Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Indigo on the way

I started some of my indigo seeds left over from last year this past week. I was not sure if they would germinate after spending a year in my basement, but all seem to be sprouting. I also have seeds on the way from Rowland Ricketts. The money from the seeds will support his work at Hilltop Garden for the IndiGrowingBlue project. Rowland hopes to be able to buy silk scarves for children in the summer program to dye with the fresh leaf indigo.  How can you not want to help with that?  If you are on Facebook, look up the project there to see about the availability of seed packages. I got a package of each and I am going to attempt to keep them separate to compare them in a more scientific way. I want to see if there is a difference in harvest times, pounds of dried leaf produced, composting time, fresh leaf dye color and composted dye color. I need to talk one of my book making friends into making me a special notebook for tracking everything.

The composted indigo seems to have gotten too dry. I think there is too big of a gap inside the styrofoam cooler and that air is drying everything out. I know it needs to breathe to compost right but the material I used to cover it may not be holding enough moisture in. I added more water and stirred, stirred, stirred. I then cut a piece of an old tarp to to size to just cover the pile in the cooler. If the Indiana weather is better next week, I am going to take my fermenting indigo outside to process it. The smell is still rather bad but I see layers of blue inside the jars so I am hopeful that I have usable dye.

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