As many of you know, Kilted Suds is a proud participant in the Port Jervis Farmers' Market. I strongly believe in the importance of supporting local businesses, and also in supplying your body with the best you can. This means eating foods that are good for you, using cosmetics that aren't full of harmful chemicals, and so many more things. The Farmers' Market has become an important part of our routine both in providing fresh food for my family, and in helping my business to grow.
Last year toward the end of the season, I noticed some berries growing on the trees that surround the Farmers' Market Square. Being me, I had to figure out what they were, and of course, if I could put them in soap!
My research turned up the following:
The tree, Cornus kousa, (a.k.a. Korean Dogwood, or Japanese Dogwood) is a deciduous fruit bearing tree. It is mainly used as an ornamental plant (at least where I live), and so many people are unaware that the berries are fully edible, and if harvested and prepared correctly, are actually quite tasty!
The fruit of these trees is often used in wine making, and if it's good for wine, it must be good for soap. I was unable to find sufficient research about the fruit itself, so I can't make any claims to antioxidant properties, though I would personally think that they would be present.
I harvested A LOT of these berries, took them home, smashed them, cooked them down, strained them, and added them to a batch of about 55 bars (14lbs) of soap. The soaps are currently sitting on my drying rack, and are a beautiful dark brown/burgundy color. They were lightly scented with a fresh berry fragrance, and have a wonderful exfoliating quiality to them thanks to the berries.
They will be available for purchase online and in person beginning on the Opening Day of the Port Jervis Farmers' Market (June 2017). "PJ Market Soap", as it has been named, will be sold as part of a fundraising effort for the Port Jervis Farmers' Market, with $2 from the sale of each bar being donated back to the market.
Visit the Port Jervis Farmers' Market
Saturdays, June - October
Farmers' Market Square
Port Jervis, NY
Read More about Cornus kousa