What should I grow in my garden?

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rosyrobyn

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Spring is in the air and the dandelions are blooming which of course makes me automatically think, can I soap with it? I don't know if DH would let me plant dandelions but...

Do any of you grow your own botanicals for use in soap? What do you recommend planting and what do you use it for?
 

TeresaT

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Kale. You should grow kale, lots of kale. And tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. And beets. Gotta have beets. And cucumbers. And runner beans. And romaine lettuce. And brussel sprouts. And give me your address so I can come to dinner.
 

Obsidian

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The only thing I grow for soap is calendula, too many herbs turn brown in soap so I don't use them anymore. I do grow a variety of mints and thymes that I have used in the past but I prefer them for food:)
If you have room, cucumber juice is great in soap. I plan on trying some home grown tomato juice this year.
 

McMomWV

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I grow lavender, roses, and chamomile for my soaps and bath bombs. Thinking of adding calendula. The rest of the herbs and vegetables are for the table or teas.
 

Misschief

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Kale. You should grow kale, lots of kale. And tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. And beets. Gotta have beets. And cucumbers. And runner beans. And romaine lettuce. And brussel sprouts. And give me your address so I can come to dinner.
I wish my husband liked kale; we grew up on it and I love it. We have beets, we have cukes, we have beans, we have zucchini, we have eggplant, we have herbs...

I don't really grow anything especially for soaping but we do have plenty of dandelions in the empty lot beside us and we do have lavender in the yard.
 

rosyrobyn

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calendula comes to mind....
The only thing I grow for soap is calendula.
If you have room, cucumber juice is great in soap. I plan on trying some home grown tomato juice this year.
Caledula was my first thought. Are there any other flowers/herbs that don't go brown?
Hadn't thought about cucumber juice (similar to using aloe?) or tomatoes though. I'll give it a go!
I grow lavender, roses, and chamomile for my soaps and bath bombs.
I was thinking lavender and rose floral waters for HP and lotions. Chamomile as an oil infusion? Are there other ways you like to use them? How do you use them in bathbombs?

Kale. You should grow kale, lots of kale. And tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. And beets. Gotta have beets. And cucumbers. And runner beans. And romaine lettuce. And brussel sprouts. And give me your address so I can come to dinner. .
Nom, nom nom! The fine line between what's better... dinner or soap? Kale soap... why not? :think: :) And of course you're welcome for dinner anytime you're up in my neck of the woods! My husband makes a mean satay bbq!
http://www.soapmakingforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 

green soap

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Different climatic zone, but here is what I grow.

For soap or other B&B products: calendula, rosemary, nettles, comfrey, borage.

For food everything else! mostly citrus trees, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, beans. Radicchio going to seed as well as the lettuce, cilantro. All my brassicas are already gone (Kale, collards, cauliflowers, broccoli). Beets and carrots still producing. Ah if you have a lot of carrots they can be pureed and used in soap. I am eating mine though, I did not get so many of them this year.
 

earlene

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Nom, nom nom! The fine line between what's better... dinner or soap? Kale soap... why not? :think: :)
One of my prettiest plain white soaps was made with a mixture of kale-infused olive oil and rose-petal infused olive oil, egg whites and coconut oil. It is a lovely pure white soap. It started out a pale green, fading to yellow and finally became a lovely pure white.
 

dixiedragon

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Every spring I plant at least 4 basil plants and some tomato plants, b/c I love tomatoes and fresh basil! I also grow sage, rosemary, several mints, several thymes, and oregano. I don't grow cilantro b/c once it bolts (has flowers and seeds) it tastes yucky.
 

rosyrobyn

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For soap or other B&B products: calendula, rosemary, nettles, comfrey, borage.
...if you have a lot of carrots they can be pureed and used in soap..
Are the nettles you use stinging nettles or something different? I can't imagine getting away with growing stinging nettle in our tiny garden. I'm not familiar with comfrey or borage so I'll have to look those ones up. I do have a large rosemary plant however! I'll add carrots onto my list of things to try.


One of my prettiest plain white soaps was made with a mixture of kale-infused olive oil and rose-petal infused olive oil, egg whites and coconut oil. It is a lovely pure white soap. It started out a pale green, fading to yellow and finally became a lovely pure white.
That does sound lovely! (adds one more to list)
 

JuneP

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For me it's a more of a question of what I don't grow. I grow most veggies including things like fava beans, artichokes, asparagus, swiss chard, various lettuces, arugula, squashes, tomatoes etc. etc. I don't have room for corn these days but I still planned on a small group this year. Unfortunately my car accident and now 2 plus more months to go on me healing means that won't happen this years, since I only managed to plant my spring crops before the accident and had someone plant my tomatoes and peppers for me while I'm recuperating.
I have most of the herbs everyone has mentioned, like various thymes, French tarragon, spearmint (for Mojitos, etc.), Italian parsley, chives, lots of rosemary, sage, lots of basil for pesto sauce, etc., cilantro, sorrel, etc.
I also have a nice sized, manageable, perennial garden with several lavenders and calendula which usually self seeds, borage, coreopsis, perennial geraniums, poppies, shasta daisies, veronica,various lily and other bulbs, roses, pineapple sage which has red flowers the hummingbirds love, and many other perennials, clematis vines, and annuals as fillers and for the border.
 

Spunky

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This year we are adding loofah gourds! [ame]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AosUKU0wxRo[/ame]
We got our seeds on Amazon
 

milky

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The only thing I grow for soap is calendula, too many herbs turn brown in soap so I don't use them anymore. I do grow a variety of mints and thymes that I have used in the past but I prefer them for food:)
If you have room, cucumber juice is great in soap. I plan on trying some home grown tomato juice this year.
Ooh, I don't mean to hi-jack this thread and I'm partly on topic but, umm, my first ever calendula flower opened yesterday!
When do you pick them for drying? Does the age of the bloom matter?
Also, what does cucumber juice do in soap?

Edit: I looked up about harvesting calendula. Pick "at peak" and as often as they appear, after the dew dries in the morning. The green parts are also beneficial but not as pretty.
 
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green soap

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Are the nettles you use stinging nettles or something different? I can't imagine getting away with growing stinging nettle in our tiny garden. I'm not familiar with comfrey or borage so I'll have to look those ones up. I do have a large rosemary plant however! I'll add carrots onto my list of things to try.

Yes, stinging nettles after they are completely dried. I infuse them in either olive, almond or avocado oil. Use some for the shampoo bars /facial bars, but most of it gets used in skin care preparations. Same with calendula, rosemary, borage, etc. They all get infused in oil for skin care, and also used in teas (water) to drink. Well, not the rosemary, which finds its way into herb mixes for cooking.
 

earlene

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This year we are adding loofah gourds! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AosUKU0wxRo
We got our seeds on Amazon
So cool. I can't wait to see how your loofah crop comes along! I have never had luck with gourds. I don't know why. I lived in California the first 50 years of my life, so it's not the lack of a temperate climate. Anyway, I gave up on them after a few failed attempts. Herbs, leafy greens, tomatoes, hardy things like that were always my best crops.
 

McMomWV

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I was thinking lavender and rose floral waters for HP and lotions. Chamomile as an oil infusion? Are there other ways you like to use them? How do you use them in bathbombs?
Oil infusion or tea as lye water replacement, though with the tea I doubt I'm bringing along the chamomile benefits - except for in my head.
For bath bombs, I put a teaspoon or so of the flowers into the mold then heap the dough / powder mix over the flowers. I like the flowers to peak out the top. IMHO, rose petals work better.
I was given a Soap Queen BB book on natural soaps and it has a tomato recipe. Going to have to try that.
 

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