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From Gardening To Soap - Skills To Become More Self-Sufficient

"The garden is really like a teaching ground...If you're just growing one basil plant and you're incorporating that into chili or spaghetti or whatever, I think it's awesome for your kids to see and know where those come from and maybe get a little bit of science along the way." - Shelly Scott

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Shelly Scott - Michelle Hagen

Shelly helps aspiring homesteaders and makers learn old-fashioned skills to live more self-sufficient lifestyles. She lives in the country with her husband and two young kiddos and is in process of renovating an1895 farmhouse. She thrives on teaching others, loves a good cup of french press coffee, and wants to educate people on the value of clean skincare products you can make yourself. Take a listen (or read below) today's episode to learn how you can find the courage to start one step at a time and gain the confidence to grow your own garden, make your own soap, find more natural, sustainable products and resources, and so much more!


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Michelle Hagen 0:01

All right friends, I am so excited to introduce you to one of my friends who helped me start my garden last year go from what was a tiny little thing to something that we use in family meals. She is an amazing maker of soap, bath teas, and has an amazing skincare business. I'm so excited to introduce you guys to my friend and Midwest. Mama Shelly. Welcome to the podcast. Hi,


Shelly Scott 0:30

thanks so much for having me. I'm super excited to be here.


Michelle Hagen 0:34

I'm so excited for us to dive in. I think this is a topic that we're going to talk about today that so many people started last year in as like their COVID Victory Gardens. And I think that people realize that something that they can do, and they're ready to expand. But before we dive in, why don't you introduce yourself and tell the listeners a little bit about you?


Shelly Scott 0:58

Hey, y'all, I'm Shelly. Like, Michelle said, Midwest Mom, I'm in Minnesota, we have a 20 or 21 acre homestead 19 or 1895 farmhouse that we're renovating and, you know, kind of everything that we grow in our garden goes into our skincare business. And so it's kind of all intermingled, but I am just like, on a mission to teach, you know, the world about how to grow healthy gardens, how to preserve what you've grown, how to eliminate, you know, kind of the crud out of your skincare routine, and do that in such like a healthy manner. Because most, you know, nowadays, I feel like people have forgotten how to use those old fashioned skills. And so I'm just gonna, I'm just on a mission to do that.


Michelle Hagen 1:49

I love it so much. And it is just like you had said, How sad and it's interesting because I had never grown a garden until last year. And like this winter, I've nursed a bit back of basil plant that got, I don't know, left forgotten frozen in the window. But there's so much satisfaction when you are getting to use produce. And it might not be the whole meal that you're using, but pieces of it are something that you grew and like the kids knew where it knew the kids know where it comes from. And that's the part that I love about it.


Shelly Scott 2:24

And I think, for us, I'm a homeschool mom. And so the garden is really kind of like a teaching ground as well for us, you know, especially with COVID. You know, I've decided not to send them to public school, but they get such an education at our farm. And so if you're just growing one basil plant, or you're growing a parsley plant or something, and you're incorporating that into chili, or, you know, you know, spaghetti or whatever, I think it's really awesome for your kids to see and know where those come from and maybe get a little bit of science along the way, you know.


Michelle Hagen 2:57

Yes. I love it. Oh, okay. Yes. And the science like that. It shows the kids like Thatcher, I was always sending you pictures. In the summer of like, look at that dirt, all the dirt he saw. He's one cucumber that the plants got abandoned while we were on vacation over watered on accident by the neighbors. And my husband built me the most beautiful boxes last year and we like tarp to this area and the mulch down and then I was like wait, we put the boxes under a tree.


Shelly Scott 3:44

I feel like it's all a learning experience. I've been teaching so many people about like, even just like the beginning things of growing a garden It is so interesting to see how much people don't know. And when you don't know it, it's no fault of your own. You just don't know it, you know?


Michelle Hagen 4:03

Yeah, and I just was like, oh, it'll get sun cuz it had some the past year but our trees in our backyard have grown so much that poor Jake, we're gonna have to shovel all the dirt out I think this year and move the boxes or just find things that grow really good in like the shaded area and just need the Nebraska heat and a little bit of sun. But before we dive into gardening, I always love to touch on you talked about that you're a homeschool mom. And I know you're running your business and you also do sign language interpretation. What does it look like for you as a working mom on a daily basis and a weekly basis? What does that look like for you?


Shelly Scott 4:47

So this year was a little bit different I think because you know with with COVID and everything. You know at the beginning, my my sign language interpreting happens directly in the morning and whereas my husband would go to work during the evening. But his you know, his business was kind of impacted by that. And so we've just decided that he'll stay home and you know, take care of our kids and not send them to daycare. So I would work in the morning, and he would work at night. And now I'm still working in the morning as a sign language interpreter. And then after the kids go, you know, the nap time hustle, I do our business, you know, in the evening portion of that. And so, I mean, I haven't I wasn't so much a planner, you know, previously, but I feel like we need to plan to be able to get those business things done. And so it's definitely a muscle that is being exercised. So


Michelle Hagen 5:44

yeah, I love that. And, and just to even hear, like the balance of it. I think that sometimes, like we've talked about that people think that we're doing all of these things and creating all this stuff. And that's, and that's not necessarily true. And that's what like, I want to give women the permission into here, like, what I'm seeing on social media, and what I think is happening is really probably what is not actually happening behind the scenes.


Shelly Scott 6:12

You know, I mean, we don't, we don't make products every single day. You know, we make them maybe once or twice a week, you know, and I'm not, and I, you know, batch different things, so I can get all my emails sent out. So it's not like an everyday like, you got to hustle your butt to get it done. That would be super stressful for me. So yes, like the perfectly curated social media, whatever is, you know, take it as a grain of salt, because everybody's not like that. It doesn't, for especially for a working mom like me, like it doesn't. It doesn't look like those perfectly curated, little squares that you've seen on social media. So yeah, yeah.


Michelle Hagen 6:52

Okay, so let's dive in to creating our garden. And what does that look like to help our families be more sustainable? As we go into the winter months, and I, our winter, Germans were exiting the winter going into the summer months? I'm so excited about this Turner the past few mornings, when he's let the dogs out. He's been like, Mom, there's birds outside? And I was like, he's like, does that mean that the spring is coming soon? And we can plant stuff again. And I was like, Yes, it does. That, like the frost is, is leaving us. So I know that it's really important. And that to start seeding. And sometimes people say, start your plants inside, move them outside. And I you know, or there's some seeds that have to go straight into the ground, how do we even know what to pick when it comes