leach out from slits cut into the bottom of the barrel and collected in a basin
or tub. This was dangerous work as the caustic liquid burned the skin and even the fumes would burn their lungs. Grease was added so the final product
wouldn't burn the skin. For bathing they usually added fragrance in the form of wild ginger or bayberry and for laundry soap they added borax or resin. The hot
and laborious work was chosen for a cool day as it necessitated building a huge fire and setting a cast iron kettle to boil. Each household had their own secret recipe. Some women preferred harsher grades for heavy duty cleaning and laundry washings. And milder soaps were concocted for bathing. Now days home made soaps are the ultimate in luxury and skin care.
recommended varieties. We invite you to try their wares as many loyal and
repeat customers can attest to their benefits.
Photos provided courtesy of Sweet Harvest Farms and of Birchberry Farms. Images are copy written property of their owners.