Making lotion, growing “pure food”

A simple recipe for a healthful lotion, and a heads-up about the upcoming National Heirloom Exposition

Mmm—lavender and honey.

Mmm—lavender and honey.

Making lotion
On a recent weekend, my 12-year-old daughter Lydia and I decided to make our own lotion. I’d never made lotion before, so I consulted a book of mine, Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living, by Annie Berthold-Bond (which I picked up at Lyon Books).

In addition to containing numerous recipes for skin-care products, Berthold-Bond’s useful book is packed with information on how to make all sorts of eco-friendly products, from dishwashing liquid, floor soap (including a flea-killing version) and toilet-bowl cleaner, to garden-pest repellents and pet shampoo, to shoe polish, car-windshield cleaner and “non-petroleum oil-based artists’ paint.”

Anyway, we decided on a simple recipe for glycerin-water body lotion, calling for three ingredients: water or rose water, vegetable glycerin and an essential oil of our choice. We chose lavender oil and rose water to mix with our glycerin (we got all three ingredients at the Chico Natural Foods Cooperative). We also decided to make the “honeyed glycerin” variation of the recipe, which called for the addition of honey, “a good moisturizer and humectant.”

Here is the recipe for what turned out to be a nice, light, nourishing (and fragrant) lotion that I now use regularly:

1 cup rose water

1/4 cup vegetable glycerin

Famous seed-saver (and Monsanto opponent) Vandana Shiva will speak at the third annual National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa in September.

20 drops lavender oil

1 tbsp. honey

Mix ingredients together and store in a glass jar with a screw top. Shelf life? “Indefinite.”

Heads up, y’all!
It is not too early to think about getting your tickets for the third annual National Heirloom Exposition, which will be held Sept. 10-12 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. I just got my brochure and media passes for the huge, popular event in the mail the other day.

As the publicity for the three-day anti-GMO, “pure-food” expo points out, more than 100 “top food, farm and garden speakers” will be in attendance, including widely known anti-GMO activist Jeffrey Smith, who founded the Institute for Responsible Technology; Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety; and Vandana Shiva (pictured), India’s “foremost seed saver” and “leading supporter of the pure-food movement.”

“I will be coming to the National Heirloom Exposition, because it is defending our future,” Shiva is quoted as saying on the brochure.

Also included in the festivities are “thousands of varieties of incredible produce,” more than 300 “like-minded vendors and exhibitors,” a “world-class giant-pumpkin show,” a heritage livestock and poultry show, a children’s area featuring old-fashioned games, chef demonstrations, a farmers’ market and an heirloom art show.

Hours of the exposition are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 per day; $25 for all three days (kids ages 17 and under are free). Buy tickets online at For more information, contact Paul Wallace at or (707) 773-1336.

Nature shrinks as capital grows. The growth of the market cannot solve the very crisis it creates. –Vandana Shiva