We’re excited to have our own dedicated garden space for growing dye plants. We are grateful to member Ann Fransblow, owner of La Morna Farm in Roberts Creek, for making two beautiful raised beds available for us, complete with new soil. Next year we will add a garden at Fibreworks in Madeira Park as well, but there is a lot of prep work to be done there. We also have an opportunity to collaborate with the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden to help them develop a Dye Garden, and we could work with their groups to offer dye workshops.
We held a preliminary meeting on March 15 and shared seeds of dye plants Japanese Indigo, Zinnia, Black Eyed Susan Rudebeckia, Rust Iron Marigold, Black Hollyhock, Pokeberry, Lemon Gem Marigold, and Woad. Some of us have started these seeds at home in anticipation of planting them out in the raised beds soon.
Our objective is to grow our own Fibreshed natural dye plants. These will be shared amongst the volunteer gardeners and the garden host. If there is an overabundance, we can sell seeds as a fundraiser or use them to make up Dye Garden Starter Kits to help promote local garden development in our Fibreshed region.
We will learn, as a group, about harvesting and processing each of the plants we grow. Some can be frozen, some can be dried, some have to be used fresh. We will figure out what works, what doesn’t work, and what we want to grow again. We could plan for group “dye days,” which could tie in to LearnAlongs.
Peg Neilon will coordinate the work on this garden, but she will need other Fibreshed members on board. We need to plan for:
- planting/transplanting day(s)
- ongoing work day schedules—tend to the plants and beds
- harvesting and processing
Members interested in helping out with this exciting project are invited to contact us through this website.