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The Homegrown Collective, who kindly sent me this box to review, includes seasonally appropriate, professionally curated products that deliver the satisfaction of living a more self-sufficient & sustainable lifestyle to your doorstep each month. I never even attempt to guess what they are going to include in their boxes. Sometimes when I get the boxes and look at everything (without looking at the information cards) I still don’t know.
The Homegrown Collective ships via USPS Priority Mail and it arrived in two days. They ship “perishable” items every so often and I had never had an issue with something not being fresh and usable. This for sure isn’t a box to put aside and open later though.
This is more like a second look picture since I removed a ton of packaging material before taking this picture. I knew right away I wanted to work on this box this weekend (I like to do all my Homegrown Collective projects before I do a review), but I was intimidated from the start with this one. I recruited B to help me before he left on Saturday though, which made it much more manageable.
The November Homegrown Collective theme was “Preserving & Preparing The Harvest Feast” and included two projects – Gourd Candle Making and Water Bath Canning.
Gourd Candle Making: I have never ever thought to make a candle out of a gourd. Never. Little did I know that this was even an option. I had B cut and carve out the gourd while I melted the wax for it. I do think that B was impressed I knew how to melt the wax using a double boiler. I always save the mason jars from old Homegrown Collective for just this reason. The box came with two wick options, a wax wick and wood wicks. We opted for the wood wicks because they seemed cooler. B left before the wax was cooled but when he gets home I need to have him work on smoothing out the bottom of our gourd so it sits flat. I’m not sure if we did something wrong or what, but it didn’t mention in the instructions we needed to somehow smooth out the bottom. I don’t think it’s going to be too hard though (and I also consulted with my mom on this who agrees) so I am loving these. I think mini DIY pumpkin and gourd candles would be so cool for your Thanksgiving table!
~Water Bath Canning. The second project was water bath canning. I have never actually canned anything myself and I guess I didn’t realize what an involved process it was. I guess if you do it all the time you have it down to a science, but I never would have thought you needed to, for example, put the filled jars back into a stock pot and bring to a roiling boil? Clearly I have never canned before. I “cooked” the cranberries (we made cranberry preserves) while B got the jars ready. For some reason we only ended up with one full jar (B was in charge of that as well), but I don’t mind. We are saving this for the “right” meal, but I am super curious how they turn out. Did anyone make these yet? What’d you think?
As usual, I didn’t do a value calculation for the October Homegrown Collective box since it would have been too difficult. I wouldn’t describe The Homegrown Collective as a “value box” by any means, but I always learn something new with each box, which I love and what this box is all about. Some things (canning, wool dryer balls, sugar scrubs) you’ll love and incorporate into your daily life. And some things (growing your own alfalfa sprouts, preserving lemons) you’ll realize aren’t for you, but you’ll be happy you tried!
Boxes are $48 /month and, of course, are even cheaper if you buy a 6-month ($39/month) or 12-month ($35.75/month) subscription! If you are interested in subscribing, or just want to learn more, click here. And don’t forget to use the code “RAMBLIN10″ to save $10 off your first box!!!