Get the Woolies!


Know what a Woolie is?  Well, it's basically soap with a sweater!  100% organic, hand-dyed wool is shrunk to fit the soap, and it continues to shrink as you use it.

It will also help prolong the life of your absolutely awesome Basilwood Goat's Milk soap.  

Blue Woolie

How?  Well, soap suds dry in the wool after you use the soap, so when it gets wet again, they activate more quickly.

And because wool is anti-microbial, it's the perfect "wrap"!  And besides that, it is really pretty, and really soft :-)

Fall Woolie

If you would like to make your own, keep an eye out for our next Felt-It Friday event.  Sort of our version of a girl's night out with a bit of felting on the side.

 We can also put together gift packs with soap and roving to create your own works of art!

Jill Spruance   12 Dec, 2013

From Here to There...

Not all goat-milk soap is created equally.  AT Basilwood, we begin here...

which leads to this...

and lots of this...

and later... this!!!

We could have purchased blocks of generic soap with as little as 10% milk content and resold them, if we simply wanted to make some money, but we didn't want to do it that way.  We didn't want to provide an income for the farm at the expense of quality product to our customers.  And we believed the best way to do that was to choose the best ingredients at the best prices from the best suppliers, so we would know EXACTLY what went into the soap.  

We also loved the idea of being able to use our own goat milk from our own herd where we would have full control of the quality and handling of the milk to bring the absolute freshest and richest creamy goodness to our soap.  Because goat milk is so good for your skin, we also wanted to be sure that our soaps were made with 100% goat milk, not 10 or 20 or 50% milk like so many others on the market.  By maintaining our own herd of goats, we also get the added benefit of delicious and healthy raw milk as part of our daily diet.  Yogurt, cheeses, cream, butter, ice cream... lots and lots of goodness from those wonderful and hilarious friends in our field.     

And that's how we do things here in Basilwood.  

Jill Spruance   15 May, 2013

How to Move Without Ever Leaving Home

We have been undergoing a move of sorts here in Basilwood.

Due to an upcoming wedding, boxes and furniture and bedrooms and garages and guest houses and sheds

are morphing into new and different things.  We take repurposing 

really seriously around here.  Utility items are only the beginning. 

Rooms, houses, outbuildings have had many identities over the years.

It is fun to rethink and reorganize a space for a new adventure.

So... here we go!!!

All exciting, of course, but also rather chaotic

and, well... a lot like moving! The only thing missing is the truck. 

One member of the team isn't too sure about all of this.  

Note the heavy dose of skepticism in those eyes? He's sure we are moving!  

And it's a little hard to convince him otherwise with all of the box

shuffling that's been going on.

On the upside, the soap works will be getting its new home in a few months!

Whew!!  It's been a bit claustrophic storing all of the supplies in the Basilwood 

office, so the "new" space will be w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l.  In the meantime, perhaps you

will understand why we have been going OUTside to take most of our pictures.

It's rather peaceful out there.

We will definitely keep you posted.

Blessings from Basilwood!

Jill Spruance   02 May, 2013

Scrub-a-Dub-Dub, Salt or Sugar in the Tub?


Salt or Sugar? 

That is the question. 

To tell you the truth, there isn’t THAT big of a difference between the two, but the difference might be rather significant if you’ve just shaved your legs or you have any cuts or scrapes that are still a bit raw.  In that case, don’t use the salt!  After all, salt is salt, and you know what they say about rubbing salt into a wound, right?  Don’t.  It stings. Otherwise, salt (especially Dead Sea Salt) has minerals that your body loves and aren’t easily attained.  So, when you have the opportunity to indulge in some Dead Sea therapy, take advantage! 

So, which do you prefer?  Basically, salt and sugar scrubs are made up of pretty simple ingredients with LOTS of variation.  A particular salt or sugar is combined with some sort of vegetable oil to create a skin sloughing and softening spa experience for the user.  The real choices begin to emerge when you examine the variables of the different types of sugar and salt, oils and aromatherapy/therapeutic additions that really send them into Uber-Spa Land! 

Salt and sugar both come in various granule sizes. 

Depending on how you want to use your scrub, this will determine what size particles you want it to contain.  For an overall body scrub, smaller granules are preferred.  For a foot scrub, larger granules may be just the ticket for those icky calluses.  The oil-drenched salt or sugar is gently worked into the skin in a circular motion to eliminate dead skin cells and encourage the creation of new skin.  Additionally, the beneficial qualities of the ingredients are given the opportunity to work their magic too.

And the oils…

Two of the most popular oils used in salt & sugar scrubs (for good reason) are Avocado Oil and Olive Oil. 

These two oils contain many beneficial properties for your skin.  When you consider that your skin is the largest organ of your body, whatever you slather all over yourself is going to affect you.  So why not use things that will enhance your health, rather than dry out your skin with chemical commercial concoctions that result in the purchase of more commercial formulations. 


