Our Crooked Gap Farmcrafted Soap is handmade here on our farm in small batches stirred by hand. We put a lot of care and effort into making our soap as we use as many ingredients as possible that are produced on our farm, gathered from local sources, or commonly found available on a farm. Because of this, we want you to know just what goes into each bar of Crooked Gap Farmcrafted Soap.
~ Base Ingredients ~
Saponified Oils: Saponification is the process in which fats are mixed with lye to produce soap. The oils we use are our Crooked Gap Farm lard and coconut oil. (Information on lye can be found further down.)
CGF Lard: We render lard from our heritage breed woodlot hogs to be used as our main oil. We are careful to render our lard slowly in order to produce a pure, white lard once cooled. Lard soap is full of emollients (substances that help your skin retain moisture) and has amazing conditioning properties, leaving your skin feeling moisturized, soft, and clean.
Coconut Oil: Yes, coconut oil is not a common farm staple, but every farm wife will splurge a little sometimes! We add a small amount of coconut oil to our soap for added bubbles and to increase the cleansing properties of our soap. Our coconut oil is purchased from an Amish community in Iowa.
Distilled Water: Unless otherwise noted, water is the liquid we use to dissolve the lye so that it can be mixed with the oils. We use distilled water in order to keep impurities out of our soap.
Lye: Lye is needed in all soaps for the saponification process which produces soap. With the proper measurements of fats and lye, the chemical reaction brought about during saponification will leave no traces of lye left in the soap. At one time, farm wives use to make their own lye from wood ash. Not knowing the strength of lye with this process, one could end up with lye remaining in the soap after saponification. Although we heat our house with wood and have plenty of wood ash, we choose to purchase our lye as crystals from an Amish community in Iowa. This guarantees that we can get the proper measurement of lye to oils so that no lye remains after the chemical reaction during saponification.
Glycerin: Although we do not start with any glycerin, our farmcrafted soap has plenty of glycerin in it! Glycerin, a humectant that helps retain the moisture in your skin, is formed during the saponification process. Commercial soap has had this moisturizing glycerin removed in order to be sold for added profit. Not our soap! As our soap is going through the saponification process, we can see all of the wonderful glycerin forming. After the chemical reaction is through, our Crooked Gap Farmcrafted Soap will turn back to a beautiful white and will leave those wonderful moisturizing properties with you.
Fragrance: We do not add in any extra fragrances to our soaps in order to keep our soaps farmcrafted and gentle on your skin. Our basic soap has what has been described as a “neutral, clean scent”. Our other soaps might be lightly scented from the ingredients that are added in.
~ Add-ins ~
Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder is a common ingredient found in the kitchen cabinets on the farm, used for making desserts and drinks for those special social occasions. Cocoa is said to have one of the highest antioxidants available to skin care products and is said to help your skin resist damage and defend against UV impact, increase skin hydration and blood flow, and also heal your skin. Our cocoa powder is purchased from an Amish community in Iowa.
Espresso Grounds: A cup of hot espresso is just what many farmers need for that kick start in the morning before a hard day’s work. Caffeine in soap is said to work to constrict blood vessels and tighten the skin, possibly reducing the appearance of varicose veins and cellulite during the time frame of use. Coffee is also a helpful deodorizer for combating against kitchen smells such as garlic or onion. Our espresso grounds are acquired from our local coffee shop, The Coffee Connection, located on the downtown square in Knoxville, IA.
Oatmeal: Each morning we start our day with a warm batch of oatmeal or oat groats cooked overnight in the crock pot, topped with fresh or frozen CGF fruit. Oatmeal used in soap not only exfoliates, cleanses, and moisturizes your skin, but it is also said to help improve your skin’s natural barriers, balance the ph of your skin, and reduce inflammation and itch. Oatmeal is added to our soap as a flour, finely ground for extra exfoliating, or as whole rolled oats for extra scrubbing power. Our oatmeal is purchased from an Amish community in Iowa. We grind and mill the flakes and whole oats on our farm.
Poppy Seeds: Poppies were one of the main flowers found in my grandma’s large flowerbed. I vividly remember the sea of orange which back dropped the farmyard when they were in bloom. Their small, round seeds are a favorite add in for gently exfoliating your skin. Until I can establish my own patch of poppies, our poppy seeds are purchased from an Amish community in Iowa.
CGF Calendula: Petals from the Calendula flower are a bright and cheery addition to a bar of soap. Calendulas are not only said to be healing and soothing to the skin, but many boast of their astringent, antifugal, and antimicrobial properties as well. Our daughter, Hannah, has graciously shared her Calendula petals from the flowers which she grows and saves seeds from.
Goats’ Milk: Many farms and homesteads use to have animals to produce milk for their family. If it wasn’t a cow, it was a goat. Our goats’ milk comes from Reichert’s Dairy Air, maker of award winning farmstead goat cheese, a farming neighbor, and fellow participant in the Farm Crawl.
CGF Eggs: Many farmers couldn’t be without a flock of laying hens! Our “Run of the Farm” hens are able to wander our farm as they please, producing rich and nutritious eggs as they forage and hunt for their food throughout the day.
CGF Spinach: Spinach is a common green grown in many farm gardens, loaded with a rich combination of numerous vitamins and minerals. Some claim that not only does spinach have anti-inflammatory properties when added to skin care products, but that it also contains anti-aging qualities as well. Our spinach is grown in our home garden and is grown without the use of chemicals.
CGF Dill: The most common reason for growing dill in a farm garden is for pickles. Don’t be alarmed though. The dill within our soap provides for gentle exfoliation and a fun visual appeal, without the scent of pickles! Some claim that the extract from the dill plant even encourages the health of your skin’s elastin. Our dill is grown in our home garden and is grown without the use of chemicals.
Check Back Again! We have many more fun extras that we will be adding into our soaps, but we don’t want to give away all of our secrets too soon!
** Please note that the information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended for uses as a physical or medical treatment. **