Archives for July 2014

The Danger of Ticks In Your Landscape

By Matt Foti

Tick Ad ImageAfter recently completing a three-week regiment of Doxycycline antibiotic for Lyme Disease (for the second time) I feel obligated to inform my customers of this current epidemic and let you know how we can help. Two of my employees have been treated for Lyme Disease in the past six weeks and several others have received treatment over the past three or four years and we are coming into contact with deer ticks on your very own properties.
Lyme disease has emerged as the second most commonly reported infectious disease in New England, currently described as a public health crisis. I feel that the biggest problem with deer ticks is that they are very difficult to detect given their small size. Unlike mosquitoes deer ticks don’t warn you with a buzzing noise and you never feel them bite you.
If you are an avid outdoors person it is very important to take preventative measures and be diligent about inspecting yourself and your children after being outdoors. Grade school aged children are most commonly affected by Lyme disease and contact can occur during all 12 months of the year, most cases are reported during May, June and July. Your pets can also get Lyme.

For detailed information please consult the following report “Lyme Disease in Massachusetts, a Public Health Crisis”
https://malegislature.gov/Document/Committee/188/House/H46/CommitteeAttachment/LymeDiseaseReport.pdf .
You will find a 36 page report put together by citizens from Acton, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Waltham, Wayland and Weston that have adopted the title Middlesex Tick Task Force.

After a great deal of research I am offering both chemical and organic sprays to help reduce the risks of contracting Lyme disease on your property. Please call our office for a free consultation and estimate.
On a much happier note, spring flowers have just gone by and this year’s new growth is tapering off, which means it’s time to prune landscape shrubs.

Flowering plants need to be pruned now to maximize next year’s flowers and non-flowering plants need to be pruned now to maintain shape and form. Many landscape plants are destroyed not only by poor pruning techniques but also by pruning at the wrong time of the year. Some plants have experienced winter injury from extreme low temperatures this past winter. Right now is a good time to determine if damaged plants need to be replaced or if they are salvageable with good pruning.
Timing is the key to proper maintenance, contact the professionals today.

 

Matthew R. Foti is the owner of Foti Landscape and Tree Service. Matt is a 1977 graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds degrees in social science and general business. Matt became a Massachusetts Certified Arborist in 1979 and served as president of the Massachusetts Arborists Association from 1993 to 1995. Matt currently employs six Massachusetts Certified Arborists.
Foti Landscape and Tree Service 30 Fairbanks Rd.
Lexington, Ma 02421, Ph: 781.861.0505,
E-mail: mrftree@aol.com

Share this:

Local Couple Creates “Lexington Soaps”

By Devin Shaw

Umesh Shelat

Umesh Shelat

In 2005 Umesh and Radha Shelat had a son. By the time he was two years old he had developed mild eczema. “We tried everything, over-the-counter products…commercial products. Nothing worked at all, it wasn’t severe but it was causing irritation, so my wife decided ‘I’m going to make my own soap’,” Umesh explained.

The homemade soap helped his son almost immediately, “It was very plain and non-fragrant—but it worked; the eczema was gone after two weeks,” Umesh told me. After that, she began experimenting with different fragrances and different essential oils. “We loved it,” he went on to say. “For about a year we just made it for ourselves. We started giving it away as gifts. Our friends liked it.”

Umesh comes from a business background; he has spent 20 years working in the investment industry on both the buying and selling side. He realized that there was potential with the soap they were making. “We thought, ‘We like it, our friends like it—maybe other people will like it?’”

Radha spent time perfecting her recipes. “We continued like that for a couple of years, and in 2012 we formed our company Lexington Soaps,”  Umesh said.

The chemistry of soap making is called saponification.  According to the soapmaking expert David Fisher from About.com, saponification is an “exothermic (gives off heat) chemical reaction that occurs when fatty acids come into contact with lye.” Saponification, he explains, means “turning into soap” from the word, “sapo” the Latin word for soap.
A precisely calibrated recipe is crucial, because each kind of vegetable oil requires a different percentage of lye in order to fully saponify. The by-products of the saponification reaction are glycerin and soap. Radha comes from a highly technical engineering background that requires extreme precision. Her background has translated well into soapmaking. Said Umesh, “You have to be very precise. It’s very detailed oriented.”

