Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Kentish Soap Company

The last couple of months have gone by in a flash. As I mentioned in my last post I have decided to go for it and get my soap certified for sale. There was so much more to it than I realised, but I kept going and by the beginning of November I was ready with my safety assessment for cold processed soap and bath bombs. I had to buy insurance, special scales and some extra equipment. I've made hundreds of bars of soap and bath bombs, which all had to be wrapped and labelled and I've had to write a product information file.

I took it all along to a local Christmas fair last weekend and it went really well (much to my relief!), I'm also doing party plan so my lovely, and very supportive, sister hosted a party for me last night which was a big success. I'm really happy with how everything is going so far, I have more parties and fairs booked and I've had loads of positive feedback.
All this means that I probably won't be posting on here for a while. I don't want to turn this into a business blog so I will stick to post about the garden, chickens, cooking etc. although I can't promise not to mention soap.

If you are interested in the soap business I have a website and a Facebook page, just search for The Kentish Soap Company and click like at the top of the page.

Jayne x

Friday, 30 September 2011

New business venture

Nearly another month has passed without me blogging, but I have been extremely busy as I have decided to go ahead with my soap making business. I've applied for my safety assessment (which should be completed in about 2 weeks), had to buy special scales, organise insurance and have had to get my head around pages of rules and regulations.

But the fun bit is that I've got to make lots of soap while experimenting with new fragrances etc.

I've got them all lined up curing on the shelf in my craft room, they look so nice I keep going in there just to look at them (sad I know). I have been totally involved in soap for the past few weeks, my poor family have to listen to me wittering on about it constantly. Dispite all the boring legal stuff I'm loving every minute.

I'm hoping to be up and running at the beginning of November, just in time for Christmas, I am already booked at one Christmas fayre and am hoping to find another to do. I also would like to do some party plan and I'm working on a website, with the help of my very clever daughter who is also designing my labels.

So wish me luck!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Purple Soap

Haven't posted for ages, so I thought I'd show you my latest soap creation, it's purple (although the photo makes it look blue) and is scented with lavender essential oil. I managed to pick up some silicon bakeware cheap in TK max so I had to try them out. They worked really well, they withstand the heat and don't need lining.

I have been giving some serious thought to getting my soaps certified so that I can sell them. I've been researching what I have to do and it seems that there is quite a lot to it with safety testing and insurance etc. My head is spinning! In the mean time I am taking a soap course to refine my skills a bit. My box of goodies arrived yesterday, smelling gorgeous, so I can't wait to get started. I'll post about it as I go.

Jayne x

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

First Duck Egg!

We got our first duck egg today.

Emma thinks it was Alice (the White one) she has noticed a change in her recently.
It is quite different from the chickens eggs, it's large, more rounded at the ends and its white but with an almost greenish tint to it.

I think it may be a case of one fried egg cut into 4 later this evening!

Jayne x

Saturday, 23 July 2011


The garden has been a little neglected recently, partly due to this.

Oil seed rape growing in the field at the end of the garden, very pretty but it gives me dreadful hay fever so I've been limiting my outdoor time.

There are a few things doing well though.

We've had loads of raspberries, there is a bit of a pause in production at the moment but new ones are forming on the autumn fruiting ones.

I am a little disappointed in the new lasagne beds, the layer of cardboard doesn't seem to have done a very good job at keeping the weeds at bay (maybe I didn't overlap it enough) and the bale of straw i used must have had lots of wheat seed in it which germinated. Some of my usual crops didn't do well, although the runner beans are flowering so we should have some beans to eat soon.

And the corn is doing really well.

I am really pleased with the forest boarder though.

It's looked really good and we have had quite a bit of food from it. Best of all it has pretty much looked after itself.

I planted lettuces amongst the other plants and they have done really well and seemed to have gone unnoticed by all the usual pests.

There are lots of herbs all doing well planted among the fruit trees and bushes.

This plant i particularly love, it's tree spinach, it started life as a very small plant bought at a local garden centre in the spring and has grown to 4 or 5 foot tall. It's really attractive, the small pink leaves are great in salads and the larger leaves can be used as a substitute for spinach.

I'm hoping to get out into the garden this weekend, now the rape seed flowers have finally gone over, to try to get the weeds back under control so I can plan for some winter crops.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

New additions

A couple of weeks ago my sister phoned and asked if I would go with her to pick up a couple of new hens to add to her flock. She had found a place on the Internet that is about half an hour away from me. I agreed but said that I wouldn't be buying any as the smallholders show at Ardingly was coming up and I wanted to buy some there.

So one morning she picked me up, she also brought along her lovely friend Sally, who also keeps chickens and off we went.

When we got there we followed the signs down the side of the house into the garden, which initially didn't look that large, and down the garden path which went on and on until to our surprise the garden opened out into a large orchard with loads of chickens! Heaven! There we met a very friendly chap who showed us some hybrids in loads of different colours, all beautiful. Well you guessed it I couldn't resist.

Meet Primrose and Cathy, sorry the photo isn't great they are still a bit shy, but are settling in well. If you live in Kent and are after some chickens I can thoroughly recommend Hen House Poultry in Teston, he has a website with all his available birds, if you google it you should find it.

Well yesterday was the smallholders show, we had a lovely day, the weather was perfect. We saw lots of lovely animals

And went to a talk on bee keeping, which is something we have been considering, it was very interesting. We are hoping to attend a meeting of the local beekeeping association soon so we can handle them to see how we get on. I'll blog more about this later.

Anyway we were at the show, but we weren't going to buy any livestock as I just got two new girls.

I'm so weak, meet Buffy, Willow and Xander. My buff Peking trio, I have a cockerel! We are hoping to raise some chicks in the future, probably next spring, watch this space!

Jayne x

Monday, 20 June 2011

Gardeners World Live

We travelled to the Nec in Birmingham this weekend for gardeners world live.

There were some really sweet show gardens and lots of shopping to be done.

When we first started going to gardening shows you rarely saw a vegetable, but now they feature in nearly all the gardens.

I bought a fig tree (I love figs) and some herbs for my forest border.

And I saw Monty!

Jayne x