Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Garden Bounty

This time of summer finds me in the kitchen canning or freezing organic produce from the garden. Every other day something is going on the shelves or in the freezer. This has been one of the best years for sweet corn. As you can see by the picture the ears are filled out to the tip and no cut worms. This is the second year we have applied a boron pack to our garden and fields. The added boron(a trace mineral) helps the corn fill out completely. We buy this amendment from Green Field Farms in Wayne County. They sell organic fertilizers and organic soil minerals for all your needs. Sweet corn is one of my favorite summer foods and I have to admit I have eaten my share.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Japanese Indigo Dyeing

This past weekend I managed to get some time between canning and freezing to pick a gallon size jar of Japanese Indigo leaves, which were ready for dyeing. I prepared the dye bath as Rita Buchanan does in her book "Weavers Garden" and proceeded to dye 5 skeins of bamboo fingering yarn. I first scoured the yarn in washing soda and detergent in boiling water for and hour to make sure it was clean. I rinsed the yarn and kept it wet until time to dye.
This is the prepared dye bath after reduction. The liquid should be a yellow-tan color. I added the skeins and let them soak for 10 minutes. I didn't want a real dark color but there was not enough color in the dye to produce a dark color. The skeins came out with a tye-dye effect. I think the skeins didn't open up enough in the dye bath to get inside the middle of the yarn. This is OK by me but next time I will remember to leave in longer and make sure the skeins open up. When I pulled the yarn out of the dye bath it began to turn blue. I took the skeins outside and shook them in the air and hung them on the line for awhile.
After air drying I brought the skeins in and washed them and hung them to dry. They have a faded denim look which I really like. I dyed all 5 skeins which are 2 ozs, each, a total of 10 ozs. I think I got a lot of dye stuff from 1 gallon of leaves. I'm going to weave a shawl with this yarn. This is my first cellulose project(cotton, flax, bamboo) and I'm happy with the results.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The man cub is growing up

On July 26 my youngest son Graham(on the left) turned 17. He had his best friend Caleb spend the night and need I say the X-Box did not cool off. They did manage to get some swimming in, it wasn't raining and some outside fun. One thing he did request was homemade ice cream made with goats milk cream and free range eggs. Gourmet all the way, and Reuben sandwiches. We have a wee bit of German in our heritage. Graham is an excellent young man and just 1 more year of home schooling will finish him or me! Since he is the last child at home his dad and I think we will pay him if he will stay and help us old folks out. I don't think we have enough money. Oh well, another mile stone in the life the Lohreys.
Sorry no picture of the actual ice cream it was consumed like most of the food in our house.