Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Luxurious Castile Soap

There is an ongoing debate among soapmakers about how much olive oil must be used in a soap to be called 'Castile'

Some use as little as 40% olive blend while others right up to 100%.

Traditionally Castile Soap is a very white bar & usually softer than other soaps because they contain none of the other oils that can contribute to the harness of the bar. Yes, taking some liquid discounts can & will harden the bars up sooner.. but left to cure for many many weeks, will leave you with an absolutely lovely hard, extremely gentle bar of soap. Actually the gentleness of the olive oil and its ability to act as a humectant ( draws moisture from the air to your skin ) makes Castile soap absolutely wonderful to use. Most often.. the bubbles are low and plentiful.

Myself.. I make a variety.. goat milk castile, herbal castile ~~ for both their additional skin care properties that I love in a nice bar of soap. We make all of our castile bars using 95 % olive oil & will cure for a good 6 months if not better before I'll sell them. I absolutely love the creamy gentleness of these bars on my skin. While spending a month in Italy last year, I had the good fortune of visiting a large soapmaking factory with a friend.. naturally... olive oil abundance is never a problem in Italy and I was in my glory testing all the huge blocks of pure castiles while there.. and took home :+) Too bad I couldn't fit a few vats of olive oil in my suitcases too! LOL

These are some of my castile offerings.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Winter Snow

Winter being the longest at Cricket Corner Farm, it's time for rest. Many of the other seasonal chores have been put to bed under a blanket of snow.

The seed catalogs are quite the gayest blizzard afforded during the cheerless month of February. Since about half of every catalog is given to annuals, Is it any wonder that these visionary Edens are a delight of three-foot larkspur, glowing snapdragons, fragrant mignonette..... culinary herbs, Rosemary and Thymes.... and vegetables, so many delicious varieties of tomatoes, squash, peppers & every other perennial flower we've ever wished to grow to perfection?

We can sketch some tentative plans on paper, make out seed lists..and think green! About the middle of February, our growing season begins,with about as many flats of herb seedlings you can imagine..setting, all in rows in the greenhouse. And here... they will remain until early April, when they can safely be moved out of the greenhouse for hardening off.. before their final stages of growth into the garden in late May here in New Hampshire.

The snow is lightly falling,
Sparkling coming down.
The few remaining Autumn leaves
Are falling to the ground.
The wind is howling through the trees,
all the leaves must die.
One by one they've tumbled down,
buried by the snows.
The more the sparkling carries on
the more the wind does blow.
A large white blanket has covered the land.
I picked a snowflake from your wool...
it melted in my hand.

Friday, February 03, 2006

New Beginnings

2006! Wow, yet another year begins :+) After some much needed rest, and inventories behind us.. the wheels are starting to spin for some new soaps.. new design label packaging.. and fragrances!

Second to the gm soaps.. castiles are always on my hit parade, so I hope to add quite a few new ones to the line and jazz up the packaging as well. After seeing how well the new anti-aging facial care products did.. we're definitely going to focus on the Botanica12 line & ready it for Spring....

Be back soon... but first a quick trip to Florida with my daughter to visit family and catch some sunshine :+)