Monday, March 12, 2012

Madder Root

A few weeks ago, I did my spring garden clean-up. And in pulling out the dead stalks from the madder plants, I accidentally pulled up a bit of a root as well. I thought you'd like to see it ... vibrantly orange/red, glinting with bits of soil.

I managed to get one madder seed to germinate in 2009, and it grew into a wild, tangled patch over the last few years (for evidence: see the 2010, 2011 updates). If it weren't contained in a whiskey barrel, it would have taken over that corner of the garden!

Madder needs at least three years to grow before you're supposed to harvest the roots for dyeing. This should be the summer of harvest. To be honest, I kind of lost my fervor for natural dyeing. But perhaps it'll be the excitement of these madder roots that will bring it back ...

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