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iList Contributor Kelsie Gray on Homesteading, Chickens and Deodorant

iList Western Kentucky,

iList Western Kentucky's iNest columnist/blogger/homesteader Kelsie Gray writes about topics ranging from taking care of chickens in your backyard to making your own deodorant. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte meets Gray and learns more about her writing, why she's named her chickens after small towns in Oklahoma and how she developed a passion for homesteading while living on a commune.

Kelsie Gray says she's always been interested in writing essays and would often go beyond page length requirements in class. At one point, she lived in a commune where she raised a vegetable garden featuring heirloom tomatoes, which is how she got hooked on homesteading. Later she had a goat dairy and further explored farming and soap making.

She usually has around nine chickens, each with names and individual personalities. Her chickens are named after small towns in her home state of Oklahoma. She says some are pets more than others, some aren't very friendly, but several enjoy being held and will sit in your lap.

"I'm very passionate about where our food comes from and how it's produced and the conditions the animals are living in, the conditions farm workers are dealing with. And it's something that I've done a lot of research on, and the more I know, the more I want to impress on people 'it's really important to know where your food comes from and even if you can't have chickens in your own backyard you can at least make an effort to find someone who does where you can buy eggs from them."

Homemade deodorant isn't very complicated to make, she says, but it may take more time than going to the store and buying a tube. It can be made as simply as coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree oil or a mixture of coconut oil, corn starch, baking soda and essential oils. One jar of coconut oil will make a lot of deodorant, she says.

Kelsie Gray hopes to publish a book at some point in the near future.

Kelsie's article on homemade deodorant

More about Kelsie Gray and her writing

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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