I mean, honestly, have you ever looked at the back label of the skin care products that you are using?  And then researched some of the ingredients?  You would be surprised what passes as “good for you” on the market these days!

The last thing you may find in a sugar or salt scrub would be fragrance or essential oils that will have various positive benefits (depending on which ones they are) in the realm of aromatherapy or therapeutic benefits. 

Some of the most popular are lavender, tea tree (melaleuca), lemongrass, sweet orange, rosemary, eucalyptus, and mint. 

There is just no better way to end your day than to have a hot bath with a vigorous salt or sugar scrub as a part of it, enhanced by the aroma and skin-enhancing qualities of your favorite “flavor” and softening, moisturizing oils.  (Sigh…)  You will definitely feel as though you have just spent a bundle at a Day Spa, but your wallet will still be intact.  Using simple, all-natural ingredients definitely has its benefits. It’s a good thing. smiley


Jill Spruance   12 Apr, 2013

Why Goat Milk Soap?


Recently one of our Facebook fans asked if goat milk soap was better for her skin.  She had never used it before and just wondered.  Great question!  We figured she probably wasn’t the only one wondering.  So…

As with anything else, a product will be directly affected by the raw materials used to produce it, correct? 

To make soap you need a couple of things… fats and oils, a liquid (usually water) and sodium hydroxide (the stuff that magically turns it all into soap). 




The quality of the soap varies depending on what types of oils, butters and liquids are used to create it.  So, when you replace the water component with goat milk, you enhance the quality of the soap because the milk contains inherent goodies that the water does not possess.  For example, here are some of its better-known benefits.

Goat milk soap benefits

·         It has recently been proven to effectively treat acne

·         Goat milk soap is less allergenic than synthetically-loaded commercial soaps and detergents

·         It is known that goat milk can reduce skin inflammation, and soothes dry and damaged skin

·         It can reduce wrinkles and delay signs of skin aging

·         Goat milk soap has alpha-hydroxy acids that soften the skin by breaking down the glue that holds dead skin cells together

·         Goat milk has the closest pH level to our skin.  This helps protect our skin from invading bacteria and chemicals.

·         Loaded with essential nutrients and vitamins like vitamin C, B1, B6, B12, and E

·         Goat milk consists of natural emollients and triglycerides that act as natural moisturizers

Milk soap on the whole is a creamier consistency than its water-based counterpart.  It’s also a lot trickier to make, which is why you won’t see milk soap on the market as often as water-based soap.  

So, far all of these reason, yes, we do think that goat-milk soap is better for you.  But that’s just our opinion.  Check it out for yourself.  Once you’ve tried it, you won’t go back.   

Jill Spruance   11 Apr, 2013

Everything Old Is New Again...


Yep.  Look around you.  Gardening, tending, sowing, composting, reaping, quilting, canning, milking, processing, storing, drying clothes on the line… the list goes on and on.  What is it about nostalgia that draws us in? 

Do we still love our modern conveniences?  Some yes, some no.  The things that have recently become vogue are things our grandparents and great-grandparents did as a regular course.  And boy did they know how to do a LOT more than we do, huh? 

The more I learn in this homesteading quest of ours, the more I realize I don’t know.  There is definitely an economic benefit in terms of dollars, but it is also a lot of work. 

What you save in $$ you usually spend in sweat.  What you can’t put a price on is the satisfaction that comes from slowly, consistently moving away from a lifestyle driven by market manipulation and trends to one driven by intentional personal decision-making based on wholesome stewardship of our home place.  Each year we have greater and greater control over the vehicle of our lives.  

We have also developed a much greater appreciation for the food that appears on our table, the responsibility of caring for the animals and plants that produce it for us,

the amazing interconnection between all of Creation in its quest to bring forth the fruit of our labor.  We are in constant awe of the wonder of the intricacies of nature, its resilience and strength, new babies to remind us of life’s cycles.

And we feel continually blessed to live in a place where we can literally grow food year-round because of our climate. 

Yes, it gets very hot in the summer, but it’s that hot summer that allows for a winter friendly to our requests for vegetables when so many others must wait for the Spring thaw.  We have been given a blessed opportunity to grow in patience and perseverance and wisdom and truth in the quest to wrestle with the little patch of land God has entrusted to us. 

So, from our little patch of land to yours…


Blessings from Basilwood heart

Jill Spruance   10 Apr, 2013

Lots of Newbies Here in Basilwood!


Happy April 2nd!

If you’ve been keeping up with our Facebook page, you will have noticed that there are lots of new faces here in Basilwood.

For instance…

The “new” chicks which arrived at the end of February are almost fully feathered now.  That means they will be able to move in to their bigger “chick” residence in a few weeks.

Until they have all of their feathers, they need more protection from the elements in order to keep warm and healthy.  Only a month ago they looked like these little guys…

Little chicks grow REALLY fast! 

And there were some more new faces as well… the Piggies! 

Samson & Hercules are having a wonderful time rooting around in their new quarters too. 

As for the girls… they are busy incubating the next generation of goat-milk soap contributors. 

