Friday, July 18, 2014

We've Moved!

Wondering where we have been lately? We have a whole new webpage. Head over to to continue to follow along on our farming adventures. Join us as we create new recipes, learn more about farming, essential oils, and homesteading!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Online Essential Oils Class

I am loving using my essential oils and finding so many wonderful ways to use them! I've made my own face wash, shampoo, and body wash, using Young Living oils and castile soap. I like the baby unscented kind as it is much gentler and free of any added scents. I've been enjoying having a few classes each month and educating others about essential oils and the best ways to use them. Last night, my upline, Homemade Mommy, offered a livestream class for everyone to watch. If you would like to watch it, here is the link, It was so informative and fun to see how she hosts her classes. If you are local to me (Sacramento area), and want to host a class or want to come to one, let me know! Right now I am running a special for the weekend! When you sign up with the Premium Starter Kit, I will gift you the Essential Oils Pocket Reference as well as the book Homemade Mommy Beauty Essentials. These two books are valuable resources as you start your journey in natural living and better health! If you are ready to start your journey with Young Living oils, follow my sign-up link  or send me an email to learn more I am also looking for some team players who like to get their oils paid for and would enjoy teaching others about essential oils! If you would like to learn more about how to earn free oils please email me! I look forward to hearing from you!
Stay Oily!
Everything you get for $150. A great value!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pastured Broilers

Our pastured broilers are growing nicely! Cornish Crosses are not a heritage breed and do grow quite fast. If you give them hormones or feed them too much,they will likely be unable to walk around after 6 or 7 weeks old. However, we feel growing them on pasture and giving a clean area of grass to pick around each day, is much better than packing thousands of birds in an enclosed building. In the shelters they have room to move and are able to eat grass and bugs. A chickens natural diet. We don't feed them GMO-free feed this year (nobody's perfect), but we hope to be in a position where we can do that next Spring. The chickens grow pretty quickly, but we do not give them antibiotics or any growth hormones. Just fresh air, clean grass, and lots of sunshine! Each morning we move the shelters, feed the chickens, and give them fresh water. They love moving time! They rush over to the new patch of grass and start searching for bugs and grass. Pastured poultry is not necessarily the most sustainable thing on the farm, yet it's very rewarding and quite easy and a cheap way to get into farming! We are enjoying giving these chickens a great life and soon we look forward to having fresh tasty chicken to eat for dinner! (Don't tell the chickens that yet, we don't need them unionizing on us ;)

March 27, baby chicks arrive in the mail!
A few things we have learned so far:

  • These chickens drink a lot more than our egg layers. Next year we hope to get an automatic waterer.

  • We need a new board on top of our current shelter. We used a cheap piece of siding to put on the top because it was light weight, however it warped right away and anytime it rains or the sprinklers come on water sits on the top and we have to push it off. 

  • We need some sort of handle on one side to help us move the shelters around. They are heavy and the rope we are using always has chicken poop on it and is hard to hold. 

  • We need a better quality food for the chickens. They eat a lot, I think part of the problem is the food we give them. 

  • You're going to have lots of flies and your lawn is not going to be beautiful anymore. Watering will help with both of these problems and help the poop disintegrate faster. We try not to water the lawn here in California too much as we have limited water. 
Have you raised pastured poultry before? What do you feed them and what kind of waterer and shelters do you use? What breed do you raise? We'd love to learn more about your set up! 
Checking out their new home until they are big enough to go outside

Good morning! Enjoying a new patch of grass!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Homemade Chocolate Lip Balm

*Links in this blog may be affiliate links. It costs you nothing to use them, but provides Agape Farm with a small commision. Thanks for supporting the Farm!*

I went through my cupboards last week and threw away all of my cough medicines, aspirin, anti-diarrheal medicine, antacids, allergy medicines, and more. I haven't used shampoo, conditioner, or face wash in months. What am I using instead you might wonder? Essential oils! Therapeutic grade essential oils, like Young Living's, can replace so many things in your household. There are endless recipes for beauty products, from lip balm to insect repellant, and guess what, these items are so safe you could eat them! Have you ever accidentally gotten bug spray in your mouth? It doesn't taste good! One of my favorite books for learning more about recipes with essential oils was written by my friend Lindsey over at Her book, Homemade Mommy Beauty Essentials: 35 DIY Beauty Recipes to Use Everyday, contains 35 wonderful DIY recipes for everyday beauty products. Check her page out for recipes, healthy eating, and much more!

