Monday, July 15, 2013

Whipporwill, Part One: Soaps and Salves

When I told my parents I was going to Berea, Kentucky to attend the Whipporwill Festival, they immediately said, "Your Grandmother loved Berea more than any place else in the world." I can see why.

There are a lot more words inside of me about how this landscape makes me feel, but I don't think they are quite done yet. Let's just look at the morning sun shining over these wooded hills for now.

The reason we were there, of course, was to learn! Here are the fine folks from Joe's Bars and Suds, demonstrating the finer points of making soap with goat's milk. Not only did I learn some great things about using milk in soap, but some truly exciting things about the goats themselves. Quote of the Class: "If a fence won't hold water, it won't hold a goat." Duly noted!

Here is the salve making process in action. Those vessels hold oil which has been infused with herbs, and beeswax (from the hive, granulated, and pellets) is being stirred into it. At room temperature the oil and wax combination is solid but will melt into your skin, allowing you to absorb the herb's medicinal qualities. Pretty cool!

First, allow me to say - do your research. Don't make medicines out of toxic or unidentified plants. Of course, you knew that. Moving On...

Another nice thing about salve is that, unlike medicines taken internally, dosage is not super critical. So, the infused oil doesn't need to be a particular strength, and you can keep slapping it on until you feel like you are sufficiently salved. It's nice to trust your intuition and to listen to your body, particularly where your health is concerned.

I've got pomace from soap making and a block of beeswax in my kitchen cabinet. I think some nice soothing salve may be in our future, because as usual I got a freakish sunburn - ironically, during this class.

Now, *I* don't feel like the sunburn is really that bad. It doesn't hurt, I just feel a little glowy and warm. But judging from the reactions of everyone from Leah to workshop facilitators to the server at the Bob Evans on the way home, I look horrifying. I just hate the feeling of sunblock, yuck! But I promised Leah I would get a large hat for future outings.

For this outing, we also bought some (clearance!) folding camp chairs. When you fold them down, they have a large pocket on the back and backpack straps, so you can carry not just your seat but everything else along with you. Genius! We refrained from the self inflating sleep mats for now. But I have decreed that if we go camping three times, we will buy them. Camping out was great, but I did sleep so very well on The Marshmallow last night. (That's our mattress, and it deserves the name.)

So check out HomeGrown HideAways. Maybe we'll see you there.

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