Farmer Bob is quite the country gentleman, but we’re talking about our popular Fox Trot Farm Premium Country Gentleman Honey & Beeswax Soap. I was surprised how quickly we sold out of this soap! I felt terrible that customers came back looking for it and I didn’t have any, so I got busy and made some more, and a triple batch this time.
Making soap is tiring, hot, messy work….but I love it! I love everything about experimenting with different oils and fats and all their properties, fragrances and natural additives to add color and texture! It takes a lot of patience, too……stirring and taking the temperature of the ingredients, measuring and weighing, mixing and blending, then pouring and processing, then waiting a day to unmold and cut. Probably the most frustrating thing is to wait for the curing, which can take four to six weeks, doggone-it! (Curing gives the water in the soap time to evaporate, to make the bar harder and more long lasting.)
You’re gonna think I’m silly, but I had fun this afternoon packaging the bars. I’ve been wrapping the label bands around the soap but, when I take them outside, all the humidity causes the soap to get slippery, and sometimes wet spots appear on the labels. I don’t like to pick up the bars when they are covered with fine condensation and slippery, either, so I was excited when my new shrink wrap bands were delivered in the mail! I couldn’t wait to get started!
Here you can see the pile of wraps and all the soap just waiting to be sealed inside. That’s my old, old hair dryer that I keep as a spare, and it does a great job for applying the bands on the lids of our jars of honey, so I figured it would do the same for the soap, and it did. Farmer Bob came out of his office as I was sealing the bars to see how things were going, and he thinks that having a real heat gun would make things go faster, so he’s going to get one for me. In the meantime, I just kept sealing bars, and then made labels and attached them on the outside. The plastic wrapping will keep the soap from absorbing moisture from the air, and will also protect the labels!
Our Oatmeal & Honey Honey & Beeswax Soap is another one that sold out quickly, so I made a triple batch of that one, too. One of my friends saw it curing and said it looked like fudge and good enough to eat. Hey….do moms ever wash their kids’ mouth out with soap anymore? lol
One of our customers asked me for patchouli soap one time. That’s not my favorite fragrance in the whole world, I have to admit, because it can be overwhelming….makes me catch my breath. I did some research and found a patchouli scent that is mild and pleasant, and I’m pleased with how these bars turned out. I used ground annatto seeds to add color, and calendula petals for a nice light texture. I hope everyone likes it!
I have to start making more soap for the holiday season….and soon, considering the curing time. Until then, I think these three will get us through the next month or so, and I just love the new packaging and hope you will, too!
Come see us here at Fox Trot Farm on Sunday afternoons from 1:00-5:00 p.m. when our market is set up with all our honey and beeswax soaps, Granny Bee’s Raw Honey, Granny Bee’s Bakery, and, of course, all our free range hens’ contributions of farm fresh blue and brown eggs. Rosie can’t wait to see you!