Final Indigo Harvest

Oh me on my! I've been so busy with personal life, work, and harvesting!

Major highlights of August include:

1) Getting engaged, yes!
2) Harvesting my indigo crop
3) Experimenting with rose hip solar dye, post coming soon.
4) Creating an Etsy Store

The final indigo harvest caught me completely off guard. Autumn crept up on me. I checked on my indigo one day, thinking I had a couple weeks left, and a couple plants had the beginnings of flowers!

I hacked everything down and left 1/8 of the plot alone for winnowing. I didn't want to save any seed, but I have so much crop and I learned that indigo that has already gone to seed produces a lesser color. So I just left the plants go to seed that had already begun.

I have no idea how much indigo I have in weight, but I plan to bring it back to Queens Botanical Garden for fermentation in the glass house and easy access to composting. Before I create vats I will have to weigh it on the compost scale to see how many pounds of dried leaves I have accumulated.

When growing the indigo, I ran into mineral deficiencies that caused the leaves to turn red, so once dried, those leaves were removed. While harvested, I ran across this wierdo stalk of all yellow leaves. I did not dry it, but as you can see in the pictures it does have indigo present. The dried portions are bluish. It must be an anomaly. Like an albino strain.

Since the very beginning I've been fascinated by the growing patterns of Persicaria tinctoria. And these pictures show off the plant's structure beautifully.  

Look at how tall this is! Also check out the small branches on the bottom of this stalk.

This zoomed in photo shows off all the root growth that exists along the entire bottom of the plant. Each indigo plant has 7-10 of these stalks branching out from the center. 

Even dried, this plant is a beaut! This is an older stalk and the newer branches on this stalk have had time to grow. The furthest right branches are the youngest. Also, look at that color!!