May, June & July will usher in an explosion of baby kids romping around the pasture!  We can’t wait.

Even the soap got a “new look” with their fancy labels. 

And, last but certainly not least, the garden continues to get spiffed up for the upcoming Basilwood wedding in June.

Lots of new life this Spring here in Basilwood smiley

Jill Spruance   02 Apr, 2013

Will You Be Our Valentine?? Please?

Hearts and flowers and dinners out and romance seems to be the theme each year when Valentine's Day rolls around.  And all of that is good, but we want to focus on you here at Basilwood.  A nice drive into the foothills on the Saturday before Valentine's Day for some R&R (Refreshment & Rejuvenation) to remind you that you are deserving of some pampering so that on the 14th you will be the most amazingly wonderful version of you that there can possibly be.  Sound good?  We thought so!! So, be prepared to roll up your sleeves and try out our salt scrub and body butter.  Then maybe take a stroll around the property and let Leslie tell you Happy Valentine's Day... Nothing says "I Love You" like a goat with a chard leaf!  And Cricket is dying to see you up close too... Stay and have a cup of coffee with us and some chocolate dipped strawberries? Maybe even take home some fresh eggs from the hens... Whatever your preference, hop in the car on the 9th of February sometime between 10 and 3 and wander on up here so you can get out of town for a few hours and truly enjoy what the celebration of love is all about!  We LOVE you here at Basilwood.  Really we do. Xoxo  See you soon...


Jill Spruance   18 Feb, 2013

A Miracle Has Just Begun!!!

Last year we went to see the latest Disney version of A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey.

Source: via Cat on Pinterest

  Admittedly I am not a big Jim Carrey fan, or at least I wasn't until I saw this version of the story come to life in the fashion of a storybook springing into animation. After the movie was over, the screen went dim and the house lights came up, as they normally do, and I just wasn't ready to leave yet, still embracing the message of this wonderful Dickens story.  People began to file out of the theater, and we just sat there... waiting.  And I wanted to watch the credits all the way through to see if my cousin had been a part of the digital animation.  (That's another story.  But he's super talented and super brilliant in my humble and unbiased opinion).  That's when we received a Christmas present that continues to bless every time we hear it.

Source: via McKayla on Pinterest

  Out of those extremely powerful and loud speakers in the theater (the ones that are usually blasting incredible sound effects, not all of which you really want to listen too) came a musical score composed by Alan Sylvestri that continues to inspire every time we hear it (which is often).  The music alone is beautiful enough, but then a voice (guess who?)
  pierced the symphony (as only this voice can) to catapult the audience (which at this point consisted of three -- the two of us and the guy in the projection room) into another realm with angelic back-up.  If you haven't heard it, you are in for treat :-)  Enjoy!!!  You can find it on Andrea Bocelli's My Christmas CD. Click the link below and pretend that you are out in the field tending the flock on that first Christmas morning :-) To the One Who still softens hearts and breathes life into dead souls! God Bless Us, Every One!! Lyrics at | Andrea Bocelli - God Bless Us Everyone lyrics  

Jill Spruance   18 Feb, 2013

Ahhhhhhvocado... Soap, Scrubs and Butters

              We love to eat them!!!  But do you know that they are really good for your skin too?  Well, they certainly are. And we have three wonderful products that contain oil and butter from these little green yummy factories!  Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider trying something with avocado oil or butter the next time you want to increase your Basilwood supplies :-) Antioxidative Properties Compared to other fruits, avocados have the highest Vitamin E content.         Vitamin E is known to be a powerful antioxidant, "mopping up" free radicals, as well as helpful in decelerating signs of aging. Skin Barrier Avocado oil has a natural hydrating ability and is deeply absorbed by the skin. Because of its chemical properties and its ability to retain water, avocado oil acts as an emollient, promoting soft and supple tissue. For this reason, individuals suffering from itchy dry skin benefit by using products that contain avocado oil. High in Sterolins Sterolins are compounds extracted from plants. Their role is to properly absorb fat and, in doing so, improve immune system quality. Avocado oil, which contains these sterolins, helps to produce more skin collagen and reduces the incidence of age spots. This property again makes avocado oil suitable for dry itchy skin. Omega-3 Oil It's not just fish that contains large amounts of omega-3s -- avocado oil is rich in omega-3 as well. Omega-3 has been shown to be a highly effective protector from UV solar radiation, thus decreasing chances for sunburn and skin cancer risk. And now for the Ahhhhh-vocado products we have @ Basilwood. Avocado Butter Soap In addition to Avocado butter, this soap boasts liberal amounts of Shea butter and Jojoba oil too.  And Rosemary essential oil too.  Wow!       Avo/Shea Body Butter A definite customer favorite, this combo of Avocado & Shea butter makes a wonderful moisturizer.   And an amazing Dead Sea Salt Scrub with Avocado oil & Peppermint Essential Oil...  Talk about luxurious!

Jill Spruance   18 Feb, 2013