“The first process involves combining butters and oil,” he explained. “Then you add a lye mixture to it that reacts with the butter and oil combination to create the soap.” The big vat of soap has to be poured immediately into specific molds. The saponification process takes 24 hours. Once that 24-hour process is complete there is not lye left. “The next day we take it out of the mold, cut it and stamp it. We let it cure for 4 weeks.”

Quality is very important to both Umesh and Radha. They had always wanted to have their own business and according to Umesh they regularly asked themselves, “What can we make that we feel is the best product out there—without mortgaging the house?” After discovering their ability to make high-quality soap they had an answer.

Umesh and Radha want to provide an outstanding product to the residents of Lexington. Umesh explained, “We live in this town of Lexington—and it’s a unique town. We have a product that is representative of what we love about Lexington. It’s a quality of life; the people that live here are the best at what they do. After living here for years, it occurred to me that we want to have a product that was consistent with the theme and the culture of the town on an intellectual basis—a high quality product for a high quality town. We realized by making soap we could deliver on that dream.”

 

cucumbermelon Shaving Soap
coconutlime BB Sage Shave Cream
lavender3
Lexington Soaps makes a wide range of all natural products. Clockwise from top: Cucumber Melon Soap, Sandalwood Shaving Soap, Sage Lime Soap, Blackberry Sage Shaving Cream and Lavender Soap.Each soap is made from emollient rich butters and oils and delicately scented with essential oils. These handmade soaps are beautiful and make great gifts. Find them at Theatre Pharmacy in downtown Lexington and Santoro’s Ace Hardware in Bedford. Order direct from: www.lexingtonsoaps.com.

www.lexingtonsoaps.com

Umesh gave me a sampling of their soaps to try for myself. I was impressed. The fragrances are refreshing, but it is the moisturizing quality of the soap that is superior. “Our soaps are not super-high lather, and if you look at other high-end soaps they don’t claim to have a lot of lather either. We want to create tiny bubbles that will help moisturize the skin.”

The all natural ingredients are highly emollient. For example, the Cucumber-Melon soap contains real pureed cucumbers along with African Shea butter, canola oil, palm kernel oil, extra virgin olive oil, castor oil, distilled water, and cucumber melon essential oil.

The Lexington Soaps recipes have been developed with care to provide a gentle, luxurious experience. They also offer Body Butter, Lotions, Balms, Sugar Scrubs, Shaving Soaps and Cream as well as lip balm. The fragrances range from Cranberry Spice, Sage Lime, Oatmeal Honey to a White Tea and Ginger. “We have floral, herbal, citrus and woodsy fragrances. We follow a certain perfume pattern,” Umesh explained. There is an unscented soap for those who are sensitive to fragrance and rich and gentle goat milk soaps.

 

Spa Kit

The Lexington Soaps Spa Box makes a great gift.

Package

Each soap is packaged in its own “drawer” for a lovely presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The shaving products really delivered. I’ve been shaving since an early age and have incredibly sensitive skin. Since I often suffer razor burn, I am always on the hunt for great products. I have tried everything including an expensive line from Nordstrom and the exclusive Shaving Company brand. In every dimension, the Lexington Soaps products surpassed even the most expensive products I have tried. My skin was well moisturized, free of razor burn and the shave was incredibly close. My typical five o’clock shadow did not show up until much later which was an added bonus!

Umesh and I agree that shaving should be enjoyable. Lexington Soaps provides a shaving soap that is perfect if you use a brush while shaving; and if you do not use a brush you can use their shaving cream as I did. “The shaving cream is all oils and butters. It is emolliating and extremely moisturizing,” Umesh said.

If you want to treat your skin, especially if your skin is sensitive, summer is a great time to give these products a try. Sun, saltwater, insects and sweat can be a nightmare for delicate skin. Lexington Soaps products can be found at Theatre Pharmacy and Santoro’s Ace Hardware in Bedford. You can also purchase their products from their website Lexingtonsoaps.com.

Share this: