Saturday, February 22, 2014

Getting Pretty Dirty.

Get dirty and diversify. Grow. Planting season is coming.


Can you be the type of gal that wears stilettos and plants a garden?  Maybe so.

Planting season is coming. Fresh is coming. For me, that means getting pretty dirty!

There's something about the dirt in our bottom land, the rich, earthy smell of newly plowed ground.  Even our lab-a-like Eddie knows there's something down in that dirt, as he roams between the furrows and around the edges.  Is he looking for the movement of a lizard or field mouse or is it the soft padding underneath his pads that stirs his soul?

I know why the yearly planting ritual stirs mine: the smell of the ground, the potatoes that will be sprouting eventually, the lettuces, the rattle snake green beans to come, the tomatoes, the tomatoes, the salsa.

If you don't have a plot of land, or would like to step outside your door and load up on fresh vegetables, try a hay bale garden.  This is on my garden bucket list.  Talk about something to talk about when you have a few friends over for dinner.

Here's a link that may inspire you to garden a different way...

You can do it on concrete as well...

I wonder if these well-heeled women have ever walked in a freshly plowed furrow of bottom land?  Try getting off the concrete every once in a while and in the dirt a little more often, like Scarlett discovered. Diversify your portfolio. Grow something.


Yes, she was starving, but getting her hands dirty and planting her garden gave her a new sense of accomplishment too.

Grow a little, grow something, even while wearing your high heels. 


                                   Get a little dirty.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Keep On Keepin' Sarah Kay Moves Warhorse

Warhorse Solutions--Out in the Light

Warhorse is sometimes misunderstood, and it's quite understandable.  We've been so busy--moving on, scaling up, researching, collaborating, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning--we haven't really shown everyone what we're up to.  Before we share...

Here's what Warhorse doesn't do:
  • We don't sell "burnt motor oil"--our products are refined from leftover vegetable oils that may have been grown in WNC, may have been used by a local restaurant, a Red Cross fundraiser, a plant-based biofuel producer (like Patriot Biofuels who makes canola and soybean fuel for the military or a nationally known research facility like the EcoComplex in Hickory, NC).  NO PETROLEUM is used in our products.
  • We don't use grease to clean. Warhorse makes true soaps with some innovative secrets.  We're patented and protecting our unique process. We don't make synthetic detergents, but use a thousand year old process called saponification (the conversion of natural oils to soap molecules).  Before WWII, most of the cleaners we used were soaps, but the war effort needed the precious natural glycerin to make nitro glycerin and natural soaps disappeared and cheaper-to-make substitutes like detergents with synthetic foam boosters were born.  After the war, most manufacturers kept making detergents--sort of like that packet of "seasonings and other artificial ingredients" that you might use to make the quick box of hamburger helper.  It eats, but homemade might be tastier and healthier...
  • No, we don't make nitro glycerin. We use natural vegetable glycerin and other natural oils in our formulas, which are certified lab tested and evaluated by local veterinarians and ones at Univ. of Georgia vet school as well.  5 years of Research & Development. See our website's Testify
  • And no, we haven't moved to Georgia. Warhorse went to Savannah and lived in an  RV trailer for about 4 months, doing some Research & Development. Now, we have our own technology and shop, thanks to a local patroness who helped us find a building with a loading dock and some open space. Our new soap microbrewery is in Landrum.
  • AND no I didn't leave teaching because I was sick of teenagers.  In fact, Warhorse has hired the skill and talent of many Polk High graduates. This company and our chemistry was born from a Polk Co. High classroom and student.  This interview with Polk native and my former English student is the beginning. We've continued to hire and and collaborate with Polk graduates. They're creative, innovative, and motivated--Warhorses on the move.

Actions speak louder than words, so take a gander at the pics, and I'm sure you'll still be a little confused.  Pics are the journey as it has developed...

