It's that special seed catalog time of the year! Frozen outside, but thoughts of warm sun and gardening are running rampant to get us thru these South Dakota winters. In the end, I'm hopelessly addicted to seed catalogs - mostly - Baker's Creek Seeds.
But I'm on a mission, this year I am planting a Soaper's Dream Garden to make garden inspired soap. Here's one from last year Strawberry and Rhubarb Soap - complete with "stalks of rhubarb and strawberry seeds." Join me as we look at what we can use for "Food for the Body".
Yessiree, we're going to start off with finding some things we can use to spice up the liquid in our soaps. -
Let's consider pulp -
Carrot Pulp ... full of beta-carotene and can color the soap to a beautiful yellow to orange color. hmmm...but my carrot seed inventory also has purple, yellow and black carrots. Will my oranges be brighter or will we find a color even more intriguing...
And then there's Cucumbers. Oh, yes, we'll use the pulp, seeds, peelings and all in our Cucumber Splash soap. We're going with an English heirloom variety from 1897.
Cucumbers have quite the history - from curing bad breath to curing hangovers. I'm not sure that we'll need any of those benefits in soap, but you might want to file that info away in case it comes up again in some raucous board game one night.
Of course, cucumbers are also known as a wrinkle reducer and skin lightener for younger looking skin. Why wouldn't we include it in our DREAM Soapers Garden!
And then there's Pumpkins. Or Squash. Same thing. Now don't get me wrong - I LOVE squash, it's one of my favorite vegetables.
But many years ago we grew Blue Hubbard squash and I've been scarred ever since. 3 plants, 3 stinkin' plants! And they produced enough squash to fill the entire backend of the pickup - to the top! They were so large that I had to cut them apart to fit into the oven to cook.
So with that introduction, it's a bit understandable that I have one and only one variety - the amazing Lakota Squash. They're beautiful and well-behaved. High in Vitamin A, it has been reported that skincare products containing pumpkin promote cell growth and are good for dry skin. And then there's the orange color that it can give soap ... it's a keeper in the dream garden.
Tomato Pulp -- this gets interesting. And it's not because of nightmares about the very large Tomato Horn Worm. This is not a selfie! I'm more of a "Kill them and kill them now!" type when I see them. I do not find them the least bit interesting to pick up and look at. Nor do I think any scientific experiment of "will they impart a green color?" is necessary.
Rather it's because of the acid in tomatoes and the possibility that it might affect the overall pH in the soap. Tomato juice will pull at my "inquisitive minds want to know" psyche and I will be doing some additional pH testing after curing is done. Tomato pulp will give soap a lovely salmon color, but again I'm trapped by the thought of experimenting with other colors because I seem to have a little hoarding problem when it comes to tomato varieties. (Just 17 varieties pictured below.) So I ask you - will green tomatoes turn soap salmon, too? Or green? or maybe nothing at all. And what about the black (Purple) tomatoes? Oh, my, it is Soaper Heaven!
The soap garden is dreamy -
A little science
A lotta color
and dirty hands.
(and we haven't even talked about herbs, flowers or weeds yet!)