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therealshari

An accidental soapmaker and loving it!
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Hi there, I'm Shari, of the Four Country Gals. Just for the record, the others are Mom (Pat), Bev, and Cindy. We all moved to Beryl Utah about 15 years ago. In 2008, we made the decision that any farm animals we had, would have to at least pay for their food. We've had cows, sheep, rabbits, chickens and goats. The goats are the only ones who have ever come close to paying for their feed.

So, we have a small (16 doe) goat dairy that is licensed and inspected by the Utah Dept of Ag. We are able to sell our raw milk, as well as everything we make from the goat milk. In 2012 we began making "cajeta", the goat milk version of "dulce de leche". Around 2015, our market soap maker passed away. I inquired of all the participants at the market as to who the new soap maker should be. Turned out, it was me.

Seven years later, we've outgrown the commercial kitchen. So, I will be getting a new soap studio this next year.

Sounds like we are getting a pre-built shed, most likely 10 x 12 feet. That will be slightly larger than our commercial kitchen, which is 17 x 8, built inside a sea-going container. Of course, the studio is not going to have running water, and will be limited on power.

So, my question to you is... what few items could you simply not live without?
 

Zany_in_CO

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Of course, the studio is not going to have running water, and will be limited on power.
:eek:
So, my question to you is... what few items could you simply not live without?
Running water and electricity! :lol:

Seriously, though, would it be possible to continue making soap in the commercial kitchen and just use the new shed /soap studio for storage, curing, packaging, mailing, etc?

I'm having trouble imagining what exactly it is that you have in mind...🤔
 

TheGecko

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Sounds like we are getting a pre-built shed, most likely 10 x 12 feet. That will be slightly larger than our commercial kitchen, which is 17 x 8, built inside a sea-going container. Of course, the studio is not going to have running water, and will be limited on power.

So, my question to you is... what few items could you simply not live without?
I really want to convert part of our garage over to a studio. It would be great just to leave the molds sitting on the counter instead of hauling them from the kitchen to the garage and it would make cutting, packaging and labeling easier, but the biggest drawback is not having running (hot and cold) water. I tend to 'clean as I go' so at the end of the day I don't have a crap ton of dirty dishes...just what I used to make the last soap.

If I had the property, I would purchase an older travel trailer; it's already plumbed and wired...just need to extend counter space and build curing racks.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
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Hi there, I'm Shari, of the Four Country Gals. Just for the record, the others are Mom (Pat), Bev, and Cindy. We all moved to Beryl Utah about 15 years ago. In 2008, we made the decision that any farm animals we had, would have to at least pay for their food. We've had cows, sheep, rabbits, chickens and goats. The goats are the only ones who have ever come close to paying for their feed.

So, we have a small (16 doe) goat dairy that is licensed and inspected by the Utah Dept of Ag. We are able to sell our raw milk, as well as everything we make from the goat milk. In 2012 we began making "cajeta", the goat milk version of "dulce de leche". Around 2015, our market soap maker passed away. I inquired of all the participants at the market as to who the new soap maker should be. Turned out, it was me.

Seven years later, we've outgrown the commercial kitchen. So, I will be getting a new soap studio this next year.

Sounds like we are getting a pre-built shed, most likely 10 x 12 feet. That will be slightly larger than our commercial kitchen, which is 17 x 8, built inside a sea-going container. Of course, the studio is not going to have running water, and will be limited on power.

So, my question to you is... what few items could you simply not live without?
For a few years my son & DIL lived in a small house they built in a remote area that had no running water. My son created a gravity assisted water supply system to carry water (rain water mostly, as they lived in a rain forest with an abundance of water) to the outdoor kitchen he built (with a roof to stand under when cooking). It was rather impressive. I don't recall what they did for power in the house itself, but if I recall correctly there was no electricity, but it may have been a combination of a gas powered generator & some batteries.

Perhaps you can adapt something like that to carry water to your soap studio and use a generator & batteries for power.

Without a reliable water source and some reliable electricity, I'd probably not make soap. Although, water is the most important in the grand scheme of things. Now, granted, my grandmother had to pump water into her kitchen sink with a pump handle that brought well water into the kitchen. That's the house my mom grew up in, and I remember that pump handle at her kitchen sink well. So I do know that my modern tap water system is not the only way to have access to running water.

I've worked in places that depended on back-up generators in power outages, and I've stayed in campgrounds where people use portable generators to provide additional electricity to power electronics, so I know they can work. Of course it depends on how powerful the generator is, they can be fairly noisy.

I do believe with good planning and dedication you can make it work. It sounds like you have a good handle on how to plan and make your dreams happen.
 

therealshari

An accidental soapmaker and loving it!
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Beryl, Utah
For a few years my son & DIL lived in a small house they built in a remote area that had no running water. My son created a gravity assisted water supply system to carry water (rain water mostly, as they lived in a rain forest with an abundance of water) to the outdoor kitchen he built (with a roof to stand under when cooking). It was rather impressive. I don't recall what they did for power in the house itself, but if I recall correctly there was no electricity, but it may have been a combination of a gas powered generator & some batteries.

Perhaps you can adapt something like that to carry water to your soap studio and use a generator & batteries for power.

Without a reliable water source and some reliable electricity, I'd probably not make soap. Although, water is the most important in the grand scheme of things. Now, granted, my grandmother had to pump water into her kitchen sink with a pump handle that brought well water into the kitchen. That's the house my mom grew up in, and I remember that pump handle at her kitchen sink well. So I do know that my modern tap water system is not the only way to have access to running water.

I've worked in places that depended on back-up generators in power outages, and I've stayed in campgrounds where people use portable generators to provide additional electricity to power electronics, so I know they can work. Of course it depends on how powerful the generator is, they can be fairly noisy.

I do believe with good planning and dedication you can make it work. It sounds like you have a good handle on how to plan and make your dreams happen.
Thanks, Earline.
I'm thinking I can "get by" with bottles of water or perhaps even a barrel, hooked up to a hose input with a valve on the end. I can heat water for washing dishes.

I really want to go with solar, but understand we may have to do it in phases. Our barn has solar, so it's not like we've never tried it.

Our commercial kitchen has a barrel for grey water with a sump pump, where we pump the water onto our desert "landscaping". For the small amount of water I'll use, I could probably get by with a french drain packed into a barrel (without a bottom).

I plan to use a cold case for the milk cubes. I mix those with my lye while in a bucket of cold water.

We have a long ways to go yet. It will be about 5K for the shed, and we don't have that money yet.
 

Littleone68

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Lakeland, FL United States
Hi Shari! Keep us posted how it goes. I am looking to move off grid for part of the year when I retire and plan to continue with soap making while I am there. I will definitely be following your adventures. Good Luck!
 

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