Custom made soaps.

Design your own soaps for a personal or professional touch. If you prefer the 100% natural range or have skin ailments you are hoping to treat, create your very own soap choosing from a range of clays, botanicals and essential oils.

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Additives:

  • Rose clay –  Particularly great for facial soap as it helps to reduce inflammation, remove dead skin cells, tighten pores, fade hyperpigmentation and improve circulation.
  • Charcoal – Often used for the treatment of acne and oily skin, charcoal draws out toxins and impurities to help balance the oil in your skin.
  • Hibiscus flowers –  One of the most powerful anti-ageing plant actives, dubbed the ‘Botox plant’. Hibiscus increases skin elasticity to give a natural youth-boost. Rich in anti-oxidants and the ability to inhibit the activity of the enzyme elastase, which is responsible for breaking down our skin’s elastin, Hibiscus actively combats the ageing process by firming and lifting your skin.  This rich additive is highly recommended for mature or sensitive skin.
  • Sea kelp – This super plant can grow up to 2ft a day and survive very harsh conditions under water, when fermented and powdered it turns in to a powerful catalyst for skin renewal. Sea kelp has long been used in high end skin care ranges such as Crème de la Mer for good reason.
  • Turmeric – Effective in the treatment of acne due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties,Turmeric helps to reduce oil secretion and give skin a natural glow.
  • Oatmeal – A great natural way to exfoliate, oatmeal is also renowned to moisturise and soothe sensitive skin.

Pair your choice of additive with an essential oil to complete your choice.

  • Lemongrass – With anti-septic and astringent properties lemongrass oil is very cleansing and will even out your skin tone. This favourable scent is always popular for its fresh and invigorating scent which lingers.
  • Tea tree – Antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil are beneficial for the treatment of a number of skin diseases and conditions, especially acne.
  • Peppermint – A strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent, peppermint is cooling and refreshing.  
  • Eucalyptus – One of the most powerful healing essential oils there is, this medicated essential oil aids with anti-fungal, an
  • Bergamot – Known for it’s calming ability, this scent is sophisticated and divine.  Bergamot is also used to help balance oily skin.
  • Cinnamon – Exhibits potent antioxidant properties. These properties make it an ideal remedy for skin diseases, acne and even potentially fatal conditions like cancer. Antioxidants help purge cancerous cells and damage-inducing free radicals from your body.
  • Ginger – Helps to relieve anxiety and reduce inflammation. Ginger essential oil is high in antioxidants and is a deep, musky and masculine scent.
  • Blood orange -Known as an anti-depressant this essential oil is a delicious, fresh scent. Blood orange helps in promoting collagen and also increasing blood flow to skin. It is useful in soothing irritated and dry skin prone to rashes.

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For a decorative look, ideal for yachts and guest houses pick your colours from a wide range of dye-free micas in a variety of shades and pair it with your choice of scent. 2inch and 1.5inch round bars are available to be customised and are perfect for yachts and guest houses. Small 10g sea themed shapes make perfect hand soaps, ideal for yachts or hotels.

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Fragrance oils:

  • Cucumber
  • Sandalwood
  • Tropical fruit
  • Almond
  • Jasmine
  • Lime squash
  • Ocean mist

For a professional look, have your name or logo embedded into each bar with a custom made stamp.

Customised soaps are available in the standard 3in bar wrapped in the usual packaging of a cigar band and scrap book paper matched to the colour of your soap or can also be requested as a whole loaf for you to cut yourself. Standard bars are made in kilo batches that gives you 10 bars therefore the minimum order for customised soaps are 10 bars.

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Contact me directly for custom soaps or wholesale enquiries.

(268) 736-4628

twentyhillfarm@gmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/twentyhillfarm

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Winnie, the Antiguan War Horse.

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Winnie arrived in my life on Valentines day in 2014.  I didn’t know it, or would never have expected it, but she was the best valentines gift a girl could ever ask for.

A friend of mine was visiting from the UK and took the car to the beach with her son one day.  She came home and told me about this hungry looking horse tied to a post on the way.  It wasn’t that I didn’t believe her but having seen so many slightly sad looking horses in Antigua I assumed it was another case like this and said we would have to go check it out.  She pressured me the next day to go, I wasn’t unwilling but I did inform her there is no government assistance or anywhere to take these horses so if it needed rescuing it would be down to us and to not expect any assistance, either with the rescue or the after care.

