To kick off our Open Farm Day season this past April teammate Shaun led a workshop on how to make 100% grass-fed beef tallow soap. We had a great turn out and folks loved the sample soap that Shaun had made prior to the workshop. Teammate Tyler made wooden soapmolds that were offered for purchase and seemed to be a hit. Check out the recipe complete with step by step pictures below!


Why use Grass-fed beef tallow?

  • Mild soap
  • Gentle lather
  • Full of antioxidants, vitamins such as A, D and K, anti-microbial palmitoleic acid, and the anti-inflammatory essential fatty acid called CLA – Conjugated Linoleic Acid – which has been linked to cancer prevention, fat loss and improved brain function. (1) (2)
  • Contains the same fats or lipids found in healthy, supple human skin oil. Therefore, tallow is believed to prevent dryness at the cellular level without suffocating the skin’s barrier like petroleum-based lotions do.
  • Assists the skin in retaining moisture, restores youthful looking skin and replenishes the building blocks of our cells that decrease with age.


Supplies needed:

  • Grass-fed tallow
  • Lye aka sodium hydroxide (grocery store/ hardware store)
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Goggles
  • Mask
  • Measuring cup
  • 3 bowls
  • 1 pan (for melting tallow)
  • Wax or freezer paper
  • Soap mold
  • Bar cutter (Michael’s Arts and Crafts)
  • Thermometer
  • Digital kitchen scale
  • Wooden spoons for mixing
  • Immersion blender or hand mixer
  • White vinegar in case any lye gets on skin (neutralize it)


  • 30 ozs. Grass-fed beef tallow
  • 3.88 ozs. Lye
  • 11 ozs. Distilled water


Stir lye (sodium hydroxide) into the water until it is dissolved.  **DO NOT add water to the lye as it can cause a volcanic like eruption** It is best to do outside because of fumes.  Set aside until temperature drops to 100-110 degrees F (38-43 degrees C)


  • Heat tallow on low until it is melted

  • When both (lye and tallow) are around the same temperature (100-110 degrees F), pour the dissolved lye mixture into the tallow

  • Use an immersion blender or hand mixer to blend the batter until it reaches a light trace (pudding or custard type consistency)

  • If scenting, add essential oil (s) at this time and mix (if making scented use a good quality essential oil (c. 50 drops) but it adds to the cost of the bar & it takes a fair amount to get a strong scent)

  • Pour batter into a soap mold lined with wax or freezer paper, cover

  • Leave in mold until it is easy to remove (a couple of days), slice into bars when firm enough, should not to stick to cutting tool

  • Cure for 6 weeks before using, set on wax paper or coated cooling racks so excess moisture evaporates out


Resources: (calculators)



Date: July 16, 2016
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Cost: $10.00 general admission / $5.00 CSA members

Join RTB’s Liz Wiley to learn easy tips and creative strategies for incorporating more raw food into your diet – and not just salads, my friends!  Eating a diet that includes lots of raw foods will help you to detoxify, energize and revive your health.  In this class, we will explore the benefits of eating raw, learn how to prepare raw foods in interesting and delicious ways, and develop skills that will help us to want to eat raw.  You may even learn some recipes that are worthy of entertaining with.  Of course, tasty samples and recipes will be provided!

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Date: August 20, 2016
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Cost:  $10.00 general admission / $5.00 CSA members

Life can get pretty dirty on the farm, but that in no way means we need to use harsh, chemical-laden cleaning products to clean-up our messes.  During this workshop, RTB’s Shaun VanLaarhoven will teach you how to make a variety of all natural, non-toxic cleaning products with basic ingredients that you can pronounce and safely inhale. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks indoor air pollution among the top environmental dangers, and much of this pollution comes from common household cleaning products. Learning how to make your own cleaning products is better for your health, will improve your indoor air quality, will save you money, and protects the environment.  It’s such a simple practice; yet the modern household remains reluctant to make this switch.  Come and learn how, so you can inspire others to do the same!

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Date: September 17, 2016
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Cost: $10.00 general admission / $5.00 CSA Members

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Date: September 29, 2016
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Cost: $15.00 general admission / $10.00 CSA Members

You’re invited! Come learn the benefits of Essential Oils in our Essential Oils introductory class hosted by the wonderful Dr. Kelley Taylor. You will learn how to improve sleep, relieve muscle tension, support your immune system, promote healthy digestion, enhance emotional well-being, relieve stress and anxious feelings and increase energy using 100% certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils.