A picture of Homemade Mommy's lip balm!
 (Picture is property of Homemade Mommy)

One recipe I am looking forward to making is Chocolate Mint Lip Balm. Yum! It sounds delicious!


Equipment You'll Need


Gently melt the cocoa butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and beeswax in a double boiler (or in a glass bowl set on top of a sauce pot of simmering water).
Remove from heat and then stir in the peppermint essential oil.
Quickly pour the melted oil into the tubes. You have to move very quickly before the oils start to set. You can use a small funnel, but it may get clogged in the process. Using a medicine dropper is not recommend because it will quickly clog up as well!
Allow the lip balm to set and then cap the containers.

- See more at:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

Links in this post may be affiliate links. By clicking this links you are charged nothing, but we might earn a small amount. Thank you for supporting the farm! 
Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a fun relaxing weekend. Hubby's new work schedule consists of working Saturdays every other month, he has this month off, so it was nice to get to spend a Saturday with him. We woke up early on Saturday morning and went to the local park and went on a nice bike ride. Then we went to another park and went down some cement slides and hiked along the river. We are blessed with some great parks in this town! I can't wait to have kids and be able to enjoy the parks more. Before we left for our bike ride, I whipped up some dough for cinnamon rolls so they could rise. Once we got home I was able to finish them up. They were so yummy! I will definitely double the filling recipe next time though. I like them with lots of cinnamon and delicious filling. We worked in the garden this weekend as well, lots of weed pulling has finally resulted in a lot less weeds. They have finally stopped coming up so ferociously. Our veggies are doing great and coming up so nicely. I will add more information in our next post though. Sunday was spent going to church, hubby did sound and I taught Sunday school. It's so much fun teaching the kids more about our wonderful Savior! My mother-in-law came to church too and took us to lunch afterwards. So yummy. The rest of the day was spent around the house and babysitting. A relaxing weekend for sure, which was nice as the rest of the month is going to be crazy! Lots of birthdays! My nephew turns one and my sister is having a baby on the same day!! The next weekend my big brother will be marrying his beautiful fiancee! They have been together for a long time and I am happy to welcome her to the family. I am blessed with wonderful siblings and sibling-in-laws. Now onto the reason you are reading this post: those yummy cinnamon rolls. This was one of the first times I ever made homemade cinnamon rolls from scratch. They are time consuming, but so yummy.

Recipe adapted from New Cook Book, Limited Edition "Pink Plaid" : For Breast Cancer Awareness (Better Homes & Gardens) (one of my favorites!) Pg. 154.

Next time I will double the filling. Feel free to use a cream cheese icing or no icing at all. You can prepare the rolls ahead of time and place in fridge immediately after placing in pans up to 24 hours. Leave a little room on top for them to rise. When ready to bake let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

For the dough:
4 to 4&1/2 cups of AP flour
1 package active dry yeast or 2 & 1/4 tsps.
1 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

For the filling:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup AP flour
1 T. cinnamon
1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins

Vanilla Icing:
In a small bowl stir together 1 and 1/4 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1-2 Tbs. of milk. Mix together until sugar is dissolved.

In large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside. In a small saucepan heat and stir milk, g. sugar, 1/3 cup butter, and the salt until just warm and the butter is slightly melted (about 120 degrees, don't let it boil). Add to flour mixture along with 2 eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining 2 to 21/2 cups flour ( I just used my stand mixer and used the dough hook for several minutes).

