I believe that everything in this life runs smoother when there is balance, but sometimes that can be hard to find.
I am not a vegetarian (although I practiced it for a few years) or a vegan. That is to far “that way” for me.
I do not believe in and try very hard not to support factory farming, “growing” animals or raising “crops” of animals. That is to far “the other way” for me. (I hear all the time, “this years kid crop … blah blah blah” ~ disgusting)
I have much respect for the original owners of this land that were here long before us, Indians. They used what was available to them, and they used it all. (They were thankful for it too!)
In my mind the same applies to the way we eat and the products we use. Overkill kills. No matter how you slice it, something will suffer when to much of one thing is used and not enough of the other is used or left for all of Gods creatures.
So here are my thoughts when it comes to making soap.
My goal is to make soaps from resources around me, as local as I can get, every batch, every time.
I will use animal fat from animals that are humanly raised at small family (not factory) farms that are free of antibiotics & hormones, that were going to be slaughtered whether I made soap or not. I will use plant oils BUT will limit the quantities and try to choose oils that are not making huge impact on our world environment. Milk, if used, will come from MY goats. I will use essential oils in soap & sometimes synthetic fragrances that are Phthalate free. I will not mix the two & will always state on my label what I’ve used. I will also make un-fragranced soaps and am really looking forward to finding ingredients & scents that are natural & plentiful locally. I am also in all the spare time I have (HA!) going to do some research on ingredients and how well they actually hold up to the heating process of soap. Meaning do they really keep their healing/ healthy values through the heating process or do people use them needlessly to meet consumer wants/needs/demand and sell/pimp them for the same reasons?? ahhh maybe I will be researching worn and tattered pages that have been looked over by millions of others, but I’d like to make up my own mind about it.
My “thoughts” obviously set limits on how much soap I will be able to make. I say, always have enough to feed your family first & your neighbors too if need be. That’s how we run the farm, but the farm & my store are my job. So along with quilts, clothes, blankets & throws, stockings, backpacks for kids & adults, recycled feed bag purses, gift and shopping bags or market totes as some people call them, and whatever “custom” items people drum up for me to make, I will be selling soap too!! Maybe not huge amounts, but hopefully enough to keep my family and a few others clean!
I gave my family soap for Christmas (my secret guinea pigs) and have sent other bars & chunks out for testing so I’ve put nothing in the store yet. I made soap from scratch & I got some melt & pour to play with. I have used the large chunks of Granny’s Goats Milk Soap (thank you Luna & Jazzy) and love it! I just started using the mish mash (a mish mash of left overs from most of the soaps I made in Nov) soap & I love it too. Nice creamy lather & great smell! That scent was created when Lena got into G-mas essential oils and quickly made her own fragrance before I caught her, but it turned out great! Although my Froot Loops soap is fragranced synthetically and may not be appealing to some, I want to eat it every time I walk by it! I made Bubble Gum in 1″ rounds for small hands & 1/2″ rounds for even smaller hands and the Rose fragranced hearts smell very pretty. I am happy so far with what I’ve done with the exception of the glue stick I used to stick the labels to my soaps have discolored the paper on some bars, so please forgive that small detail:)
I also look forward to being able to buy a stick blender in the future (hopefully near future!) Right now I am stirring my soaps to trace with a whisk! I am building fantastic muscle tone in my right arm (oh my aching arm & shoulder) but my left arm is totally unbalanced! Although with as long as each batch takes to stir to a thin pudding type consistency, I am now able to make circles with my left ~ well more like long ovals but it’s a round movement rather than just a messy movement!! I so wish I was ambidextrous!