Coconut Milk Shampoo

Making your own shampoo is simple enough to take only a few minutes of your time. Depending on the type of shampoo and conditioner you use, making your own shampoo can be an excellent cost saver as well.

Supplies

Small Bottle

Castile Soap

Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Essential Oils

You will need a small bottle (I use a 4 ounce bottle) to put your shampoo in. I use plastic because we have small children that drop everything. If we had no children I would use a glass jar with a pump. The bottles we use have a small opening. Homemade shampoo is thinner than commercial shampoo because it has no thickeners in it, just simple ingredients.

The soap portion of homemade shampoo is Castile soap. You can purchase Castile soap on line or at your local whole foods market. I make my own Castile soap and it reduces the cost greatly. I spend around $20 to make a gallon and the market price is around $50 to $60 for a gallon. That being said, making Castile soap is tricky and I am still learning.

The moisturizing portion of homemade coconut milk shampoo is coconut milk. I use organic coconut milk, but you don’t have to use organic. However, you do need to use unsweetened coconut milk. I purchase small cans of coconut milk so there is no waste. If you only have access to larger cans use the excess to cook with; coconut milk is great on chicken and a tasty replacement milk in baking. Before you open the can be sure to shake it vigorously as this will mix in the thick parts if your milk has been sitting on a shelf for any length of time. Shaking will make it pour more easily into your bottle eliminating the need to mix in a separate bowl.

It is not necessary; but nice to use essential oils for scent and health properties. I like to use Rosemary because it is good for the scalp and hair growth. Lavender is a great scent for calming. Or if you want an energizing effect use citrus oils. If you have little ones that are in public school or enjoy running in the woods, Tea Tree oil is a great lice and tick deterrent. I get my essential oils from the Now company. They are a little more expensive; but, they are all food grade, safe, and they are a pure product. With essential oils usually you get what you pay for; if it is a very cheap product than it is likely not a pure product. I typically go with the rule that if I could not safely eat it than I don’t want it on my kid’s skin. Your skin is a porous pathway to the inside of your body.   

Mixing

2 ounces of Castile soap

2 ounces of coconut milk

15-20 drops of essential oils

This recipe is very basic, just half soap and half coconut milk. I mix mine right in the bottle so there are no extra dishes. If you have dry hair a little more coconut milk will be more moisturizing; if you have oily hair cut back on the coconut milk and add more Castile soap. Add the essential oils in stages with shaking in between so you can get the level of scent that you want.

You will not have to use conditioner with this shampoo, it is very moisturizing and does not strip all of the natural oils out of your hair. We noticed after using it for a while that every head in the house had a much fuller head of hair and healthier scalps. I recommend making it as you need it because the ingredients are all natural with no preservatives so it will have a shelf life. This is why we use a 4 ounce bottle versus a larger container. It only takes a few minutes to mix so it’s not any trouble to make it as you need it. If you have excess put it in the refrigerator to store it a little longer. I like to use ours within a one to two week window. With five people in the house that is never an issue. If you have less people you may consider using a smaller container. The homemade shampoo is well worth the effort for your health. Having control of what goes into your personal care products is a beautiful thing.  

Planting Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the most versatile plants a garden can have so ensuring a high yield is worth some extra precaution with your planting methods. Setting up tomatoes to be successful initially will result in less work and more fruit as the plant matures.

Starting from Seed

It is important to use seed that has been preserved properly. If seed has been dried with proper methods it will have a natural fungus on it that will aid the plant in being resistant to disease. If you have a natural source for your potting soil it will likely have mycorrhizal fungus in it. Mycorrhizal fungus is a symbiotic organism that assists plants in absorbing nutrients and water. If your tomatoes are lacking in nutrients not only will they not grow properly they can be susceptible to disease. If there is any question about whether your soil contains mycorrhizal fungus you should add the fungus when plant your tomatoes.

From Pot to Garden

It is beneficial to your plants to “harden” them off before setting them into the ground. To do this begin exposing your greenhouse plants to the outside in the warm parts of the day, with each exposure being longer until you are leaving them out at night. Before planting be sure you have the supplies you will need.

  • Hoe and Shovel – Tomatoes need a deep hole with dirt pulled up around them.
  • Dried Egg Shells or Organic Calcium
  • Organic Fish Fertilizer   

The Hole

Setting up your hole is the most important part of planting successful tomatoes. You will want the hole to be roughly two times the height of your tomato. That sounds excessive; but, you will need room for the additives and to sink your plant almost to the top leaves. At the bottom of the hole crush up a small handful of dried egg shells or calcium and drop it in. Then if you are using solid fish fertilizer drop the recommended amount into the hole with the calcium. If you are adding mycorrhizal fungus be sure to put that in as well.  Fill the hold until you can place the tomato into the hole with only the top three branches of the stem being level with the top of your ground.

Placing the Plant

In the pot, tomato plants may look large and fruitful so it can be disappointing if you plant them with proper depth as it will make your lush plants seem very small. Tomatoes will root out along the stem if the stem is underground resulting in a much larger root base for nutrient and water collection. So to give your tomatoes the best start they must be planted as deep as possible. Prune all of the lower stem branches leaving the top three. If you do not prune before setting it can cause rot and disease in your plant. Set the plant in the hole and gently fill in the dirt being sure to crumble any clods and remove any rocks that might cause air pockets or impede root growth. When you get to the top gently hand pat to secure the plant.

Water, Mulch, and String

Depending on the dampness of your soil, and imminent weather, will determine if you water heavily. Tomatoes do not like excessive water; but, they do need some to ease root shock. If you are using liquid fish fertilizer you need to apply that after getting your plants set. As soon as possible you will want to mulch around your tomatoes with straw or hay. Mulching helps retain water,  keeps the dirt from packing, hinders weed growth, and it promotes “good bugs” that will eat the bugs that will eat your tomatoes. There are all sorts of ways to string your tomatoes. I have had almost equal success with cages, stakes and twine, or using fence panels. When considering what to support your plants with take into account the breed of tomato. If your plant will be producing large tomatoes you will need a stronger support system.