The indigo plants had grown twice as fast after my first harvest in the middle of January. It could be the warmer weather we have had this month and the seaweed fertilizer I have been feeding them, but whatever the reason, the plants seemed to thrive. I thought it was time to prune them again. I cut off most of the branches and left the remaining shoots hoping that they would give me more leaves in the near future. I've kept one plant untouched for seeds.
I won't be processing them the same way I did last time here, but instead I will dry them and wait for the next harvest and process them together. In the mean time I'd better do some research on how best to deal with the dried indigo!
Before photo of the indigo plants. The leaves are starting to have a blue tint on them. I can almost feel that the blue dye would jump at me when I touch it!
First step I pruned the branches and stacked them in my laundry basket. Unfortunately it was a hot day so I had to work fast. Next I gathered the branches and tied them into a bundle with raffia. Now they are ready to hang out to dry.
The roof of the garage is made of corrugated iron. It's perfect for drying anything. I tied the bundles on a pole to stop them from being blown away by the wind. This photo was taken just after midday when I placed the bundles to dry.
I checked them around 5:00 pm and because it was a very hot day all the top part of the bundles had completely dried. I turned the bundles over and left them for another hour.
I'm glad I threaded the bundles on the pole because at the end of the day I just lifted the pole and the bundles off the roof. I left them hanging overnight knowing that it wasn't going to rain (I hoped!).
Before I left for work in the morning I moved the pole with the bundles hanging from it into the garage just in case it decided to rain, but I doubted that it would. By this stage the indigo leaves were really crisp and fragile. I don't know what I will do with them next. I'm thinking I will ferment them! I know I don't have nearly enough for the batch, but I would love to try and have a first hand experience of stinking fermentation indigo! If all else fails, I would have a photo to share on my blog! Also I must say I have been enjoying growing my own indigo plants. Everything I have heard about indigo is mysterious and secretive, but now that I have actually grown and process my own indigo plants I can move on and tick that off from my to do list.
Still on indigo, Jacky and I are forming a team and will be giving an indigo workshop in March. The first workshop is set for Saturday March 16th. If you want more details please leave me a comment with your email and I will get back to you with the workshop information.
Until next time