Educational Series: Summer Mint Soap

Posted on July 17, 2021 by Colette Souder | 0 comments

Educational Series: Healing Salve

Posted on July 07, 2021 by Colette Souder | 0 comments

Educational Series: Bug Repellent

Posted on June 17, 2021 by Colette Souder | 0 comments

Here at Rainwater Farm, we love summer and the warm weather it brings, as well as the farmer's markets and craft fairs that come with it. However, there is one thing about summer that we for sure don't like -- the insects and bug bites it brings along with it. Thankfully, though, we have a few things up our sleeves to help combat these pesky little critters, so if you're someone who needs help fighting bugs like us, read on to see what we love to use.

 

Camper Soap

This was the first of our bug repellent products. Although you may be confused as to how a soap can keep bugs away, it's really quite simple. The essential oils we put in this bar soap help to repel bugs. As you shower with it, the essential oils permeate your skin and are absorbed into your body. When used regularly, your body builds up its stores of the essential oils, which then naturally repel insects when outside. 

Our Camper Soap is perfect for our customers who are mosquito magnets -- people who can't go out to the mailbox without getting bit by mosquitoes. Using the camper soap helps to provide constant defense without having to reapply bug repellent each and every time you step outside. If out for a long time, though, especially in those long summer evenings, our mosquito magnets may want to double up with our Bug Repellent Spray as well.

 

Bug Repellent Spray

Though our Bug Repellent Spray was something I threw together in a frenzy at my daughter's graduation party, we've heard from customers time and time again about how amazingly effective it is. Our Bug Repellent Spray is made using the same essential oils as our Camper Soap, providing all-natural and non-toxic protection from pests. This is in contrast to conventional bug repellents made with DEET. According to the CDC, many safety precautions should be taken when using DEET, such as not applying to any broken skin, using the minimum amount necessary, not applying underneath clothing, and washing the DEET off as soon as possible to prevent complications and irritation. This all points to the fact that DEET can be very harmful to the human body and skin. However, none of our products contain ingredients that are unsafe for your skin. In fact, the reverse is true: our products are actually beneficial for your skin and body! 

 

Bug Repellent Stick

Being the strongest of our bug repellent products, the Bug Repellent Stick is perfect for hikers, campers, all-day gardeners, and anyone else out in nature for long periods of time. The base of our Bug Repellent Stick is the same as our Silken Skin Conditioner, but the essential oils we put in it are identical to our other bug repellent products. The lotion bar can simply be rubbed onto the skin and provides strong, long-lasting defense against insects such as mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks. And because of its base, it's moisturizing as an added bonus!

 

Listen to me talk more about our bug repellent products and how they came to be in this video:

 

 

Educational Series: Bar Soaps

Posted on June 17, 2021 by Colette Souder | 0 comments

Welcome to our new educational series, where you can learn more about the making of Rainwater Farm and our products.

Chances are that we have been passionate about making soap as long as you have known us, but that has not always been the case. A couple years before Rainwater Farm started in 1992, we had a family friend visiting, and when she left, she left behind a bar of handmade soap. Although I thought it rather unusual, curiosity won the day and I decided to try it out. After using it, I realized I could never go back. This led to trying to find the perfect soap recipe through books, trial and error, and advice from my friend who had left the bar behind. After asking many questions of my friend, she finally relented and gave me her recipe for soap. What began as a small endeavor to make good quality products for my family and friends quickly grew into a business of selling my products to members of the community.

Fast forward all these years, and we now ship products on a daily basis all over the country. Although we make a wide range of products now, still in my basement, bar soap, specifically Oatmeal Lavender Bar Soap, will always hold a special place in our business and hearts since it was the first of our products that we made.

What makes our bar soap different from products that you can buy in the store? I'm glad you asked. The base of our bar soap is fats and lye, whereas the "soaps" (they're actually detergents) that you buy in the store are made from a variety of chemicals that are harmful to your skin. These chemicals are not only harmful for your skin, but they also strip your skin of its natural oils, therefore drying out your skin and often causing irritation. Another difference between our bar soaps and products found in stores is that our products are made using only essential oils, no synthetic fragrances. To contrast, almost all products found in stores include synthetic fragrances, which studies have found to be harmful to the human body. Even many products advertising to be made with essential oils will often include minute amounts of essential oils and large amounts of synthetic fragrances, therefore still causing harmful effects to the body and far outweighing any potential benefits of the essential oils in the product.

Here at Rainwater Farm, we vow to always use the highest of quality in ingredients and to never knowingly mislead our customers in any way, especially when it comes to the health and safety of your skin and body.

 

What You May Not Know About Magnesium

Posted on June 14, 2021 by Colette Souder | 0 comments

Magnesium (Mg).  Magnesium is a mineral whose importance is often overlooked and ignored. I want to share information that explains how essential it is for good health and how several RWF products provide you with magnesium.  Magnesium is important for many processes in the body: muscle and nerve function, the regulation of blood sugar levels, maintaining a healthy blood pressure and the production of proteins, bone cells, and DNA. Magnesium is involved in hundreds of functions in our bodies, but, when our bodies experience stress, magnesium levels fall and it is important to be intentional about replacing it. Some experts claim that magnesium deficiency is the single largest health problem in our world today. I remember my son, John, at around 8 years old, asking me if I had taken my magnesium, because he sensed I was stressed and he knew that when I took some magnesium would I calm down and stop being so irritable.EmojiEmoji

There are many reasons that magnesium deficiency is much more widespread today. Depleted soil conditions mean that plants and meat from animals that feed on these plants provide lower amounts of magnesium. Fluoride and chlorine in the water supply make magnesium less available since these chemicals "bind up" magnesium ions in drinking water.  Common substances that many of us consume daily, like caffeine and sugar, also deplete the body’s magnesium levels.    