When we pulled up to the football pitch in St Phillips I never expected what I saw. This poor old mare was tied to the only post on the field, not a scrap of shade or a drop of water and was on her last legs.  Literally.  She was too weak to even put her head down to drink.  Left there she might have lasted another 12 – 24 hours but no longer than that.  She was riddled with sinking ticks and the infection they incur on their victims, her hooves were overgrown and curling round, her hair sparse and dull, barely covering her protruding skeleton.  It was definitely the saddest case of a horse I have seen in Antigua.  If we were in the UK the obvious option would be to humanely put her down.  Not even that is easy to do here.  So, rescuing her it was.  We got a few volunteers to help out and went back with the trailer to take Winnie away.  For a starving, nearly-dead horse she put up a damn good fight to get in the trailer.  She used the last ounce of energy she had and collapsed on the floor in the trailer with no signs of wanting to get up.  Once we arrived at home she still wouldn’t get up. We gave her time, we splashed her with water, we stroked her, we even tried to irritate her so she would want to move.  Nothing.  We ended up tying rope around her legs and dragging her out on the ground; where she lay lifeless.  I stared at this old mare, mostly wondering who I would call to ask for a backhoe to bury her as I was sure she wasn’t getting up.  I wish I had a picture of her on the ground that day but I didn’t think she would live and didn’t want a sad picture of her to look at.

After dropping the kind volunteers back to the racetrack and returning home Winnie was up! Wobbly and not moving but she had stood up.  It was then that she got her name Winnie, after Winnie Mandela, a true survivor. 563

I fenced off a little area of the paddock for her to stay in for her recovery and my other horse, Babs stood with her over the fence. As did the dog.  I gave her a ginormous pile of grass which she ate and slept in for days.   She would submerge her whole body in the grass and lay down flat out for so long that I would regularly check if she was still breathing.  788

We picked ticks off her for the rest of the week.  She was weak and so scared.  She had scars on her face and what I later noticed to be a paralyzed nose.  She would hold her breath whenever she was touched and brace herself leaning on her back legs when approached.   Poor horse had obviously been beaten severely.  I later learned that Winnie was one of many owned by some sick individual, the fence had broken in their paddock and people were complaining about the horses roaming so the owner tied them all to a different tree and left them there to die.  Winnie was the last survivor.

My friends visit was a short one and as she owned horses she promised me a care package for Winnie to include antibiotics, muscle builder and various vet supplies. Unfortunately it was a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and I never received anything from her.  This irritated me for a good while.  I thought, oh that’s nice, take your free holiday and rescue a starving horse, then leave me, who has significantly less money, to deal with it.

How shameful it was to think like that. Little did I know Winnie was worth her weight in gold and I would pay all that I paid over and over again to have her back.  She was the most special blessing in the biggest disguise.

Winnie’s role, once she survived, was to be a companion for my horse who I had not long moved home. Having come straight from the racetrack as a 4yr old she knew nothing and was dangerously large, powerful and insane.

Winnie gained strength slowly but surely over the days. She got through several courses of antibiotics, bottles upon bottles of BNT powder, any kind of skin treatment I could find and a cocktail of all natural supplements at every meal.  She always walked like a dinosaur; I could only think it was because she had no muscle in her back legs and had probably had a few foals and was all a bit out of line.  It was about 9 months later that Winnie trotted again for the first time and it was one of the happiest sights.  She threw her head left to right and trotted down the drive, I could never forget it.

With grass being limited and a severe drought well on it’s way, I started tying Winnie out in the pastures near my house. This was actually a life saver, I could tie Winnie and be sure that Babs would stay in the area with her as I knew I couldn’t trust Babs enough to tie her.

