These are all items I've used and have found great value from. Some of them are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase, I might earn a small commission that won't cost you anything. If I have them listed here, it's because they work for me!
Here are the categories you can find here: Making Soap, Using Herbs & Essential Oils, Traditional Skills (Fermentation, Cooking, Cheese Making, etc.), Budgeting, General Homesteading (Livestock, Off-Grid, etc.).
Natural Soap Making Course for Health & Joy (Coming Soon)
1) A Crockpot
I like the simple manual crockpots, and the larger the better. I’ve found that the seven quart and larger sizes generally cook your soap faster.
A digital kitchen scale is a must for both hot process and cold process soap making. This is because you must weigh the ingredients exactly.
A hand blender is needed to quickly bring your soap to trace. You can find out more in my many soap making tutorials on the blog!
I love these Pyrex pitchers for making my lye solution as well as herbal teas for my soap making.
I like to use wooden spoons to stir my soap down. You really shouldn’t use any type of metal (except stainless steel) in your soap making, and wooden spoons are just more traditional.
6) Soap Molds
You’ll need soap molds if you are going to make soap. You can use a variety of different containers, but my favorite is a rectangular silicone mold because the soap releases so easily.
7) Soap Cutter
A large knife works fine, but if you want a straight and even cut, you might want to consider a soap cutter. I like this one, too: Soap Cutter
8) Measuring Cups and Spoons—stainless steel
You’ll want these for measuring out your essential oils and any additives.
Safety Equipment: You can purchase these at any hardware store or even the grocery stores.
You can buy this at many hardware stores, although I personally prefer using food grade lye. You can find out lots more about using lye on the blog or in my course or eBook.
Seeds, such as Poppy Seeds
Here’s a nifty Sampler Pack of Soap Colorants and Textures.
Jan Berry, over at the Nerdy Farm Wife, is an expert at artisanal cold process soap making, and her directions are incredible. Her photos are drool-worthy too!
If you want to learn how to make hot process soap, you'll need to take a look at my own book. I wrote this book because I prefer hot process soap making to cold process soap making, and there just wasn't a lot of clear information about the process.
So...Here you go!
And here are some Amazon links to Soap Making books I have and use all the time too:
I created a course that is a complete guide to Home Herbalism that will help you get going in your herbal adventures and natural health. It’s called The Confident Herbalist: A Guide to Home Herbalism, and it’s a great way to get started quickly and practically.
If you don’t think you have time for a longer course, I’ve also created a monthly membership that will help you learn about one plant a month on a deep level, as well as medicinal remedies you can make along with me.
Both long course and this Confident Herbal Tribe membership come with TONS of student support from me.
For courses I've personally taken that I feel good about recommending, I'm a fan of the Herbal Academy of New England.
I've taken (or am taking) several of their courses, including The Craft of Herbal Fermentation, The Intermediate Herbalism Course, The Advanced Herbalism Course, and the Using Herbs for Stress Management Course.
Also, the first long course I ever took was Rosemary Gladstar’s Science and Art of Herbal Medicine. It’s a wonderful course, with LOTS of practical applications, and I highly recommend it as well. I am not an affiliate, but it’s how I first got my start many years ago.
The Herbarium through the Herbal Academy of New England. This is an annual membership site that’s filled with all kinds of useful information, including materia medicas on a huge number of plants. The articles are well-researched too.
Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide by Rosemary Gladstar
Herbs for Vital Health by Rosemary Gladstar
Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech
The Modern Herbal Dispensatory by Thomas Easley
A Modern Herbal (both volumes) by Mrs. Grieve
The Earthwise Herbal (both volumes) by Matthew Wood
The Herbal Handbook by David Hoffman
The Complete Herbs Sourcebook by David Hoffman
Medical Herbalism by David Hoffman
The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra
Herbal Antibiotics by Harold Buhner
Herbal Antivirals by Harold Buhner
Herbal and Sacred Healing Beers by Harold Buhner
Preppers Natural Medicine by Cat Ellis
The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey
Alchemy of Herbs by Rosalee de la Foret
Body Into Balance by Maria Groves
Healing Herbal Infusions by Colleen Codekas
The Herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride
Foraging and Feasting by Dina Falconi
Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore
Mountain States Foraging by Briana Wiles
Medicinal Plants of the Desert & Canyon West by Michael Moore (in fact, all of his foraging books are excellent)
Wild Drinks & Cocktails by Emily Han
**And there a many more wonderful books on using herbs, some of which I have and didn’t add to this long list. I have all of the resources mentioned here, and I can recommend them if you want to learn about using & foraging herbs!
Sometimes you just have to purchase the herbs you need. My favorite place to shop is Starwest Botanicals.
They have a wide variety of culinary and medicinal herbs in different amounts for your convenience. Their herbs are high quality, customer service is great, and shipping is fast!
For soap making, I get my essential oils from Starwest Botanicals. I like them for making soap because I'm getting a quality essential oil at prices that are not completely off the charts. I've tried less expensive oils, and there's a big difference in quality.
You can read more about the criteria I personally use to source my essential oils in this article. There are lots of great companies out there---just do some research! But these three are my favorites.
If you love eBooks, then here are some links to some AWESOME bundles through the Ultimate Bundles group. They've kindly made some of their bundled eBooks available again!
The reason I love bundles like these is that you can purchase a TON of eBooks for one low price, then pick and choose which ones you want to download and use. You'll more than get your money's worth: I promise that! I've never once been disappointed in one of their bundles.
This one is not herb or health related, but I'm including it here because it's really good: The Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle
For Making Lotion Bars: These small silicone molds are perfect for making the right size lotion bars.
For Making Push-Up Lotion Bars, Deodorants, Lip Balms: These small lip balm tubes are the perfect size. It’s easiest when you have a kit because you can make many at one time, and the stand greatly reduces spills.
These larger push up tubes are good for bigger hard balms, such as lotion bars and deodorants.
Storing your tinctures and oxymels is easy. You just need glass containers. However, if you want to be sure they last as long as possible and make the tincture/preparation easy to administer, then amber glass dropper bottles are necessary. You can buy them in different sizes too.
Wardeh Harmon has developed a series of courses for learning traditional cooking skills for your and your family's health. Here is a link to one of her blog posts at her amazing school: How to Get Started with Traditional Foods.
Also, here are some FREEBIES she offers that you might be interested in too:
My friend, Corina Sahlin, has been making cheese forever. She raises her own goats and uses her own milk. She's been teaching others how to make their own cheeses in person at her homestead or online in video courses.
Here is a link to a list of her courses over at Marblemount Homestead in the Pacific Northwest. Courses at Marblemount Homestead.
Washboard and large tub for washing clothes
Tools, like this axe/hatchet (it’s amazing!)