I make soy candles only. Soy candles burn better, releasing fewer toxins into the air, making them less likely to cause or trigger allergies. They burn cooler too which means they can burn for much longer than other types of candles. I buy the soy from American farmers. I’m not a big “HOORAH BUY AMERICAN” crony, but I do appreciate buying local when I can – especially because of how much literally easier it is.   

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I have a neighbor with a huge soy farm, he provides my supplies in trade. No need to support Bezos or the Walton family and whatever terrible companies support them.  


I use the jars my neighbor uses for pickling. She comes by with about six quart jars a week of pickled vegetables, jams, jellies, anything from her garden. I eat the contents, and then recycle the jars to make candles. We have a sort of exchange going.  


I have a rather large herb garden, it’s been a years-long project and I’m proud of how beautiful and productive it is. I have lavender, rosemary, thyme, anise, basil, lemon balm, mint, and I’ve just started an entire section of teas. Selling teas may be a nice next endeavor.  


Turning herbs into oils for scented candles is a simple, but time-intensive project.  

My finished candles are among my currency. I drop some by my pickle neighbor’s place, a few to the farmer, and dozens monthly go to the nearby apple orchard where eager city tourists spend paper money like it’s fake. They spend a hundred dollars, giddily, on apples, candles, pickles, jams, and jellies to bring back to the city like they’re pilgrims or something.  


It’s at once disappointing and adorable.

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