drain
  •             ½ C. dried apricots (soak 4 hours, save liquid) or use fresh
  •             ½ C. raisens
  •             6 dates, chopped
  •             ½ C. cashews or other nuts  (soaked 4 hours)
  •             ¼ C. maple syrup
  •             ½ t. salt

 

APPLE OAT PULSE

            2 C. oat groats   (soak 8 hrs., sprout 24 hrs.)

            2.C. buckwheat   (soak 8 hrs., sprout 24 hrs.)

            3 C. dried apples   ( soak 4 hours) can use fresh

            1. C. raisins

            1. C. pecans, walnuts, or any nuts, raw, and soaked 4-8 hours.

            2 tsp. cinnamon

            ½ c. maple syrup or honey

            ½ tsp. salt

Mix and enjoy!   Can be stored in fridge for up to a week.


LIVE GRANOLA

  •          1 C. buckwheat
  •          1 C.sunflower seeds
  •          ½ C. flax seeds
  •          ½ C. almonds or other nuts  (soaked 4-6 hours)

Mix in 2 qt. jar, soak 8 hours, rinse well, drain, sprout 24 hours rinsing several time.

This is delicious eaten fresh, with a little honey or raw Sucanat (dehydrated cane juice) or fresh fruit.  It can be dried till crispy, then add dried fruit, raisins, dates or apples. 

 

SWEDISH LIMPA PULSA

  •          2 C. kamut   (soak 8 hours, rinse drain, sprout 24 hours.)
  •             1 C. rye          (same)
  •             1 T. fennel seed
  •             1 T. caraway seed
  •             2 C. dried apples (reconstituted, fresh apples can be used)
  •             1 C. sunflower seeds (soaked 8 hours, drain)
  •             1 C. dates (chopped) or raisins
  •             1 zest from one orange
  •             ¼ C. carob powder
  •             ¼ t. salt

Mix, and enjoy!  Can be stored in fridge for up to a week. 

 

GRANOLA’S BEST

  •             6 C. oatmeal
  •             1 C. coconut (unsweetened)
  •             1/3 C. Sesame seeds
  •             ¼ C. sunflower seeds (soaked for 4 hours)
  •             ¼ C. pumpkin seeds (soaked for 4 hours)
  •             1 C. slivered almonds or walnuts

Mix well, then add:

  •             ½ C. olive oil
  •             1/3 C. honey or agave
  •             2 t. vanilla

Mix together, and stir into dry ingredients.  Place on dehydrator sheets, or in oven (lowest setting) for several hours.  Enjoy!

 Recipes via Andra Coccimiglo

 

           

 

Sprout Cookie

  • 1 cup raisins, dates or figs or a combination
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup sprouted wheat
  • 1 cup nuts, pecans, walnuts, or your choice

Grind the above in a food grinder.  Mix well. Shape the size of marbles.  Roll in fine coconut. Refrigerate. 

 

Recipe via Judith Kugath

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.

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  🙂

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

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!) 🙂

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, 🙂 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’t 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¢ or 50¢ 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

Gardening Class Reminder

Yesterday, while I was outside, the goats were bleating, the chicks were peeping and guess what? The winter doldrums were lifted from me and bottled up energy just busted out all over! I saw my darling purple crocuses blooming their pretty little faces off, the lime green grass blades are reaching up out of their winter graves, and the seed catalogues were screaming “Come and get me!” “Oh my gosh”, with such excitement in the air, I ran over to the roto-tiller and was ready to “start up my engines!” Unfortunately, it is literally busted, so I had to borrow Tina Curzon’s pruning sheers and give our orchard a haircut! “Just wait until Monday I thought, I’ll put Siggy to work and we’ll have our seedlings planted before our gardening class this Thursday!” (Honestly, I can hardly wait to go play in the dirt again!)

Yippy, it is our gardening class this Thursday at 10:00 here at my house!

Hopefully, we have all made it through the ward-winter-bog that we have so lovingly shared with one another, (that is a true Zion community that loves and serves each other so much, that we can share our own love-pandemic with everyone in just 3 hours or less on just one day of the week. 🙂 )

Anyway, back to business, please come to Rebekah Griffins class on organic gardening, and be prepared to learn the greatest information ever from our very own serious, expert organic gardener! Hopefully, you too, can share your own experiences and tips with us, because I know that there are many gardeners and closet gardeners out there with many tricks up your sleeves that we are wanting/needing to know. (Becky Juchau, RaCail Hayes, Heidi & Judy Conover and Karen Gardener- just to name a few.)

See you on Thursday- hopefully we will have good weather that day. Then you are welcome to bring your little kiddies to play in the backyard for our one our class.

Everyone is welcome 🙂

P.S. Someone who ordered the cookbooks from the bulk buy suggested that they would also buy their Mother’s day and birthday presents in theses cookbooks this year. I must admit, they are the difference between delicious food, and “food storage” meals, which can be really awful. (Trust me, I have made made of those too.) I thought she had an excellent idea, so I am passing it on to you. 🙂