Well, almost. I still take baths :)
Yesterday I made and used my first batch of homemade laundry soap. I used the most common recipe, which is 1 c of grated bar soap (I used Fels-Naptha, but I'll be looking for a biodegradable alternative for next time), 1/2 c of washing soda, and 1/2 c borax. For a standard washing machine, 1 - 2 T should be plenty. We have a HE washer, so I used a little under 1T. Everything came out flean and fresh, and there was no static in the dryer! It also didn't have a strong scent like commercial detergents, so that was nice was well. We have extremely hard water, and we didn't notice a problem with the detergent like we did with "natural" automatic dishwashing agents. At approximately $0.01 per load, I can see this will save us a ton of money!
This morning I ventured out the the Walkerton Dairy Herd Farm to take a tour and learn about raw milk. Since we're talking about procreating, the idea of hormones and antibiotics in my body is starting to worry me more. Although our government prohibits the sale of unpasteurized milk in Indiana, they can't keep you from milking your own cows and drinking it. The WDH sells shares of cows, and you are legally able to keep the milk that "your" cows produce.
The facility was very clean and pleasant. The cows appeared healthy and happy. I got a tour of the "bottling plant" where the cows are milked and the milk is bottled and refrigerated. Then, I got to sample some of the product. I was a little nervous about this part. I've grown up hearing that whole milk tastes awful, and that it has tons of bad things in it. I'm starting to accept this as the bullshit it is, but I was still a little leary about drinking milk straight out of a cow. Oddly, I was more worried about taste than safety. The way I figure, people have been drinking milk straight from the cow (or goat, or yak, or whatever) for thousands of years. We've still progressed. Our species has survived. I think our society as a whole worries too much about germs and bacteria. But I digress...
The milk tasted like milk :) It had a milder taste than even 1% milk, even though it had lots of cream floating in it. She had to shake it before she poured in, since the cream floats to the top. It did have a slightly grassy aftertaste, which was a little odd, but not bothersome. Pasteurized, homogenized milk might have an aftertaste too, we're just so used to it that we don't notice it.
I haven't yet decided whether raw milk is for me or not. I hate how it's so difficult to find unbiased information. The government claims raw milk is evil and will make you sick. It also claims that pasteurization doesn't kill any enzymes or reduce vitamin content. Raw milk proponents claim that unpasteurized milk is healthier and can cure or eliminate many common health problems. I need to find information that isn't propaganda!