Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back to real work

Indigo is getting a little taller. Not sure we'll really get much out of these because it has been so cool and we have short hands. There are a few zinnias in the back (right corner) and purple basil that I thought was DEAD but Kirstin noticed one bit was coming back (back left corner)! AMAZING.
Yesterday was too mosquito-y to trim seedpods and flowers. Today was gorgeous, unexpectedly, and the strong breeze kept the buggers away. I left about 10 plants to go to seed and that will give us enough for next year.
I got tired of seeing so many empty buckets in the back so I scrubbed a bunch and decided to clear the milkweed that Velma harvested a few weeks back. I trimmed it to steam and strip. Ivey came by to see dyebaths and helped me strip—we dunked them in cold water to make it easier to handle, and because I had re-read some articles last night and apparently throwing cold water on kozo after steaming makes stripping easier. It's all rinsed now, nice and green, and ready for papermaking whenever I get the chance.
Today I started cooking 4 pounds of 10 (of Thai kozo) that I am prepping for this weekend's hanji class, but the main attraction today was processing some of our dye plants. The freezer was so full of flowers and we had run out of baggies, so I figured, now or never!
We did marigolds, dahlias, and hibiscus. I absolutely love the marigold smell while harvesting and it gets even stronger while cooking.
Here they are after the cook, cooling down a bit before I skimmed a little off the tops of each one to test.
I was surprised we got anything from hibiscus, because it isn't supposed to do well frozen. I love the dahlias, and it's clear that there is no need to mess with unsized paper (I didn't even bother taking pictures of those). This is sized gampi, and the right side has a little alum. The left side, nothing. Brushed on three times. A good way to not think about the root canal retreatment I started on Monday, and a good way to process all the choices I need to make these days.

2 comments:

  1. Speaking of indigo...I went out to the garden this morning and found my good stand of indigo (the one I was hoping to save for seed) had been trampled to pulp by deer. It seems this year was a total waste here at the Lorton farm.

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  2. lovely gardening...and bill's news is horrible!

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