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30 Apr

The Forest Comes Alive

Posted by Wendy Ives

The forest is in bloom! I love spring, when the earth's flowers come out of their winter hibernation and grace us with their beauty, medicinal uses, and food.

One of my favorite things to do is to walk and find the trilliums blooming on Trillium HilI. It doesn't matter if it's sunny, raining, or even the high winds leftover from Oklahoma's tornados, I always make sure to get over to the bloom spots.


For those of you who don't know, trilliums are an endangered plant in NYS. It is illegal to pick or disturb them. They used to be considered to be a spring wild lettuce, and got over picked. Trilliums come in red and white in the Northeast. In the North Midwest, there are yellow trilliums. Red and white trilliums bloom in different locations, usually on east facing slopes. 


If you have trillium knowledge to share, please do so.



24 Apr

Celebrate the Earth

Posted by Wendy Ives

Happy Earth Day!
I think about the origin of every thing. Everybody uses stuff. A pen, the ground meat wrapper, packing material from a package we got delivered, an old bed sheet that sprung a hole. Where did it come from and where is it going? How much life is left after its intended use is finished? Can it be reused somehow, somewhere? Will it look nice, be functional, and be easy to clean? Can it nourish my compost pile and then feed the garden? Be a cat or dog bed? Become a grocery tote? 
Every day is earth day for us in the soap factory and our home. We reuse packing material for mail orders. The boxes for our soap bars are made from factory trimmings on larger orders. Our compost pile contains popsicle sticks along with food scraps. We even turned old car tires into a berm for our asparagus bed and planted strawberries in them.
Our earth is something to be cherished. It's the source of everything that protects, feeds, and supplies it's inhabitants. How we use it's resources should be examined constantly. It's the giant home, and needs to be kept clean just like all of our individual homes. 

17 Apr

It's the sunflower revolution!

Posted by Wendy Ives

Olive oil is so much a part of our diet, that we don't even think about the distance it travels to get to our tables and our showers. The olive oil we use in our Olive Oil Shampoo generally comes from either Italy or Greece. That's a long boat ride. Then we turn it into shampoo and ship it to all of our shampoo devotees and retail locations, and take it to market. That's the olive oil traveling 2 or 3 times before it reaches your shower.

It takes a long time to make changes like this, but it's time for the Sunflower Revolution. Our locally grown organic sunflower oil has made it's way into our soap, lip balms, and creams. As we replaced the olive oil with sunflower oil in our body care, we had more for the shampoo, which is why it's the last to GET READY to make the switch. We still have some Olive Oil Shampoo, but the next batch is going to be sunflower. 


It's a little different for the shampoo connoisseur. Compared to our Olive Oil Shampoo, the color of the sunflower shampoo is a pale golden yellow. It's a little more viscous. It's very high in Vitamin E, giving your hair a little more shine. It has a distant aroma of fresh sunflower seeds.

It's the same lathery, squeaky clean wash. The scent blend is the same. Aside from the oil change, the ingredients are the same.


Andy is a little worried that to just make the switch is risky and some of you will not be happy simply because you love our olive oil shampoo. I want to take the leap, decreasing our carbon footprint by eliminating the first leg of the oil's journey from Europe to here. I also LOVE it. So as a compromise in running our business as a married couple, I am alerting you to what's coming in the near future. We would love to hear your feedback. I'm doing my best to not encourage you to say YES!!! it's the right choice. We want to hear it from you without any prodding.  small gentle poke.


It's also going to be sold in 3 sizes: 

* 2 oz. for $3.65 (same size and price as Olive Oil Shampoo)

* NEW* 16 oz. for $18.00 (new size and less expensive than the 8 oz. Olive Oil Shampoo for $10.59)

* Gallon for $142.96 (which includes the pump and is the same economical price as the Olive Oil Shampoo)

10 Apr


Posted by Wendy Ives

What a day we had the other day. We spent the whole day trying to make this new printer work for our labels. And it was a waste of time. Even though the old printer isn't the easiest match with our computers, it does the job and our new labels, on our new bar size, look great. Sometimes the realities of being a small producer of goods are enough to drive you crazy. Our days are filled with problem solving, deadlines, and making decisions that have to be the best choice. 


We are introducing the economy 9 oz. Ithaca Soap. It is made with organic local sunflower, which is high in vitamin E and so good for your skin. You can get it at Greenstar on N. Fulton St, AKA Rte 13 between Buffalo and Seneca Streets,  Home Green Home on the Ithaca Commons, and at the Ithaca Farmers' Market, in booth 22, Saturdays from 9-3. You have been using this soap for almost 2 years, but not in this great size that works for all hand sizes, and not formally with the knowledge of the sunflower oil. 


We'll see you Saturday, in booth 22 at the Ithaca Farmers' Market, in-between Little Tree Orchards and Crow Weaver Jewelry, and across from Solaz Burritos. It's supposed to be 64 degrees and SUNNY!! this coming Saturday. 

As usual, if you can't make it, go virtually through our website, and get it delivered to your doorstep.


Wendy & Andy, 

03 Apr

Where do your groceries come from?

Posted by Wendy Ives

Here's a typical day in our household. 
Andy's breakfast is everything local. Cabbage and onion omelet with buckwheat pancakes.
 All of the ingredients, including milk in the pancakes and coffee, and sunflower oil to cook with is all from local farmers. Even our soap is made with the very same local sunflower oil. And the wool I knit Cheryl Thompson's (our architect) sweater with, comes from a local farmer and is spun just 50 miles away. The sweater is the natural color of the yarn. 
This is a photo of the same local yarn that I dyed with plants. You can come see that in person and fondle it at market.
Last week I made a lamb roast with carrots, potatoes, onions, celery. Everything except the salt came from a local source. Apple pie from local apples and crust made with local wheat and sunflower oil. You get the idea.
We have an amazing abundance of local resources from innovative hard working growers and producers, including us at 17CS. Right Here!! Come share in the bounty this coming Saturday, April 5th, at the Ithaca Farmers' Market on 3rd. St.
9-3pm Steamboat Landing in Ithaca, NY. 
Booth 22 on the end with the BIG TREE. 
Next to Little Tree Orchards and across from Solaz Burritos.
See you Saturday. As usual, if you can't make it, we can pack up our little piece of local wealth and mail it to you.