I took a leave of absence from my English classroom last year. My temporary lab and home in the  Savannah industrial section--Research & Development Diggs.  We called it Mosquito Flatts.  By the way, it's for sale now since I'm back HOME. Let me know if you're interested.
My husband Carl helps me get the camper and stuff to Savannah.  He now makes our biofuels for our own cars and trucks. I make natural cleaners from leftover vegetable oils.
Polk High biology and biofuels teacher heads to Savannah with me to help with research.  Thanks Kim Mirasola.  Kim, along with other PCHS science teachers, helped bring some advanced chemistry and math to Polk students. They're up and out of those desks, moving around and exploring sustainability.

Get back home and see the family. Then back to Savannah. Glad that's over and now Warhorse has its own shop and lab.

Clemson professor helps PCHS AP Chem teacher Mr. Zalevski teach the Biofuels science course now offered at the high school.  We're a state model and other high schools want similar injections of real world research and chemistry in their schools as well. Why wait for grad school? Our students are ready now! Catawba County is planning to have this chemistry at their 3 high schools soon.

With local help, I found a building and the Warhorse team starts setting up. I shopped at a soap tank graveyard and brought one home.

Roof leaks at the Warhorse shop and Weicker Const sets me up to repair them.  I'm so glamorous.
Philip Culbreth's expertise with mechanical and electrical projects worked well with the green industry engineers from New Earth Fabricators and with the LAARS hyrondic boiler engineers to install and pass inspections before startup. It helps that Phil has a innovative mind, as our engineering was custom designed.

Motor that helps the hot water move through our stainless steel tanks.  My Xmas present to Warhorse.

The Warhorse Shop getting there, with soap tanks that sequester clients' products.  Biltmore Estates has visited us, and maybe Warhorse gets their soon-to-be-harvested canola oil that will become their biofuel and then their cleaning products.
Jody Durham helps with Warhorse's journey and appears to be risking his life to photograph the Catawba combine harvesting soybeans that were crushed for biofuels and then delivered to the Warhorse shop.

Warhorse works with Appalachian State and Catawba EcoComplex Research Facility to advance our research, and to buy their unique canola glyerin for Warhorse's Harvest Gold line of products, coming soon.  Director Barry Edwards, Jack Chandler, and Jeremy Ferrel have visited the Warhorse facility as well. EcoComplex PhD candidate Jeremy Ferrell is on Warhorse's Advisory Board.

Natural cleaners and cleansers--from the field to communities--no sulfates, phosphates, dyes.

Former Polk High grads work and visit Warhorse shop.  Flynn, on right, is on Tarheel summer break and headed to jungles of Peru for mission work, taking along Be Kind soaps--easily biodegradable in the jungle river where he will bathe...
Ok, there's a good look at what we have been doing.  The Warhorse is on a fun, scary ride.  He's gotten out of his backyard and galloping on out into bigger green pastures, and sometimes a slower pace in some dark woods, dodging fallen brush and rocky slopes.  We'll see how far he gets...

WARHORSE: Get it Done and Move On

Here at WARHORSE Solutions we're determined to simplify our lives so we can get on with the important part of life--doing what we love with the people, pets, and planet we love.  We simplify cleaning with a kick butt soap that has a soft secret.

Many of us spend about 2-3 hours a day "cleaning" our homes, farms, and businesses. Often, we're cleaning up other people's messes or it's a part of our daily job. And most of the time, you have to get a little dirty to get to the good stuff--like a trashed out kitchen so you can "create" the perfect dining experience, or run through some mud holes to get to that fishing hole that no one knows about, or the workshop has grease and tools everywhere but the transmission is in your customer's car and she's a purring now. Maybe your job requires some rubbin and scrubbin.

Strong Enough to Clean Rides, Hides, About Anything Inside or Outside.

Soap with a Soft Secret...

Yeah, we know about getting dirty.  And, when we have to clean up, we like to grab a bottle of super concentrated WARHORSE or our concentrated pet and people cleanser.

We' re done with so many bottles of cleaners cluttering our cabinets, garages, barns, shops, and businesses with soooo many different instructions, precautions, and ingredients.  Our customers testify to all the uses in one bottle. Plus, it's bio-based and is part of a process that goes from farm, to table, to biofuel, to Warhorse, and back to communities, companies, and consumers. Here's a link to the Warhorse's renewable, sustainable journey.

 For us at Warhorse, our customers tell us they LOVE the simplicity of our 1 Naturally Aggressive, Fiercely Kind Super Concentrated Multipurpose Cleaner.  It lasts a LONG time, but we're ok with that.  Our customers appreciate the value in the super concentration, the soaps' versatile applications, on almost any cleaning need while softening hands and being kind to lungs.  Plus, it's made afro

Our horse, Your water. We pack a lot in our bottles,  so you have more time to get dirty and move on!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Warhorse Solutions--We Are Moving.

 The Warhorse logo was drawn by Jeff Thomas, Polk Co. High art teacher (my fellow teacher from across the hall). The Warhorse is Naturally Aggressive and Fiercely Kind, like many of our students at Polk High--innovative, creative young people who are on the move.

Hello all.  First, Warhorse has lots of people to thank.  And I will be getting to that soon. Warhorse has grown out of his classroom, out of  Polk Co., and into a teched up facility in Landrum. Just in case you're wondering, Warhorse was born in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Yes, we're Appalachian Mountain folk.  We celebrate our heritage of looking at people in the eyes and saying "Hello," even though we don't know them.  I have taught many transplanted high school students--visiting exchange students from all over the world, and students whose families have chosen to get out of the "city," the chaos and get closer to nature and a slower pace of life. We know the stereotypes of the south, especially Appalachia.  Well, we Polk and Landrum folk also know we do live a simpler life--one with more trees, more mountains, lakes, 4 wheelers, horses, trucks, john boats, farms, fences, and pastures, and less shopping malls.  We often strive to live a more simple life--but we are not simple-minded. We can compete.

Warhorse is leading the clean tech industry. No kidding. We currently collaborate with Appalachian State's sustainability departments, Clemson University biosystems dept., Catawba Research EcoComplex and Catawba Dept. of Engineering. Our testing and research is verified by one of the top "clean chemistry" labs in the US. We have just taken the by product from a canola crop in Hickory, NC, and with out patented recipe, turned it into the most beautiful, nurturing, non synthetic-filled golden cleanser for pets and people. Our locally inspired Warhorse and Be Kind Logo and labels introduce a product line that represents a new way to make naturally aggressive and fiercely kind products that are effective and safer. You can research the "EPA Green Chemistry" and US Cleaning Institute's information to see Warhorse is on an innovative path, a path that is supported by national industry innovators.

Yes, we're locally grown from Carolina education, AND we at the forefront of innovative green chemistry. Yes, if anyone doubts that local, creative, kick butt student and community talent is missing from our "neck of the woods," you're sorely mistaken. We're glad to be able to stay local and near the people and organizations that have helped us develop.  It's our local students, friends and customers that have given us feedback and guidance on our recipes, product uses, packaging. Warhorse IS going to grow from our Polk and Landrum Communities. Beyond offering safer cleaning solutions for people, pets, planet, Warhorse is out to create local jobs.  So far, we've got 3 local Warhorses on the ride, plus some college students from Western Carolina and NC Sate set to do summer internships. Our facility has hosted local students, teachers, PhD's, CEO's and others who have become infected with this potential.  Will Warhorse make it by some standards? Maybe not, but we have already proven we can offer people, pets, and planet a new choice of safer, naturally aggressive cleaning and fiercely kind cleansers that begin from the Earth.

The be kind solutions logo carries our pet and people cleansers.  Home grown graphic work from former Polk High student Anna Feagan and Erin Ross of Tryon Sign Shop . Their design work has received accolades from many successful companies. This name and logo now carries Warhorse's Be Kind Pet Cleanser with other products to come.  Got Local Talent.

Warhorse: Get it Done and Move on to the People, Pets, and Planet you Love.