Magnesium deficiency has several serious problems associated with it: calcification of the arteries (leading to heart disease, heart attacks, and heart failure), muscle spasms and cramps, growing pains, restless legs, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, hypertension, hormonal problems (leading to PMS and menstrual cramps), pregnancy issues (nausea, cramps, hypertension), sleep problems, low energy, and poor bone health.

RWF provides products that are part of the solution to the magnesium-deficiency problem. The magnesium moves quickly into the bloodstream and muscle tissues, replenishing the body’s magnesium stores and bypassing the kidneys. I have magnesium products in three different forms:  Deodorant, Roll-On Muscle Relief, and Bath Balm Bath Salts.

Deodorant Spray: People who are low in magnesium stink more when they sweat. The absorption rate of anything you apply under your arms is close to 100%, and since magnesium deficiency causes your sweat to stink, our magnesium based deodorant goes to the root of the problem by restoring magnesium.

- Roll-On Muscle Relief: This product uses the same magnesium oil that is in my deodorant, but it is applied through the roll-on head of its container.  Roll it on your children's legs when they complain of growing pains, roll it on your restless legs, roll it on your temples when you have a headache.  Emily, who works with me at Rainwater Farm, rolls it on her belly to alleviate menstrual cramps.  Donna, another employee has been applying it to her neck because she recently had surgery.  It helps relax her muscles so she is able to sleep.

- Bath Balm Bath Salts:  When you use my magnesium-rich Bath Salts, you will at first detox and then your body will absorb magnesium that has been depleted. Your skin will also be moisturized by the almond oil in the salts. There are four different kinds:  Muscle Recovery - especially good after workouts; Respiratory Relief - for colds and respiratory illness; Lavender and Herbal - both promote better sleep.

I am in the process of developing a magnesium lotion which will release magnesium more slowly into the body. Donna, my Rainwater Farm team member, has claimed that an experimental batch of this lotion has helped with the nerve pain that she has experienced after her surgery. We will keep you posted when we release this new magnesium product.

This Mother’s Cottage Industry Tale

Posted on June 04, 2021 by Colette Souder | 0 comments

Colette and her family the last time they were all together. From left to right, Dominic, John, Clare, Colette’s husband Steve, Colette, Mary, Mary’s husband Sam, Anne, Kathleen, Kathleen’s husband Tim.

 

I started Rainwater Farm shortly after my fourth child was born. I knew I needed to help my husband financially with our growing family, and I kept praying for God to show me something I could do to help make ends meet.

Around this time, 1991, a house guest left 3 bars of her homemade soap on our bathroom sink as a thank you gift.  I thought it was a bit weird because I never knew anyone who made their own soap, and I even contemplated not using it.  But curiosity won the day and was I surprised when after using it only once, I was hooked.  I vowed to figure out how to make soap that felt like this did: moisturizing, long-lasting, and fragrant. About a year later, I made my first batch of soap and not long after that, Rainwater Farm was born.

I am the mother of six children and many of my local customers have seen them over the past 29 years working with me at craft fairs and farmer's markets. They were a very important part of the business. They helped me make the soap, package it, and most importantly, sell it. 

You might be interested in knowing what has become of them.

Clare, 21, is working on a teaching degree with a specialty in Montessori Education at Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania. She recently spent 7 months in France and relished becoming quite conversant in French before she had to return to the States due to COVID. 

Dominic, 24, is working in Nashville with a landscape architect while pursuing a degree in business at Middle Tennessee State University.  He spent a year in Oregon working on a farm in exchange for room and board.  

Anne, 29, received a BFA in dance from Fordham University in NYC and is now dancing with Martha Graham Dance Company. She has been able to travel the world doing what she loves. This New Years Eve, in Ireland, she will marry Mike Ferrara.

Mary, 32, received a BS in nursing from Saint Mary’s College and worked in oncology in Pittsburgh and Charlottesville and now lives and works in Stamford, CT. In July 2019, she married Sam Werner, and they were happy that their wedding was celebrated before COVID hit. 

John, 34, received Chemical Engineering and Philosophy degrees from Notre Dame, spent three years studying in Rome, and has been a high school teacher for the past several years. He is my consultant both in product and business development. John is interested in all thing culinary. He roasts his own coffee beans, butchers, and enjoys cooking, especially Cajun and Italian food.

Kathleen, 36, also received a degree from Notre Dame and spent many years working in marketing after graduation. Six years ago, she rebranded RWF, making our packaging more beautiful and environmentally friendly. She started a non-profit business helping companies in developing countries promote their businesses. In 2013, she married Tim Dickinson and last October they moved to Ireland where Tim is working in IT for a Swiss Company.  
  
Rainwater Farm's beginning represents the desire of my husband and me to provide more opportunities for our six children by producing a product that we believed in. In looking back over the past 29 years, I am truly grateful for my loyal customers whose support has helped me to expand my product-line and to grow in my commitment to the values behind RWF's motto, "Do No Harm."


Colette Souder
Rainwater Farm

Rainwater Farm Reaching Out - Soap Beyond Borders

Posted on February 21, 2020 by Colette Souder | 1 comment

Recently I was asked, “How do you give back?” I give back in many ways, but the biggest is my work with Haiti. I have traveled there three times---each time working with the locals on the techniques of soap making.

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