Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hands In The Dirt

Yay! I finally got the seeds that I ordered!


See how teensy the weld seeds are compared to the Chinese woad (which look exactly like regular woad seeds as far as I can tell). You can’t judge the size of a plant by the size of its seeds! They will both be similar in height and width – eventually. I hope. The timing was good anyhow. When the package arrived I was already down at the “grow-op” planting more things: 3 kinds of summer squash (Goldrush zucchini, Eight Ball round zukes, and yellow pattypan squash), Lemon cucumbers, and more basil, lettuce and arugula. I also finally remembered to start the carrots. Doh. They should have been ready to go in the garden by now. Oh well. They never do that well around here anyway. The evil rust fly larvae drill them full of holes right about the time they are big enough to eat. Sad really. Don’t know why I keep trying but surrounding the plants with coffee grounds seem to help a wee bit. Life is based on hope, right? I can always dye with the carrot tops if nothing else.

Speaking of dye, I picked some more rhubarb for sauce so I started another rhubarb leaf pot. It’s currently cooling before I can strain out the leaf goo. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! I am not just ignoring that pot. Nosiree.) Not sure what I’m going to dye over it this time however since I’m out of home-grown madder until this fall. I need to research more to see what works well with it. Or maybe just throw something in and figure out what else goes on top later! I can start with a few more skeins of the Louet Gems superwash and more of the crossbred sliver that I’ve got before the rhubarb leaf goes off.

I kind of enjoy taking my time with natural dyes though. It’s not something you really need to rush. As a matter of fact, slower is better. It gives things time to extract, oxidise, slightly ferment, colour intensify. It’s a nice contrast to our modern expectations of hurry-up instant gratification. Patience is a virtue.

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