Organic Okanagan

My attempt at being more worldly, in the most ecological sense.

Earthship Biotecture - Radically Sustainable Buildings

Today is a dreamy day. Today I am dreaming about Earthships, and about having our own someday. My dad got Kevin and I very excited about this way of life, and we often think about how to make it a reality in the future.

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So, what is an Earthship?

I do not pretend to be an expert on Earthships, but this is how I see it. Earthships are sustainable homes that can be any size that are made out of tires, bottles, and cement that are completely self sufficient. All water, power, and energy/water for plants are collected and produced from the ship.
An Earthship can function in any climate, but sunny climates are best (to collect solar power). There is a large greenhouse at the front of the home that collects solar energy to heat the space year round, and the tires in the wall insulate the entire house perfectly. The roof collects water for plants, drinking, plumbing etc. There is a grey water system too. (Which is SO dreamy).

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The cost to build these homes is low, since most of the materials are recycled. You just have to know how to do it properly.

Another thing I love about this way of life is how important community is. Get a bunch of people who want to live this way and make a whole new community of Earthships in the Okanagan! That is my ultimate dream.

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If you want to learn more and get excited about these homes, go to www.earthship.com for videos, photos, instruction, and inspiration!

"… the Earthship is the epitome of sustainable design and construction.
No part of sustainable living has been ignored in this ingenious building.”

All photos from earthship.com

Calendula Eczema Salve

I have always wanted to make a salve for eczema. Being a care aide does such a number on my hands. I have to wash my hands about 50 times in 8 hours and my skin despises me for it. My friend Jaclyn introduced me to Calendula a few years ago, a flower that cures many skin ailments including eczema. So I decided to just go for it and bought some seeds. I planted them in the front yard where they get tons of sun and they flourished immediately. I was overwhelmed, actually, at how many were successful.
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They are such a beautiful flower.

When they were bright and perky I picked them and let them dry on cookie sheets or tea towels. 

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When they were completely dry I plucked the petals and put them in a jar. I later learned that you can just keep the full heads but I didn’t know this at the time. You want to make sure there is ZERO moisture before you put them in a jar because if there is any moisture left in the petals, they could go rancid. 

After I had enough petals I covered them in oil. I used Olive oil, which I regret because of the strong olive-y smell, but you can use Grapeseed oil or Almond oil or whatever really. Save the seeds for next year! They are such funny seeds, they look like little shriveled up worms.

I let my petals seep in the oil for a few months before I used the oil in the recipe. They were a beautiful pop of colour in the winter window. (I also infused Lavender over the winter season to make lavender oil).

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So here is the recipe. It is SO easy! My friend Lexi and I got together and made this effective and simple salve:

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8 oz Calendula infused oil
1.5 oz (grated) beeswax (I got a block of 100% organic Kelowna beeswax from Natures fare for $5 and used 1/3 of it)
0.5 oz shea butter
15-30 drops essential oils (I used lavender oil! Obvs.)

And that’s all! .

Place all ingredients except the essential oil in a small double boiler and melt them. Once they are all melted, remove from heat and add essential oils if you wish. You can leave them out if you don’t have any. 

Note: If the firmness of your salve is not completely what you wanted, add more oil to make it softer or more beeswax to make it harder and re-heat. 

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