Thursday, May 17, 2007
Colors serve all sorts of important biological purposes. Mating, hiding, getting caught, attracting pollinators, warning off predators... in the world of garden vegetables, color means "Eat me! I'm full of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants!" (Aside: I like when vegetables use big words like anti-oxidant. I imagine them pronouncing it with an endearing speech impediment or a funny foreign accent).
HWWLLB and I certainly spend more time looking at our vegetables than we do eating them. Not to say that we don't eat them, we do, but we spend an embarassing amount of time gazing fondly at them. I can't take any credit for the delightful rainbow of plants out there; choosing and arranging have mostly been the work of the man of the house. Mainly I pick and eat them. But seeing as how we have such great colors going on out there, I'm starting to think about growing my own dyes.
Wouldn't you love to have a dress the color of this radish?
I'm eyeing the beets that are slowly coming along out there and wondering whether the trimmings from when I eat them (because I intend to gobble up every last beet myself) would produce enough dye for, say, a skein of sock yarn. Hmmm...
T, companion of Shari, brews his own beer, which is a lot like knitting one's own socks and sweaters, I think. This ingenious fellow is now growing his own barley and hops for the beer brewing, which is a lot like raising the sheep yourself (or maybe growing dye plants?). His beers are delicious, by the way, and I find T and his tasty beer quite inspiring. I like the increased integrity of the project that results when you grow constituent parts yourself - not to mention the reduced ecological footprint.
Some dye plants that are also beautiful to grow:
Beets (of course!)
Some of these are plants we already grow in our yard - I've just never thought to put them to work before, besides the usual looking, smelling and tasting good. Maybe I should go find a book on dyeing with plants. Y'all let me know if you have any recommendations!
it won't dye sock yarn, but it sure makes a purty salad