Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Soapmaking On Leegacy Farm

We've been reading about how in pioneer days a family could make a years worth of soap from a barrel of ashes and about twelve pounds of fat from their hogs.  And of how a new family might be welcomed to the neighborhood with a jug of this soft soap since they wouldn't have the needed ingredients for making their own until they had pigs to slaughter. 
While we have been saving the fat from our pigs, we haven't used it (yet) for making our soap.  Someday!  And while we haven't learned to make lye from ashes, we'd sure love to learn.  Someday!   But my daughters have been saving batches of the goat's milk in preparation for making milk soaps.  For us, the milk soap was a bit trickier and the first batch didn't turn out right.  But we were very pleased with the following batches and are very glad to be able to put the milk to good use!
The coffee soap is really good for exfoliating the skin and cleaning one's hands.  And we especially like it because it can be used very soon after making.
Chocolate swirl turned out great and I had to remind the younger ones and myself that it's NOT for eating.:)
The soaps include essential oils and the one above has a citrus smell that we all really like.
Along with making soaps, there has been a flurry of activity around the farm as we are preparing to participate in a local Arts and Ag Farm Tour.
The whole family - from the oldest to the youngest - are busily making things for our little farm store and getting the fencing repaired and the property cleaned up and ready for the farm day.
It's kept us extra busy, but it's always good to have a deadline, of sorts, for getting things done.  We're learning that there's much to do in getting a *working* farm up and going.  And while we're new at this and sometimes feel like *greenhorns*, we're very thankful for the opportunities we're given, and we're thankful to know that there are always new things to be learned and new skills to be acquired.  In other words, life should never be dull!
Do you have any favorite soap recipes?  We've acquired recipes from online and from the following books:  Milk-Based Soaps by Casey Makela and The Soapmaker's Companion by Susan Miller Cavitch.  And from The West Ladies, a talented family who have dvd's covering all sorts of skills which are helpful to know!




  1. I have made soap before using the Reader's Digest book on living off of the land. ( I can't remember the exact title) It was so much fun. And it makes lovely gifts. Yours turned out beautifully.

    Amy Jo

  2. Amy Jo,

    Thanks for the information! I didn't know Reader's Digest had a living off the land book. We'll have to check it out sometime.

    Always good to hear from you...



  3. I have made lye soap using the instructions from this website... I used tallow I rendered down from our own beef. Tallow makes a harder soap than lard does, but it worked out great! The important thing to remember is not to get the fat and water too hot or when you add the lye to it it will boil over and out of your pot. This happened to me the first time, Yikes! Thank the Lord I was doing this outside, so clean up was a little easier. :) Just remember, it takes two to three days before it starts getting hard. After it was a soft hard, I cut it into squares and let it harden more. The plus side of all of this is you can touch the soap right after it has come to trace. Clean up was much easier, cutting was easy, and handling was easy. I did take some of the soap and milled it down for re-milled soap and added essential oils to it. Yes, this idea I got from the West Ladies dvd "The Art of Soap Making". I hope to one day soon make the cold process soap too, Lord willing.
    Lord willing,I also plan on making a milk based soap from our cows milk and lard (rendered down by us) using the recipe found in "Goats Produce Too! The Udder Real Thing Volume II" by Mary Jane Toth. We just find we use our lard for other things and it gets used up before I can make soap. We will see what the Lord has planned! :)

    By the way your soaps look very beautiful and professional! Also like the drawings by your son! The Lord gives talents, we just need to use them for His glory!! :)

    Carie D.

  4. Hello Mrs. Lee~
    Thank you for sharing!
    My mom and I {my sisters too} made
    "hand milled soap"....
    we got the idea from the West Ladies.
    We shredded up bars of ivory soap and tried
    to turn it into a coffee soap....I would not recommend
    doing that again as the smell is not the best! :D
    But, it works well for working in the kitchen!!
    Do you have a recipe that y'all used that you would mind sharing?
    I *love* learning how to make anything home-made especially household items! Fun!
    Again, thanks for sharing!
    your soap bars turned out absolutely beautiful!
    Love in Christ~
    Maggie Mayo

    1. Maggie,

      You are so welcome.:) And I thank you for the wonderful advice you shared from your soap making adventures.

      I'll ask Abi to post the recipes we used. Soon.

      Thanks again!

    2. Good morning Mrs. Lee~
      I just wanted to say that it was not the
      "West ladies" soap that did not turn out right...
      it was the smell of the ivory & coffee that did not go together right!
      However, if we could get {or make :D} just a plain non-scented soap then I'm sure that the coffee soap would smell and be much better!
      Just wanted to make sure that you knew that I was not meaning that the West Ladies soap did not turn out....we have the Soap making DVD and we love to watch it!
      Have a great day!
      We keep your family in our prayers!

  5. That looks great, y'all!

    All the things y'all are doing for the Arts & Ag Tour sound like fun! I wish I could make it out to your farm on Friday!

    1. Tricia Ann,

      Thank you! Your soaps are SO beautiful and SO professional looking. I'm sure we could learn a lot from you about soap making!

      We've also talked of wishing we could travel around and tour some of the other farms in the area. Maybe next time we will participate on one day and visit other farms the next??

      Hope y'all have a wonderful farm day. I know people will learn a lot from your family.



  6. Dear Mrs. Lee,
    Your soaps are lovely, and I think they look delicious, too! :) I love the imprints on them. I'm sure it would be fun to wash one's hands with coffee soap. Mom wants to get into soapmaking soon.
    Thanks for sharing, and I hope the farm tour will go well for y'all.

  7. That coffee soap is tempting me!!!!!! I can just smell it. Ahh. Sigh. Keep up the good work!

  8. That soap looks good enough to eat! I was perusing through the blog and so much progress has been made on the farm! We miss y'all tons but enjoy seeing the pictures and hearing what God is doing in your family. Give our love to the rest of the family!

  9. Mrs. Lee,

    Your soaps are so pretty and I can almost smell them! I love hearing about all that your family is doing. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you all.


  10. Homemade soap is such a treat. I know you are very busy with all the Summer doings. I hope you all are ok. Thinking of you, Kim