SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Near Garretson, you will find a place where people gather to learn about a sustainable lifestyle and find a little peace. The Jensen farm hosts an organization called “Glean for Good.” Glean means to collect and use what is left behind.
With heavy snow and the winter months, this is a quiet time for the Jensen farm near Garretson.
Dr. Beth Jensen, a family medicine doctor, adopted a lifestyle on this farm that she is willing to share with others. Living off the land, reducing waste, and connecting with people.
“It’s a whole mindset that we are trying to encourage. Those with abundance have no extra, certainly, I have an abundance of many things and so I want to make sure that my extras are not thrown away, not discarded instead that they are helping those around me,” Jensen said.
You might remember this farm as the place that hosts goat yoga.
But it’s much more than that. Just ask the dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, geese, goats, pigs, sheep, cows, donkeys, and more. Jensen holds events where people can come to the farm and learn about a sustainable lifestyle, learn about the animals, or a new skill. You can even help with the chores.
Food scraps from a Sioux Falls Christian school feed the pigs and goats. The Jensens collect their eggs, do their milking, and take wool from the sheep.
One of the newer endeavors is making handmade soap. Beth offered to teach me the process, which is surprisingly simple. Basically 5 ingredients, water, lye, oil, coloring and essential oils for scent. Lye is very caustic, so we are wearing protection. First, we mix the water and lye, and bam we are back in middle school science class. It’s called an exothermic reaction. Then we add the oil, in this case, waste from a nearby meat locker.
“There is a really good fat called suet around the internal organs, and it’s an excellent ingredient for the soap,” said Jensen.
It’s also very inexpensive. We mix the water, lye and the suet. The chemical reaction changes the way the water and oil molecules interact with each other.
In this batch of soap, we use pureed carrots as a natural coloring and lemon essential oil for our scent. Then we have to wait for our soap to harden. Jensen uses cake and cookie molds to make some of her more creative soaps, which she sells.
“So with these succulents, I just added sage, ground sage to color those succulents, then put them in cupcake containers, then stuck them on a terracotta pot. I just love the simplicity of it and just how unexpected it is,” said Jensen.
She hosts classes to teach people how to make their own handmade soaps.
“Financially, it’s very easy to do, it’s environmentally sustainable and responsible, but it’s also just really fun,” she said.
As a doctor, she can’t always connect with her patients the way she would like to. But she says projects like these allow time to make that connection.
“We want to create a place that our neighbors feel like is a comfortable gathering place and that they leave feeling more whole and intact and healthy,” said Jensen.
To learn more, you can go to the Glean for Good Facebook page.
The soaps are also available for purchase at the Gift & Thrift Store in Sioux Falls. The money raised helps feed the animals on the farm.