Monday, June 2, 2014

Homegrown Collective Review - May 2014

My, where has May gone?! The year is almost half over and I still catch myself dating my checks 2013. I didn't even realize my Homegrown Collective had shipped out until I saw it sitting pretty in the mailbox. Last month's project was on fermentation (read my review here) and in my opinion was a hit because C loves the homemade ketchup, and he doesn't even eat ketchup! So I have high expectations for this month's DIY project. Here's some info on Homegrown Collective's Greenbox:

What: Each Homegrown Collective Greenbox contains everything you need to make that month's DIY projects
When: Boxes ship toward the end of every month
Cost: $35.75 - $39/mo (depending on subscription length) + $9 shipping. 6- and 12-month plans have free shipping.
Fun Fact: Homegrown Collective encourages self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyles, so everything in each box is completely organic and can be done using things you might find around your own home!

May is all about herbal infusion. Like last month, the box came with everything you need to make several things: a foot scrub, a foot soak, herbal infused olive oil, and herbal infused vinegar.

The easiest and quickest to make is the foot soak and scrub. Just reading the instructions sounded relaxing. Rosemary & lemon are used for the soak. After you're done soaking, you can use the pumice stone to take off any rough skin and the recipe for an olive oil scrub to soften feet. I've never used a foot soak before, so it should be fun to pamper myself a bit.

Everything needed to make the foot soak and scrub

The box included two cruets for each olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Rather than using straight oil or vinegar on food, why not add a little taste by infusing it with some herbs? The general process is pretty simple. The herbs are soaked in oil/vinegar to allow parts of the herb to be extracted into the oil or vinegar (think tea). There are two methods when it comes to making infused oil or vinegar: cold and hot. The cold method is simple but takes a long time, while the hot method is quick but is a bit harder.

For the cold method (where "cold" means room temperature), herbs are mixed with the oil or vinegar and left in a sunny spot for 1-3 weeks or until it looks like the herb has given all it's got. Hint: it gets kinda clear. Then the leaves are strained out and voila! you have your finished product.

The hot method can be completed within a couple hours but requires a double boiler (or similar) and a watchful eye on the stove. Basically heat is used to speed up the extraction process, but you have to be careful not to let it boil, or else you'll boil all the essence away.

Knowing me I'll forget about the stove and I don't even have a double boiler, so I think I'll use the cold method. I'll post up the final products when I make them. Now I'm going to enjoy my first ever foot soak.

And here's a random picture of Pebbles. This is her "oh crap I just got caught being bad" face. On this particular day she uprooted THREE of my ti plants.

Did you ever make infused oils before? What are some other good plants to put inside?


  1. How was your soak? I haven't done that one yet but I did make rosemary balsamic (and the lemon basil olive oil) in a different mason jar. Now they sit together in a (mostly) sunny place, waiting for time to go by.
    I took my mustard to a BBQ and now its mostly gone so I need to make more! I still need to do the ketchup, though, so that's next :)

    1. The soak smelled heavenly! A bit messy though because the rosemary gets stuck on EVERYTHING! I finally made my olive oil too! Can't wait!