2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead in more flour if needed, to make a soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes). Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the ball. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled.

3. Punch down dough and divide in half. Let rest 10 minutes. Lightly grease 2- 8x8x2 or 9x9x2-inch baking pans and set aside. Mix together the filling and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to mix in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add in raisins and pecans if desired.

4. Roll out each half dough into a 12x8 rectangle. Sprinkle half the filling over each rectangle, leaving 1 inch unfilled along one side of the roll. Roll up each rectangle, starting from the filled long side. Pinch to seal seams. Slice into 12 equal pieces. Arrange in greased pans. Cover and let rise about 30 minutes.

Golden Brown with icing on. 
5. Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan. Pour icing over top.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Getting Started With Essential Oils

If you don't quite understand essential oils and what they are for, you are not alone. I get lots of questions from people asking me why I chose Young Living, are oils safe when pregnant, how do I use the oils, and what oils can I use for a certain symptom. The first thing I want to say is, I am not a medical professional. I am offering advice and information learned from the Essential Oils Pocket Reference (which I am giving away free to the first 10 people to sign up with the Premium Starter Kit) as well as information from thousands of other oil believers! Here's some common questions I or others have when they first start out.

Why Young Living?: I chose Young Living for the personal belief that they are 100% pure. I did a lot of praying and asking God to lead me to the company He wanted me to choose and I just felt a calling to choose Young Living. Check out my Facebook page, Agape Homestead's Young Living Essential Oils, here you will learn a lot more about oil uses and business aspects of Young Living and why I went with them.  From their Seed to Seal guarantee to the fact that they grow all their own plants, distill them themselves, are organic, test all their oils multiple times, and have 3rd party companies test them, makes me more confident to use them. They also have several farms around the world.  Many oils say do not ingest and are more for aromatic uses only. I feel safe ingesting these oils and feel safe using them on young and old alike. When unsure about an oil, I always dilute it first, and look it up to make sure it is safe to ingest. I did some research on other companies and just did not feel like they were as pure as Young Living. Everyone has their own beliefs, but this is my personal opinion. Yes, they cost more than the ones you get in the store, but all the work that goes into making one bottle of oils is definitely worth more than they are selling them for. 

What are essential oils?: Essential oils are a non-fatty oil. They are an aromatic, volatile liquid that is in many shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds, most often extracted with steam distillation (Essential Oils Pocket Reference, 2011, p, 1).  Here is a great article about essential oils.

Can I use these oils when pregnant?: Absolutely. They are safe to use when pregnant. However several are not recommended to use when pregnant, and therefore you must do your research and figure out what is safe and what is not. There are lots of great charts on Pinterest that will help you out. The Essential Oils Pocket Reference book is a great resource as well. 

Do I have to turn this into a business?: No, you do not! If you choose to sign up as a wholesale member, this makes you a distributor, and gives you the opportunity to turn it into a business, but you don't have to sell a single thing! No monthly quotas to meet and no need to host parties. Once you buy the kit, you only need to spend $50 dollars in a whole year to keep your discount. If you hate the oils and don't want to buy anymore oils you don't have to. You will just lose your discount for the following year. 
The business opportunities are great with Young Living though. Once you start sharing with your friends and they want to sign up you can start to earn money and pay for your own oils and even have a nice paycheck coming in. Whether you just want to use the oils for yourself and your family or you want to turn this into a business, I think you will love essential oils. 

How do I use Essential Oils?: There are three common ways to use essential oils. Ingest, diffuse, and apply topically. The Pocket Reference book is a great tool that will help you know what oil to use and where to apply each oil. 

How do I sign up?!: 

Signing up as A Wholesale Member – A step-by-step Guide

1. Click over to the sign-up page.

2. Select “Sign up as: Young Living Wholesale Member

3. The “Enroller ID” and “Sponsor ID” boxes should already be filled in for you. But if not, enter 1611368 in both boxes or you can enter Laura Lee.

