All About… After the Garden

One reason to have a business blog is to let you know the whys and hows of what I make. So in a series of posts, I’m going to talk about my soaps and balms, and let you get up close and personal with them. Seems appropriate, right? After all, shouldn’t you know as much as possible about the things that go on your skin?

So let’s start the series with After the Garden, a seasonal soap I’ve made pretty much since the start of my soapmaking. Given that I’m a beekeeper, you know that I love and appreciate plants, too, especially herbs. Once I started keeping bees, though, I saw plants differently. Now when I look at a lawn, a garden, or a field, I don’t see “plants,” I see “forage.” Food for my bees, in other words. To me, a perfect green carpet of lawn might as well be a desert, for all the good it does bees. So I’m asking: this summer, please be lazy and wait to mow until the dandelions and clover have a chance to be visited by bees. Don’t use herbicides to kill them and other weeds. Plant a garden if you can, but if you can’t, be lazy!

An herb garden I started when I was pregnant with Avital, with a lot of help from Harding's Gardens
An herb garden I started when I was pregnant with Avital, with a lot of help from Harding’s Gardens


That was my Bee PSA. Back to soap. I like gardening, and I confess: I do not wear gloves when I garden. There’s something so magical about digging in the dirt, feeling the fresh, cool loam between my fingers. Gloves just get in the way, flop around, can’t figure out what I’m holding and touching, if I’m squeezing a seedling too tightly… It’s not worth it. So when I garden, my hands get dirty, and they get beaten up. After the garden, I need two things: to get clean, and to soothe the scrapes.

Naturally, one of my first soaps was a gardener’s soap: scrubby, but soothing. My first attempt used coffee grounds for their scrubbing power, along with a fresh rosemary and citrus scent. Next attempt had shredded loofah instead of the coffee (it’s a bit gentler), but a little more citrus. The soap was nice enough, but a plain beige that didn’t invite people to pick it up and sniff.

A nice soap–bit the plain color didn’t inspire people to pick it up and enjoy the fresh, herby scent.


So I upgraded it a bit. Here’s it’s new incarnation:

After The Garden
I admit that the ducky scrubby is my favorite soap photo prop. This isn’t her first photo shoot. She’s a pro.

Of course I’m trying to evoke greenery and the earth. The bottom is colored with cocoa powder, to give it that earthy look, and has shredded loofah inside, for scrub. The top “greenery” is colored only with Green Zeolite Clay, which, unlike many other clays, is pretty exfoliating (or ex-dirt-iating, in this case). The scent is sweetly herbal, with mints, rosemary, and citrus. Next time, I may swirl those two colors a bit, just for effect.

The soap itself is a majority olive oil soap (read “soothing”) with cocoa butter to really pamper your hardworking hands, and honey (of course!) lends extra moisture.

I think of this one as mostly a hand soap, because the scrubby properties might be too harsh for delicate skin, but it works well for exfoliating rough spots, too (I know, I tried it).

Made from: Olive oil, water, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, sodium hydroxide, cocoa butter, castor oil, honey, beeswax, essential oils, Green Zeolite clay, shredded loofah, cocoa powder



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