A Garden of Soap

These festive scarecrows guide visitors to the Soaphouse.
If possible we always attend the Herb Day Festival at Evening Shade Farm. Our late friend, Gayl Bousman, began Herb Day in May 10 years ago at her farm near Osceola, Missouri. (I grew up just 20 miles from there, in the western part of Missouri, so it's somewhat returning to my roots each year).
The festival isn't just about buying and selling, people come and spend hours, visit, make friends, eat and shop.

Herb Day attracts a variety of vendors, plant people and crafters, all coming for 2 days of visiting, selling and eating. This year, the parking lots were filled to the brim and they had the biggest attendance ever. Some came as a tribute to Gayl, who made friends and customers in many states with her kind ways and excellent soaps (some made from the herbs in her garden and the goats milk from her herd of goats on her farm).
There were a variety of plant vendors, trug makers, photographers, wood turners and potters.
We know him as the "Iron Guy" and he makes hand-forged garden pieces.
The iron pieces are organic and graceful as well as functional.
Steve Hassell, Gayl's brother.
Gayl's brother, Steve, has been working with her for the past 2 or 3 years and since her passing, he and her daughter, Cindy Parker, have taken over the soap business.

One of the things people look forward to each year is having a piece (or a whole cake to take home) of Gayl's lemon verbena cake. I remember last year Gayl saying she'd made something like 30 cakes for the 2 days and sold out!

The famous lemon verbena cake, delightfully lemony.

There are always musicians playing on the Soaphouse porch. People sit under the old mulberry tree in chairs and visit, listening to the local musicians playing. Homemade rootbeer is always on hand, as well.
Handmade soaps, with enchanting fragrances and flavors.

But soap is the real reason for the festival, soap made on the farm, from herbs and flowers from Gayl's garden.
My personal favorite soap is the spicy caravan soap.
In memory of our friend Gayl Bousman. Your tradition of the Friday night potluck, lemon verbena cake and Herb Day Festival at the Soaphouse, continues and you were with us all, the entire time.

Visit their website to learn more about their organic, hand-crafted soaps from the farm.


Rhonda D. said...

What a sweet post! Thanks for sharing the photos- the Herb Festival looks like a lot of fun :)

compost in my shoe said...

What a great way to remind us all how important we can be to those around us. What a great post about your friend!