About the Author

Marissa Ames

Editor of Goat Journal and Backyard Poultry magazines, Marissa Ames runs a small homestead in Fallon, Nevada, where she focuses on saving and propagating rare breeds of goats and garden vegetables. She and her husband, Russ, travel to Africa where they serve as agricultural advisors for the nonprofit I Am Zambia. She spends her free time eating lunch.
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Articles by Marissa Ames

How to Make Shea Butter Soap Three Ways
March 20, 2021 · · Soapmaking

If you’ve already made soap from scratch, you know how to make shea butter soap. Just add shea butter, then alter the other oils for proper saponification, and you have a moisturizing and luxurious bar.

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Why the Ball Canning Book is My #1 Guide to Safe Food Preservation

Add to Favorites What’s the best food preservation guide to buy? The Ball canning book is my most trusted source. And here’s why:  The Ball Brothers started making jars in …

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Garden Hoops: Low Tunnels for Frost and Insect Protection
March 12, 2021 · · Growing

Add to Favorites When you’re itching to get your hands dirty, garden hoops can extend the season enough to avoid disaster. Midway between full-sized greenhouses and the gamble of throwing …

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Self-Watering Planters: DIY Containers to Combat Drought
March 4, 2021 · · Growing

What holds five gallons of soil, uses 80% less water and costs less than a dollar? Self-watering planters! DIY instructions are simple and most materials can be recycled.

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How to Make Green Soap: An Excursion Through Time
February 19, 2021 · · Soapmaking

Ancient Syrians knew how to make green soap used by Queens Cleopatra of Egypt and Zenobia of Syria. It’s a timeless method that abounds today.

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Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Soap’s Dirty Secrets
January 23, 2021 · · Soapmaking

Sodium laurel sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. What do those terms mean? And will they harm you or the environment?

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A Guide to Growing Vegetables in Pots and Containers
January 23, 2021 · · Growing

How often have you strolled through a farmer’s market or eyed a friend’s fresh produce and wished you had your own garden? Perhaps you lack space.

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Early Spring Vegetables List: Don’t Wait on Winter Waning
January 13, 2021 · · Growing

The snow is melting and daytime temperatures are calling you outside. Leaf buds swell on trees and your hands long to feel the soil once again.

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Old-Fashioned Lard Soap Recipes, Then and Now
December 26, 2020 · · Soapmaking

Homesteaders cooked a lard soap recipe in kettles over fires. You can make it in your own kitchen.

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How to Make Bath Bombs: An Easy DIY Gift
December 20, 2020 · · Soapmaking

Often ball-shaped, bath bombs are dry, chalky, conglomerations that fizz and release fragrance when dropped in water. They’re sold as novelties, though additions like witch hazel and skin-friendly oils can add benefits.

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Kids and Soap: Homemade Arts and Crafts for The Holidays
December 11, 2020 · · Soapmaking

Winter holidays often involve cold weather, hot drinks, and homemade arts and crafts. It also means the kids are out of school for one to three weeks. What homemade arts and crafts can kids do, without risk of injury, that can also serve as holiday gifts?

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Eliminating Weevils in Flour and Rice
December 5, 2020 · · Canning & Kitchen

Their little legs wriggled on my spoon. How harmful could they be? Casting my eyes to each side, I watched for approaching family members as I dropped the little bugs in the sink and stirred the flour.

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How to Cook Venison and Elk: A Healthy Indulgence
November 30, 2020 · · Canning & Kitchen

Toward the end of the year, deer and elk seasons open. Avid hunters trek into the wilderness in search of wild game.

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Sprouting Seeds at Home for Winter Nutrition
November 6, 2020 · · Growing

Sprouting seeds at home has long been an easy and delicious way to gain nutrition when greens are scarce. You can do it for you or your chickens.

During the springtime and summer, sweet greens grow all over our yard in the forms of cultivated vegetables or simple grass and weeds

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Natural Ways to Get Rid of Mice
November 2, 2020 · · Homesteading

For the safest, most natural ways to get rid of mice, start with the most minimum impact and work up from there. I have a friend who insists on using only the level of protection necessary in a situation.

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