Winnie was remarkable in so many ways, a bomb proof, wise old being; she taught Babs pretty much everything she knows now. I credit Babs’ entire life on having Winnie as I am sure she would have killed herself or had some horrific accident without Winnie to keep her in check.  We would walk the footpath twice daily to go to pasture.  Babs would get anxious to get out there and bomb past Winnie and I.  For anyone who hasn’t had an OTTB, they can be difficult to stop.  The gallop at any opportunity and seem to have difficulty knowing when best to stop.  Before I got Winnie I had a couple of incidents where Babs had gotten loose and run for miles, losing all shoes and ending up through the bush, scratched to shit and completely distressed before I found her.  She really was a nightmare.  But once Winnie was part of the team Babs would only run so far before stopping and waiting for her new best friend.  Winnie would walk though bush with her head down and her sure feet slowly and precisely, teaching Babs not to be afraid of the sticks hitting her.  She would jump over the smallest piece of wire where Babs would try and plough through.  Luckily Babs was smart enough to realise that Winnie was a fantastic teacher and a wise old girl and would gladly follow her lead.  She really did respect and love her to the core.  Winnie was even kind enough to put up with Babs’ needy and slightly annoying behaviour which included Babs constantly rubbing her face on her to get rid of flies and pushing her around the paddock to whatever tree she wanted them to nap under.  Leaving Winnie alone or napping under separate trees was not an option.

It wasn’t long before I ran out of good spots to tie Winnie, shade and lush grass were dwindling and Winnie still needed a lot of fattening up. I decided, maybe not so wisely, that all the times they had escaped never ended in disaster and I would simply let them go to wonder the foot path on their own and roam the village as they pleased.  To my surprise they came home on their own at the same time they usually did.  So that became the routine.  These horses roamed for miles but were predictable enough that I could always find them.  Luckily the neighbours loved them.  Everyone was so kind about having these vagrant horses visit them in their gardens and they even had several young fans that would go out and greet them and just watch them graze.  My greatest worry with Babs was always someone stealing her which is common practice in Antigua.  With Winnie I never had to worry.  She would never let anyone catch her and I knew Babs would never leave her so that was that problem out of the way.  She was also so happy for the freedom.  Winnie started cantering again after about a year, she would throw her front legs around like a young spritely horse; I took such pleasure in watching her all the time.  She was my proudest achievement by far.  Still is.

We were then lucky enough to get a field of our own. Acres upon acres of lush grass, all the fruit trees you could imagine and it was divine.  Once mango season came round they would run in to their field and do the rounds of all the mango trees eating the ones in reach and on the floor.  Babs would always crack the seed and end up spitting it out having hit the bitter tasting inside of the seed while Winnie would take her time and eat all the flesh off the mango before spitting out the whole seed, cleaned like a pro.  Her natural intelligence was so inspiring to me and to Babs.  She just knew so much.  She would seek out a tree to stand under before it rained and turn her back as the first drizzle started.

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Winnie’s second before and after shot.

In what felt like no time, Winnie had started to look great. She really had come a full circle.  Her coat was a beautiful bright shiny bay, her eyes lit up again, her nose even regained movement for the most part.  She would only ever let me catch her and I really didn’t spend a huge amount of time trying to socialise her.  She was ok with me grooming her occasionally but she was pretty unsociable and just preferred being left alone, and I respected that.

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The only selfie of Winnie and I.  She ran away at the sound of the picture being taken on the phone so we didn’t try that again.

Sadly it wasn’t to last. After just two short years of having Winnie she began to have seizures.  They were utterly bizarre; she would flop around like a dying fish and then stand up like nothing ever happened.  When she had the 4th seizure it was obvious they were getting closer and closer together and more severe.  She didn’t appear to be recovering after that last seizure and I knew the best thing to do would be to put her down.  The vet said it was likely she had a tumour somewhere inside her causing it.  It was a brutally sad day.  Babs was mortified leaving her body.  She stood over her with true sadness in her heart and screamed the whole way home when I made her leave her.

I cried for days. As did Babs.  I left her old rope on the ground and Babs spent nearly an hour smelling the rope and moving it around with her nose.  She stood at the gate for days looking for her friend.  It was awful to watch.  I had always imagined that Winnie dying would be sad but bearable because she had a good end to her life and knew love and respect which she didn’t know before.  I was wrong and it was awful.  It felt so unfair to her to have come so far, been such a trooper, a true friend to Babs and myself and just get sick and be gone so quickly.

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Just a few days before she was put down, looking better than ever with her big grass belly.

I knew Babs would be difficult to look after again and that replacing Winnie would be an impossible task but Babs needed company. I settled for a friend’s horse that had come off the track with a damaged tendon.  It was disasterous.  It resulted in Babs being kicked by him so severely that her vet bill exceeded all the money I spent on Winnie and was weeks of pure panic that she might not recover.  He was gotten rid of immediately after that and Babs is back to being my shadow.  I hope to find her another loyal old friend but I know I will never have another Winnie.  She was one in a million and I was lucky to know her.  She taught me as many lessons as she taught Babs, maybe more.

Although I wish I could have had her for years to come I will remember her until I die. And be grateful to her for eternity.

Rest in peace, and knee length grass, Winnie.

March soaps

All soaps are PALM OIL FREE and handmade on the farm using only Twenty Hill Farm raw goat’s milk.

 

Antigua Flower Show specialty soaps.

 

100% Natural Range

Activated charcoal, tea tree and eucalyptus – a fantastic cleansing bar, great for the face and anyone suffering from acne.

Sea kelp, tea tree and peppermint – good for tired muscles and sore joints as well as being a super cleansing wrinkle and acne fighting bar.

Rose clay and bergamot – a refreshing and gentle bar ideal for the face and sensitive skin in need of a little rejuvenation.

Lemongrass – the most popular scent which lingers on your skin.

Oats & clay – fragrance free exfoliating bar with gentle moisturizing properties from natural oats.

Fragranced range

A variety of fragrances made with cosmetic fragrance oils and the highest quality, dye free coloured micas.

Goating ways…

My love and respect for animals has, and will continue to be, the foundation for my practices and the reason I work extra hard to give these creatures the best lives possible. All of my goats have big personalities and I consider them to be members of my family.

My herd is a mixture of Boer, Nubian and the Antiguan Creole goat (a mixture of breeds imported in to Antigua over the years). The Boer is the most common goat in Antigua and despite being a meat goat has a very high percentage of butterfat in their milk.  I am working on strengthening the Nubian bloodlines in the herd but I have bred some lovely milk goats on the farm with great milking qualities by crossing Boer with Nubian.

I am very fortunate here to be surrounded by a vast wooded area, which makes for perfect browsing for the goats. The majority of the goats are left to roam freely for the most of the day, playing amongst the trees and eating whatever is in reach; returning to their pen willingly each night to be locked in.

While in milking season, the dairy girls will spend most of the day in the paddock where I can control their feed intake a little better. I do not cut out browsing completely at any time; they feed the best while left to their own devices and I believe the free time they have to just be goats is imperative to their health and happiness and of course to the great tasting milk they provide me with.  Hay in Antigua is generally poor quality or unavailable, while imported Alfalfa and Timothy hay is incredibly expensive, so the girls are fed with their favourite, naturally grown greens sourced fresh each day, this includes Wild Tamarind and Guinea grass which are high protein plants commonly seen in Antigua.  I also work with my non-GMO, local farmers who provide me with much of their farm waste for the goats.  Their favourites are corn plants and potato vines.  Sustainable and humane animal husbandry is very important to me and I take a special interest in sourcing high quality sustainable produce for my goats.

Any medications are given with extreme caution to milk production.  My goats are on Verm-X all natural wormer, with a chemical wormer only given when necessary and with care to dump the milk for over the recommended period.  I only use antibiotics for injury or illness, and again, make sure the milk is discarded for longer than the recommended period.

I do not remove the kids from their mothers. This is not typically standard practice for a goat dairy but for me personally, I believe the does deserve to know their kids and to care for them, as long as mothers and kids are healthy. Everyone is different and I respect other farms’ practices but after witnessing what a loving, family bond goats can have I don’t have the heart to unnecessarily remove them. I start milking when the kids are one month old, separating the kids and mothers for part of the day and by three months old the kids are weaned and I am milking twice a day.

My goats have been the most exciting adventure in farm life and I have high hopes and great optimism for my caprine filled future.

Farm to Shower

EX0C5167All the soap produced at the farm is made with 100% raw goat’s milk from Twenty Hill Farm goats.

Having learnt the art of soap making at the very reputable Limeberry Studio in England I am pleased to be able to follow their lead, making all the soap Palm Oil free. This was very important to me, having not realised how much palm oil is used in the soap making industry until I began research.  Although many people say you can get sustainable Palm oil, it is a grey area with many questioning how sustainable any Palm oil can really be.  While it’s possible to achieve the same great qualities using other oils I prefer to stay on the safe side.

Using Olive oil, Coconut oil, Shea butter, Coco butter and Castor oil combined with nourishing goat’s milk the results are a luxurious lather that will leave your skin feeling ultra clean and hydrated.

There has been considerable research done in regard to the benefits of goat’s milk for skin so I will quickly run down why goat’s milk soap makes sense.

  • The content of alpha-hydroxy acids in goat’s milk aids as a natural exfoliant, breaking down the bond that holds dead skin cells together, leaving new cells on the surface for smoother, younger looking skin.
  • Goat’s milk contains many vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin D, B1, B6, B12, E, and A. It is particularly high in Vitamin A which in necessary for repairing damaged tissue. Vitamin A is also known to control acne, reduce lines and wrinkles and help ease psoriasis and eczema.
  • Goat’s milk is very high in Selenium, which is believed to prevent skin cancer and repair sun damaged skin.
  • Goat’s milk has three times the amount of beta-caseins than cow’s milk. Caseins are absorbed by skin very quickly, allowing for quick hydration of the skin.

Another thing to remember about homemade soap is that glycerine is produced naturally during the saponification process. The vast majority of mass produced soaps remove the glycerine to use in more expensive skin care products, robbing the soap of the natural moisturising qualities and in turn they often add many harsh chemicals, detergents and petroleum products.

Goat’s milk makes up 38% of the soap, which is a large percentage in comparison to many milk soaps, so you are sure to feel all of these wonderful benefits.

The soaps are divided into two categories: the 100% Natural range and the colourful, fragranced range.

The 100% Natural range may look a bit boring in comparison to the fragranced selection, but the results are far from dull. Made with beneficial essential oils, mineral-rich clays and natural exfoliants your skin will thank you from head to toe.

The fragranced range can’t be called 100% natural because the fragrance oils that make up a tiny percentage are synthetic. However, these soaps are still a million miles closer to nature than any mass produced soap. Many people enjoy the yummy smells not achievable with essential oils such as Melon and Cucumber. All of the vibrant colours found in the fragranced range are the highest quality coloured micas and are all free of dyes.

Whatever your preference, once you switch to goat’s milk soap you won’t want to go back.

 

 

 

Farm life

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It’s been a long road to be able to call this place a ‘farm’, but here I am.  This journey which is one filled with love for four legged creatures and Mother Nature began I was born, in this house which is now Twenty Hill Farm, in Antigua W.I.

My extravagant hippy parents paved the way for many weird and wonderful creatures to be in my life from birth. At age 2 we got our rescue monkey, with my father assuring myself and my sisters that he was not our pet, he was our brother.  He accompanied many horses who were my mother’s first loves, a few donkeys, several dogs and even more cats, parrots, a mean sheep and so many others along the way.  We were then moved (bribed by the promise of my own pony) to England, where horses became the focus of my life and the reason my school attendance record was seriously below par.

The next few years brought some ‘not so great’ times; to cut a very long story short, after the death of both my parents and hating pretty much every animal-less, dissatisfying job I have ever had, I decided to move back in to the house where it all began. The house by this point had been left abandoned for years and was a disaster, which was heart breaking; not only because it was where my family had started, but my grandfather had built it in the 70’s and it’s a pretty spectacular place.  Anyone homesteading or farming, or even just repairing a house with a seriously limited budget (or no budget a lot of the time) can tell you it is enough to make you crazy, and probably more so in the Caribbean.  Land of the perfect beaches?  Yes.  Land of reliable workforces and bargain stores?  No.

It didn’t take long for the animal craziness to resume and I have somehow managed to fill the place with many four legged friends in just 3 years. Most of the fencing, pens and paddocks came after the animals, which made for goats raiding the kitchen, horses waiting for breakfast on the patio, some serious shouting, endless chasing and a lot of laughing.

But here I am in the craziness. I love it and I try never to take it for granted.