In the Garden: Lavender and Olive OYL

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I bought an olive tree yesterday. It is a Spanish variety. I plan on putting it in a very large pot (that I have stored on the side of the house). I might put in the ground next spring. But for now, I’m going to baby it. I’m still thinking about getting a pear tree. If I do, it will be in the late summer or fall. I have been looking at this French technique called Espalier. If I Espalier the pear tree, this may help keep the squirrels away. I know from my grandmother’s pear tree that squirrels love pears. If I keep the pear in Espalier form, then I would be able to cover it with netting so that the squirrels could not snatch pears. Oh yeah, the olive tree is self-pollinating meaning that I do not need two in order to grow olive-fruit.

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The peppers are getting bigger. I’m thinking about getting a tomato plant.

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The carrots, potatoes and cabbages are also getting bigger.

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I made a homemade insect spray, there in the white bottle. It contains distilled water, dawn and olive oyl. I just shake it, before using to mix the oil well. It seems to be working so far. I killed two caterpillars by hand but none since I began spraying.

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Next time I make the insect spray, I will melt this Castile soap in hot distilled water. Dawn is okay but its still chemical-like. 04-02-2016: My grandma used this soap. Did y’all know that Castile soap was originally made in Spain and it was made from olive oyl? My niece was asking me about the Moors the other day. I wonder if the Israylites are the ones who took the knowledge of olive oyl soap to Spain? Castile is a region of Spain that I read about when I was learning about soap making. Things that make you go hmmm…

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The marigold pot has many blooms all over the place. It looks better in person.

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The roses are in the ground now. I’m thinking of doing yellow, white and peach roses in a different area.

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The hot pink rose is blooming a lot.

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The lemon tree is in the ground. I may have to move it next spring. It may be to close to the other lemon tree.

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Lavender. The flowers will probably be dried and used for potpourri. I read that Lavender and olive trees do not like constant wet soil. They like to completely dry out like most Mediterranean plants (which includes plants of Israel).

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I bought another coconut. I was told that when I crack it open with the hammer, that I should cover it with a hand towel so that the shell does not fly and hit myself or anyone else in the eye. I have been increasing good fats like coconut, avocados, sardines, butter and olives (which I just heard about olives). When body builders are about to go into competition, they go on a high protein, high good fats, low carb diet. It’s called a Ketogenic diet, that is (partly) how they get their bodies sleek. When I was in the grocery store yesterday, just about all those coconuts were gone and it was a very large heap that was originally there!

*Some body builders, when not in competition mode, have cheat days that they call carb days where they will eat things like sweet potatoes (and other slow burning carbs) to bring their energy up.

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A picture showing just how vast the region of Castile (in yellow) is where soap making was done. Tomorrow, Yah willing I will come back to this post and show you a bar of Greek olive oyl soap that I purchased in a health food store at the time when my niece asked me about the Moors.

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04-03-2016: This is the Greek olive oyl soap, I was referring to by the “Kiss My Face” Company. I have been knowing about this soap for years. I stopped using it around 2008 because it got hard to find during the recession. Then I forgot about it but it came back to my remembrance while visiting the health food store with my niece a couple of weeks ago.

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This is the color of the soap, a true olive green. Many years ago, I wondered what makes this soap green? When I and others made homemade soap with olive oyl, it always came out a creamy beige-y color. I searched long and hard to find out how the Greeks do it. And one day, the answer was given to me. Not only do they add olive oyl but they also add the olive fruit/pits which can be black and/or green in color. This is what turns the soap green. I have also seen soap from Syria and some of them do the same thing. I think this is the oldest technique for making olive oyl soap. I wonder if it is the Hebrews that brought this technique all about with them?

By the time we got to West Africa…there were no olive trees. The Hebrews began making this soap called black soap. You can find black soap in just about every West African country but the ingredients may vary slightly. What makes homemade soap better than store bought soap is that its made with real wood ash and more oyl is put in it. The soap in the store is made with synthetic lye which causes skin problems (for some).

When my olive tree starts producing fruit, I will probably begin making olive oyl soap again. 🙂

 

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