CCTV Faces of Africa

June 4, 2014

The organization Just Shea is a social business created to increase the leverage, income and safety of women in Ghana. Just Shea buys the nuts from the women who collect them, and sells them to other local women for processing. All proceeds from these sales go toward building and maintaining the Shea nut silos. Watch…

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Larry Plesent Featured in The Herald of Randolph

May 15, 2013

Martha Slater of The Herald of Randolph recently wrote an article about Vermont Soap’s president Larry Plesent, discussing his work in Africa. Larry Plesent is passionate about helping people and he’s also passionate about making soap. As owner and chief formulator of the Vermont Soap Company, based in Middlebury, which makes all-natural soap and cleaning…

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Improving the Productivity and Profitability of Artisanal Soap Making in Liberia

March 26, 2013

Assignment # J692A This assignment combined two scopes of work into one assignment. I started with working sessions at five Monrovian soap making sites staffed by individuals trained under the previous assignment. I then went North to Nimba County and taught soap chemistry at Nimba County Community College. We ended with a practical demonstration with…

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Larry Returns to Liberia

March 19, 2013

Dear Friends, This month’s Green Energy Times column is being written in a small northern village in Liberia, West Africa where I am once again working with local people to improve the quality of their soap products. We use palm and palm kernel oils crudely pressed just outside of town. I show them how to…

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Training Manual for a Village Soap-Making Operation

December 7, 2012

Presented by Larry Plesent and Sandy Lincoln with assistance from Ezra Nkrumah This manual was created based on experience in the field at Asawinso Village, Western Region, Ghana, with the Asawinso Cooperative Oil Palm Millers Association (COPAMA), and sponsored by Self-Help Foundation, Winrock International, SHOPS Liberia, ACDI/VOCA and USAID. This manual is intended as a…

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In-depth Information on Making Potash

December 7, 2005

Potash is the byproduct of running water through ashes, and an essential ingredient in village soapmaking. For an in-depth article on making potash – click here.    

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Improving the Shelf life of Shea Butter in West Africa – Part 2

March 7, 2005

This post was written from Tamale, Northern Region, Ghana. We are now into our third week in Ghana. Sandy has run around Tamale getting the forms to make the Nasia Women’s Cooperative official. They gave her the forms, but then she had to go somewhere else to get them copied. Fees are paid everywhere. Then…

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Ghana 2005 Solar Shea Drier Mission

March 7, 2005

Sponsored by USAID Farmserve Program and OIC International Larry Plesent – Volunteer This solar shea nut drier, or drying tunnel, is based on the original work pioneered by Dr. Peter Lovett PhD., of Tamale, Ghana. Dr. Lovett is the world’s foremost technical expert on shea trees and shea butter, and I am grateful for his…

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Improving the Shelf life of Shea Butter in West Africa – Part 1

February 28, 2005

This post was written from Tamale, Northern Region, Ghana. We arrived in Accra, Ghana one week ago via Amsterdam. Sandy, my life partner, Harry, my 18 year old nephew, Bob, a new friend and USDA Organic Inspector, and myself had managed to schedule three nights in this lovely city. There is something to be said…

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Creation of a Village Level Essential Oil Distillation Unit

May 7, 2004

Note: This unit can also be used to purify drinking water Overview Essential oils are the aromatic oil based compounds produced by many common herbs, flowers and trees. EOs exhibit well documented anti fungal and anti microbial properties. They add value and help to preserve cosmetic products and soaps, and can aid in the daily…

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