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Saturday mornings, 9:00am – 11:00am: Oct. 22nd, Oct. 29th, Nov. 5th, Nov. 12th
Cost: $80.00/ $70.00 CSA Member ($20 per class if you can’t make all four)
We strongly suggest that you come to the first class Oct. 22nd if possible 

Learn how to transform any vegetable into a fermented delicacy!  During this hands-on class, RTB’s Food Consultant and Fermentation Specialist, Laura Killingbeck, will teach you the vegetable fermentation process from beginning to end.  Watch your ferments transform over the course of four weeks, and taste them all as they change.

This class is ideal if you:

  • Want to improve your digestive functioning and immune system
  • Are interested in eating local produce throughout the year
  • Are a CSA member or gardener with more veggies than you can use at once
  • Are interested in understanding the safety, science, and process of fermentation
  • Are a beginner or advanced fermenter

Classes will cover fermentation science and theory, safety, equipment and seasonal planning, gut health and nutrition, vegetable sourcing, and basic and specialized fermentation methods including dry salt sauerkraut and kimchi, techniques in brining root vegetables, spices and spice blends, kvass, hot sauces and chili pastes, and fermented condiments.

Particular recipes will reflect seasonally available produce from local farms, and will be influenced by what is available in CSA shares.  All vegetables will be sourced locally.  Students will get to take home a sample of fermented foods, and the rest will be distributed back to local farmers.

About the Instructor – pic-killingbeck
Laura has been working with Round the Bend Farm for the last  six years as a Food Systems Consultant, Vegetable Liaison, and Fermentation Specialist.  She is currently the Director of Food Systems and Fermentation at Rancho Mastatal Center for Sustainability Education in Costa Rica, where she manages the production of fermented foods for restaurant and community use, and teaches the food and fermentation component of the Ranch’s Apprenticeship Program.  Laura has a hand in the production of thousands of gallons of fermented vegetables, soda, herbal beer, vinegar, and yogurt each year, and works to create replicable systems for utilizing whole foods from local foodsheds on both a community and home scale.  Over the last six years Laura has taught classes on food and fermentation in the United States, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.  In 2014 she completed an educational residency with fermentation author Sandor Katz.  Her favorite ferments of the moment are Benoit’s Magical Beet Kvass and Shaun’s Spicy Bok Choy Kimchi.

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events2Date: May 7, 2016
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Cost: $15.00 general / $10.00 CSA membership (at any local farms)

As the Earth wakes up in the spring, she provides us with an abundance of wild edible and medicinal herbs. This is a great time to incorporate spring tonics into our diets for promoting cleansing and detoxification after a long winter. Join Hannah Jacobson-Hardy, holistic health coach and community herbalist of Sweet Birch Herbals based in Montague, MA to learn simple ways of integrating herbs into your kitchen. During this workshop we will cover five essential roots, shoots, flowers, and greens to have on hand for ensuring an easeful transition from winter to spring. There will be plant identification, taste tests, handouts, and recipes.

Hannah Jacobson-Hardy is a community herbalist & owner of Sweet Birch Herbals in Montague, MA. Hannah offers herbal consultations, custom made tinctures and teas, workshops, and a wide variety of products for sale, including Full Moon Ghee at the Winter Farmer’s Market in Northampton.

Seats are limited – Sign up today to reserve your space.


Connector Series

Get Ready to Learn: RTB’s Food System Consultant, Laura Killingbeck has two exciting classes coming up this fall.

RTB, in collaboration with the Marion Institute’s Connector Series, presents Farm Food & Fermentation. This series will take place at Round the Bend Farm in South Dartmouth located at 92 Allen’s Neck Rd. Space is limited. Individual workshops are $30 each. As a thank you to all of you who support local farms and farmers, we are offering a special rate of $20 per class for CSA members at any area farms.

BREWING HERBAL SODAS – Saturday, October 17th, 9:00am – 11:00am

Create fizzy live culture medicinal sodas with regional sugars. 
Class Includes: Instructions, taste tests and your own Heirloom Starter Culture!

Description:  Learn how to brew your own homemade live-culture soda with local sugars, fruit juices, and herbs.  These delicious and healthy sodas are packed with vitamins and minerals, herbal medicines, and probiotics.  This class includes your own SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) to get you started with your own batches as soon as you get home.

TRANSFORMING DAIRY – Saturday, November 14th, 9:00am – 11:00am

Learn how to make kefir (yogurt) and cultured cream, butter and buttermilk.
Class Includes:  Instructions and taste tests!

Class Description:  What is milk anyway?  Learn about the composition of milk and see real cream that hasn’t been homogenized (new to most Americans!).  Learn to make kefir (yogurt), butter and buttermilk with simple ingredients and household equipment.

Need for information: Contact Liz Wiley at