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Recipes from DIY Housecleaner Foxfire.

June 22, 2011

DIY deodorant!

DIY your deodorant!

As requested by the masses, I am posting links to recipes used and distributed at our June Foxfire Friday on June 17, 2011.  Please feel free to contribute your own ideas!

And one other video recipe, made by the Urban Farming Guys – if you really want to make laundry detergent in bulk batches, here’s a 10-gallon, 20-cents/gallon recipe!


June Foxfire Friday: DIY Household Cleaners.

June 13, 2011

June 17th Foxfire Friday: DIY Household Cleaners and Personal Care Potluck. 6:00-8:00pm (note the time change!).  Join us to discuss creative ways to make laundry detergent, dish soap, window cleaner – and even items like deodorant, shampoo, etc. Bring your own recipes and learn from those who’ve been saving money be making their own. Workshop will be lead by a variety of folks – so bring recipes and ingredients and be prepared to swap.

Waco Time Bank.

June 8, 2011
Waco TimeBank Interest Meeting & Potluck

Friday, June 10, 2011
1815 Morrow Avenue
Waco, TX 76707
Bridgewater House
POTLUCK: Bring anything you want to share to consume.

What is a timebank?
Timebanks create matches between people who need things and others who can help meet those needs. No money is involved, and everyone’s hour is equal, which is one of the features that enabled Timebanks to receive an official IRS income tax exemption declaration so people on disability, social security, unemployment and other government benefits can participate without penalty.

The egalitarian nature of the system ensures that people will be able to purchase the services that they need without toiling endlessly for high priced services like in the market economy. People can also trade goods with the stipulation that their price be based on the amount of time involved in producing the goods and not their market value. Timebanks’ most successful application has been to provide a means for at-risk youth who have gone to court to do service for their community.

For example, suppose Janice develops websites and John wants one built, but has nothing that Janice presently needs. Using time credits, John can still get the website by giving Janice “credits” for the agreed price. Where does John get the time credits to give to Janice? He creates them. Just as banks create dollars to give to someone who requests a loan, John creates the time credits (by using his time helping someone else…like Leon in the picture above) to pay Janice for the website. Janice can then spend those credits when she buys something from anyone else in the system. When John creates credits to pay Janice, he requires himself to accept credits from someone in the system at some future time in payment for his own goods or services. In this way, by making a sale, he “redeems” the time credits that he originally issued.

May 27th Foxfire Friday: Canning and Preserving.

May 24, 2011

5-7pm. At Hope Fellowship – 1721 Sanger Ave. (the big green/gray house!) Learn how to preserve some basic foods – to extend all those lovely things you grow into seasons beyond their time. Mary will be demonstrating by canning wild mustang grapes for a lovely jam – and possibly show-casing some of her famous wild plum jam.  Led by Mary Hudson. Please RSVP your attendance to Bethel –

Please consider donating $5 to help the Urban Gardening Coalition continue our workshops into the future.  And bring something snacky to share with others – so we don’t all get cranky with edible anticipation!

Garlic Festival 2011

May 23, 2011

weeds and a wedding.

May 15, 2011

milk thistles and indian blankets are carpeting the roadway medians undisturbed hillsides.  after a spring with a dismal showing of bluebonnets, it’s nice to have some color in untended places.  the weather has peaked around 100 but is settling once more around 80 for days full of beautiful sunshine.  which has led to much urban foraging, wild-crafting, and wedding planning.  let me expound.

“a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond me” (fleet foxes – “helplessness blues”)

not only is this the bountiful season of wildflowers, but also the bountiful season of baylor dumpsters.  the time of year when capitalist cast-offs are at an all time high.  and seeing as i am now preparing to handcraft a new home with my soon-to-be husband (without many homely possessions besides an antique sewing machine and rocking chair – and a newly acquired fire pit) – we are greedily grabbing household goods.  with the help of some lovely friends.  to date we have acquired:  an ipod docking station/radio, towels, dish rack, dirt devil vaccuum, ironing board, mop, broom, bookshelf, lots of tazo tea, new clothing.

in addition to the collection of repurposed goods, i particularly enjoy the people we meet.  the parents who stare without staring, a wee bit disgusted.  the parents who approach us with gifts of pop tarts, ironing boards, baking sheets – feeling a tinge of guilt at the monstrosity of waste.  homeless folks on bicycles, collecting what they can to sell for scrap or eat later.  whole families (and this really brings joy to my heart) who are searching the dumpsters together.

“if i had an orchard, i’d work til i’m raw.  if i had an orchard, i’d work til i’m sore.”

backyard salvia.

i’ve been listening to too much fleet foxes these days.  which has been splendid.  and hurray for the riff-raff (thanks gabe).  splendid because in addition to dumpstering, i’ve been spending a good number of hours in the garden or just plain growing things.  this year, many of my tomatoes, peppers, herbs and flowers are in pots on my back porch – anticipating my move to our home (in what my neighbor calls the heart of the ghetto – two blocks from the two largest housing projects in waco).  i’m growing for general consumption but also for wedding-ness.

hopi ceremonial tobacco.

growing every color of tomato (jaune flamme, cherokee purple, large red cherry, black sea man, green grape).  some plants even survived over winter (small attempts to fukuoka-ize/re-wild/perennial-ize annuals).  and then there’s the hopi ceremonial tobacco – a christmas present for my betrothed.  planted in pots.  an experiment (smoke local). we’ll see what happens. . .

my backyard porch garden.

               in addition to growing food in my backyard (which also includes potato and garlic patches, and  fig and pomegranate trees) and front yard (a median of swiss chard, peppers, cilantro, eggplant, and one giant sunflower) – jonathan and i started growing a wedding patch out at the farm (where we’re getting married).  only averaging about 1-2 hours every other week of maintenance work.  thanks to great mulch and an old drip system donated by an old friend, watering (even in this texas drought) has been minimal. more tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, squash, collective farm woman melons (seed donated and saved by a local gardener), and sunberries.  we plan to preserve/can and freeze everything that ripens before july 9th.

our vegetables have the joy of sharing neighboring lots with friendly oinkers, jabbering away the day.  i have a secret hope that chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, whatever, run amok during the wedding.

beyond the dumpster-diving and growing of things, i’ve spent my life hating technology (two computer crashes in the last month) and filing IRS paperwork for non-profit-ness associated with the Urban Gardening Coalition (ie my day job).  to keep myself sane, i think happy thoughts, knit like a grandma hopped up on green tea, dream about the 1-acre lot that we’ll start converting to orchard/vegetable/berry production (in late summer), and soap-making for wedding favors.  thus crafted are: lavender, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, gardener’s grit and unscented beeswax and goat’s milk.

and now since it’s a sunday, i plan on sharing church emily dickinson-style with merryweather and esco (my other life partners) out in cameron park before making my final rounds of the baylor dumpsters.

Beyond the Backyard: Composting Workshop May 14.

May 10, 2011

Join us this Saturday – May 14, 2011 – for our our next Beyond the Backyard workshop, Composting Basics.  10:00am-12:00pm.  At the World Hunger Relief Farm.  The Heart of Texas Master Composters will be leading a hands-on workshop on both backyard composting and composting with worms.

Please RSVP your attendance to Bethel (  A suggested donation of $5 for your participation will ensure that the Urban Gardening Coalition can continue providing monthly gardening workshops for our community.