Sunday, March 7, 2010

springing, early

a lovely day. windy and sunny and warm--in the 40s and some bits of ground showing. i hung laundry out this morning. thinking of growing things; i'm not much of a gardener. there's a perennial border where i grow some plants i like. last year i cleared a spot to grow flax. i have done so several times before, but have never had the lovely white flowered flax that i purchased years ago from mrs. chase in (i think) maine. last year i grew a blue flowered variety, and the growing season was not flax friendly. 
my old computer died last fall and took along with it my pictures of the whole season. but here is the flax harvest retting. it's dry and ready to hackle in preparation for spinning or papermaking. the flax was short, and fine, and of poor quality.


on that same growing spot, i will spread some compost and manure, and will grow this year's crop, indigo. first, though, i need to rent a space in a friend's greenhouse and start seedlings. it's that time of year, and i'm ready to grow polygonum tinctorium, japanese indigo. i hope i can find a grower with extra space!


farmers buy and sell springing heifers (in the world of huge farms, i think that kind of exchange may be disappearing). i like the word springing.

8 comments:

jude said...

oh great, flax and indigo. i am moving in....

Jeana Marie said...

me too...would love to grow indigo, I know there is an Australian variety...you might inspire me to look into it!

marionjoy said...

lovely photos .. i have never seen flax, i think.. or indigo for that matter.. will be a joy to see your process and the results .. haha .. just a thought, springing indigo?

neki desu said...

i'm also moving in. save some space for me too.
will help you compost the indigo to make sukumo for lodging dues :)

neki desu said...

i meant fees.

Velma said...

ok, jude and neki, how does august look?

and what is sukumo?

Eva said...

Sukumo is composted leaves of japanese indigo. It's a way to preserve the crop of leaves for dyeing later and for sale. It also contains the bacteria that starts the fermentation vat. Can I move in too, please? :) Would love to learn processing flax and composting indigo... Just planted mine last weekend (indoors, don't have a greenhouse).

Velma said...

i did NOT know the name of it, though i DID make it once! sure, the more the merrier!

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