While out walking our property with the kids last Friday-- all along the back fence I was noticing how the trees are filling in with leaves and such.
I had recently been researching Soap-nuts.
Apparently this is something that can be used for sustainable lifestyles.
We've known about these trees on our property for years.
We've always called them China-berry Trees
Only recently after reading many different Homesteading blogs and this post @ LIVE READY NOW! have I discovered that what I think I have on our property is Soap-nut or Soap berry trees; rightly called
Western Soap-berry. Here in Texas.
There are several of these trees along the fence
and a small stand of trees behind the barn,too.
My dad always said they were a 'trash' tree.
Momma always warned us to 'NOT Eat them'
I remember when they bloomed that there was a sweet fragrance to them.
They make a wonderful canopy and shade. In fact the Littles and I stood out there for quite sometime watching the cows.
I went ahead and collected some of the soap nuts.
These trees are not blooming right now. It is said they will flower Spring or Summer
with 'drupes' coming after that.
These that I collected were caught on branches; and dried already.
Apparently the soap-nuts can be used to wash your laundry and shampoo your hair!
I'm still researching but find this fascinating.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a tree on your property that produces sustainable soap for your clothes? What a savings that would be! I've been making homemade laundry soap for almost 6 years now...this would be a little bit easier, faster, and WAY! CHEAPER!
I've read that it takes the equivalent of about 5 soap berries in a linen or cotton pouch tossed into the washer and wash your laundry as usual. I understand that you have to remove the seeds from inside and let them dry. Like I said these have dried already and they have the seed inside.
I'm not sure if they'll work; but I don't know why they wouldn't.
The work best in HOT water to release the Saponin, which is basically the natural detergent inside the skin of the soapnut.
I'm interested if any of you have heard of this?
Have you tried it?
Is it something you'd be interested in trying in your home?
Or do you make your own laundry soap?
Western Soap berry links.