My soap making came about from my love of growing loofah gourds. The first year I planted my loofah to late and had nothing to show for my efforts but my second year of trying to grow loofah I had a small harvest of 8 loofah. I was so excited I think I showed everybody. I took my 8 loofah gourds to sell at the local farmers market and everybody seemed to be fascinated that loofah actually could grow in Missouri. Few people realized that it was actually a gourd and not something from out of the sea. It made for a lot of market conversations but at the end of that year I had sold a total of 3. (Thank you Megan 😉 ).
Could the Loofah Gourds Stay on the Farm?
I knew that unless I found a way to justify their space on the farm I would not continue to grow the loofah gourd. I had a long winter thinking, trying and rejecting different ideas. I love the idea of combining it with soap but the loofah soaps I saw were not to my liking, they looked like they would be to scratchy. It was the outside of the loofah that was soft, the inside was like sandpaper. My idea was to not incorporate the whole loofah but a top piece of it so that it would not distract but add to the handmade soap. There was, however, the small problem that I did NOT know how to make soap.
Testing a Loofah Gourd Idea
To test my idea I cut one of my loofahs that, thankfully I see now, did not sell at market and collected all the half used soap bars around the house, tossed them in a double broiler and then poured the melted soap into a Tupperware dish and stuck my newly cut loofah piece on top. After trying it I LOVED IT!! Thus my Loofah Edge Soap was born. Hundreds of soap making videos and hours upon hours of reading later and I was ready to make my first batch of goat milk soap. Now my loofah row gets longer each year and my loofah earns it keep on my farm, which is great because I so love growing them!