4. Fill out your name, billing address, shipping address, and contact info. (The reason you are asked to list your social security number is for tax purposes. If you make over $600/year selling Young Living products, you will receive a 1099 form in the mail, as is required by law. Young Living will never share this info with anyone.)

5. Create your password and pin which you will use to log in to your account and order your oils.

6. Select your enrollment starter kit. This is where you can specify which starter kit you would like (and you know I think the Premium Kit is the way to go!) – they range in price from $40 on up and you only need to spend $40 to get the 24% discount. Note – you must sign up with one of these kits to become a wholesale member. This is mandatory. To maintain your 24% discount going forward, you only need to spend $50 worth each subsequent year with Young Living on any product in their store. That’s it! You can also purchase other items at this time if you wish.

7. Set up your *optional* Essential Rewards Program (ER).
Now don’t be confused by this next step. Buying one of the ER kits is not a requirement to sign up as a wholesale member! This is a rewards program you can opt into to start earning money back to help pay for your oils. At this point, you can skip this step by selecting: ‘No, thank you. I plan on enrolling in the Essential Rewards Program later’. If one of the ER kits looks valuable to you then by all means get one in addition to your starter kit but please understand that you cannot buy an ER kit in lieu of a starter kit. This program is the most economical way to purchase your oils and other products. I belong and am already on my way to getting some free oils with it.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Living the Crunchy Life

I got called a hippy the other day by a friend, I know it was a joke, but it made me proud! It's not something you usually want to be called (I prefer the term crunchy), but when you live a lifestyle like ours it's like a rite of passage! It means you made so many changes in your life that people are starting to notice. My friend called us hippies because we try not to eat corn syrup anymore. In my head I was thinking you don't know the half of it! Like the fact that I haven't used shampoo and conditioner or face wash in over two months (baking soda, vinegar, and castile soap are my replacements). I brew my own kombucha, ferment things for fun (and health reasons), make my own jam, raise chickens (for meat and eggs), grow our own vegetables, make my own elderberry syrup, use essential oils and try to avoid conventional medicines as much as possible.

This lifestyle is definitely not easy, and we're only at the beginning stages! My next goals are to make my own bread, make deodorant, replace my body wash with either something homemade or with less ingredients, raise a pig, and make my own toothpaste. When you live differently you get a lot of people who think you are crazy. They might even call you a hippie ;). People are going to judge you, but that's okay. If this is how you feel like you should be living and this is your calling in life, you need to listen to God. Not your family members, friends, or people who read your blog that you don't even know. Hopefully, as time goes by, your friends and family will accept you for who you are, you might even encourage them to make a change in their own lives! If not, just know, that if this is where you feel God calling you to be, you don't need to change for anyone!

Things on the homestead are going well. I feel continually blessed each day in the ways Christ is working in our lives. We are getting between 2 and 3 dozen eggs each week and are able to sell most of these. Last week we sold out. The egg sells buy all of our feed and we are left over with a little bit each month. It's by no means what we need to live, but it is encouraging that we are not losing money raising chickens. Our baby chicks that the momma hatched are growing fast. Hopefully, we will be able to get them out of the pen soon so they can roam free. Right now they are too small and they need to stay in with the momma. I am sure she is anxious to be able to roam around as well. Inside we have 25 baby chicks that we are anxiously awaiting to get outside. They are growing quickly and will be ready to go out to pasture in about a week or two. Cornish Cross Hens live very short lives (about 8 weeks to be exact) so we hope to give them the best 8 weeks of their lives possible. Soon it will be time to cull them and freezer bag them for selling and for own meat supply. It's hard to not become attached to them as you watch them grow. It's interesting to think of what God has planned for your life. I never thought I would be raising chickens, and now I have 40 of them. My desires for my life have changed so dramatically in the last few years. It's not always normal, but it's our life and I love it!

After separating them.