March 29, 2015


Posted by Anais Dervaes

Folks who have been monitoring the weather, know that in our neck of the wood it's been a hot and dry winter.  The window is closing on what's left of our "rainy months" and it's all looking rather bleak. Recording breaking heat has been our beginning to Spring.

Whilst the West and CA struggle with lack or little rainfall/snow pack; here on the homestead & totally ignoring that we are in the midst of an historic drought,  one of our edible hedges is loaded with fruit.

Can you ID what kind of fruit this is and what jam it makes?

Click on this LINK to see if you guessed correctly


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March 27, 2015


Posted by Anais Dervaes


Sis & I are into the second semester of our "Farm to Table" program we have with our neighborhood school and we are enjoying every minute of it.  Not only are we having fun teaching the kids, but we are learning along with them as we put together lesson plans for each session.

Keeping with the "farm to" theme, one of the sessions we are having the kids dye some yarn and fabric with a vegetable.  Probably beets (since we have a bunch)   Of course, I wanted to do a bit of experimenting myself and during the session wanted showcase dyeing with vegetables, fruits, coffee, and even spices using simple fixative of mordant of salt or vinegar.

So a quick search on the internet for the "how to." The process was fairly easy - but messy!   I used blackberries, onion skins, coffee, turmeric, beets and spinach and was happy with all the results except for the spinach.   I was expecting a light green but instead was rather dirty white (blech)

When you think about this, this was how people dyed their clothing/fabric for thousands of years.  It was only "recently" in 1856 with cheap manufacturing that  synthetic  dyes started to be used.   Not are these chemical dyes posing a environmental risk but to the factory works and also a health risk since our skin absorbs.

As I was dyeing I felt I was stepping back in time, a few hundred years or so- perhaps in little cottage surrounded by a large dye garden, big black kettles boiling away, stirring the dye batches with a big long stick, surrounded by freshly dyed fabric waving in the breeze.

But, alas, my cell phone goes off...... back to the present!

:: Resources ::

 Make Natural Dyes With Leftover Fruits and Vegetables

Dye Your Clothes with Food

How to Dye Using Fruits & Vegetables




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