We are officially into the last three months of 2018.
October generally brings in orange pumpkins, crisp sweet apples, cool days and chillier nights, woodstove fires and cosy sweaters. Days are definitely shorter, and work on the farm is focused on getting the new hen house insulated and heated for the coming cold, servicing farm equipment and putting them away, mending fences, and raking, raking, raking leaves. Our long driveway and half of our lawn is lined with maple trees, so there are a lot of leaves!
Fall has always been a favorite time of year, but not every Fall season comes on gently at the farm. This year, unseasonably cold (not "cool", but darn cold!) temperatures accompanied by rain and three snow storms have wreaked havoc for many of our farming neighbors. We were fortunate to finish our field work just before the first storm hit, so we feel blessed that while those bales are still in the field waiting for ground to dry out enough to bring them in, at least that hay is baled and ready for our livestock this winter.
Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving on Monday, October 8th -- just around the corner -- where we will gather with family and friends to give thanks for our abundant blessings this past year. Our Thanksgiving dinner is very similar to what our American friends will enjoy about six weeks later: roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, my sweet potato casserole, caramelized roasted brussels sprouts, pumpkin pie, marshmallow pumpkin pie (see my 2016 Thanksgiving blog for the recipe for this light, delicious pie!)...and a peach pie for a son-in-law who is celebrating his birthday on October 9th. This year, we are especially thankful for good health, being able to spend time with our Irish cousins this past summer, and welcoming some new family members. What are you and your family thankful for this year?
I have also been busy making soap, attending various local markets and craft shows and marketing our brand. Your favorite soaps have been restocked, including some Maple Leaves and Pumpkin Spice Latte soaps, and we are now transitioning to soaps for the holiday season. Think of cool peppermint, spicy gingerbread, fascinating northern lights across a dark night sky, yummy eggnog, several warm sensual fragrances (Cashmere Glow is featured at the top of this page), hot chocolate, fruity and spicy cranberry, and the fragrant scent of balsam fir trees -- we will have something for everyone! We will be introducing some of these soaps and bath bombs as gift sets, to help make your holiday gift giving much easier. Did you know we can drop ship your gift directly to your recipient?
We've also introduced two new shave soaps, complete with covered travel tins in two fragrances! These shave soaps are made with two different types of lye to produce a thick, full stable shaving lather that softens skin, allows the razor to glide over smoothly, and leaves shaved skin feeling soft afterward.
We have a new all natural body butter! You asked for it and it's here: Lavender Whipped Body Butter, made with skin loving shea and mango butters and coconut, olive, and sweet almond oils and fragranced with pure lavender essential oil. Like our other body butters, Lavender Whipped Body Butter glides smoothly onto skin and does not leave a greasy residue. A little goes a long way!
Oil of the Month: Olive Oil
Olive oil is a classic oil for soap-makers. In fact, it is the only oil that can be used on its own to create soap. Every other oil must be combined with other oils and butters to make soap. Pure olive oil soap, also known as castile soap, is very gentle and moisturizing, however has a very long -- six months or more -- cure time to harden into a bar ready for sale, which is one reason why castile soap is not as common and generally more expensive.
I use olive oil in almost all of our soaps. Olive oil is a natural source of the antioxidants vitamins E and A, which fight free radicals -- and it is believed that the benefits are there regardless of whether the oil is ingested or rubbed into the skin in the form of soap. Olive oil also contains oleocanthal, a compound touted for its anti-inflammatory benefits. As olive oil on its own in soap produces very small amounts of lather, I blend it with coconut oil, sustainable responsibly harvested palm oil, and other oils and butters to ensure that our soap has a creamy, bubbly, conditioning lather every time.
September Social Media Gift Basket Winner!
Thank you to everyone who participated in our September social media Facebook campaign to "like", "comment", and "share" any (or all) of our posts last month. We are very excited to announce that Joy from Texas will be receiving a gift basket valued at $50 from Strawberry Creek Farmhouse Soaps. I reached Joy a few days ago and she was so excited to be chosen. The package will be on its way to you in the next couple of days, Joy! Thank you again for your support!
Flat Rate Shipping Continues through October!
We are continuing our popular flat rate shipping offer through October -- such a great price break for our long distance customers! Thank you for supporting this soap studio. We are honoured that you have chosen us for your bath products and will always strive to meet your expectations.
We will be at the Centrepointe Church Christmas Sale on November 3rd from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., located at 5940 159 Ave NW in Edmonton, and we will also be at A Merry Little Christmas Market on November 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Prince of Wales Armoury located at 10440 108 Ave NW in Edmonton. Both of these Christmas shows will feature dozens of vendors with high quality products to help you complete your gift shopping. Come down, say hello and check out our fabulous soaps, bath bombs, body butters, gift sets, and more!