Spring is poking its collective head up here in the mountains of Massachusetts, and I'm loving the incredible biodiversity present in the forest and where its edges meet the lawn. So many medicinal and edible plants are naturally part of this ecosystem, and I enjoy watching the plants in all the different stages of growth. The coltsfoot flowers that come up early, only to be replaced by broad leaves later in the summer, mint leaves unfurling to shoot up high on woody stalks to flower in delicate purples as fall threatens her riotous color display as the summer tries to hold out a few last weeks.
I'm raising a few dyeplants this season, and reading my Peterson's guides to local medicinals, and I'll take walks with my gathering basket and sustainably harvest for both the teapot and the dyepot this year as I notice the natural abundance all around me. I just read through Harvesting Color by Rebecca Burgess and was inspired to find the color in the landscape of northwestern MA and ways that I can beneficially interact with my forest environment and interweave that with my fiber work and the nourishment I take in from the plants themselves. It's also fascinating to learn which plants that I can eat or make tea with are also sources of beautiful dyes, and vice-versa, plants I may have learned to avoid due to toxicity may make fantastic additions to the dyepot.
I'd love to find a cast-iron tripod thingy to go over my firepit, so I could hang a dutch oven-style iron pot directly over an outdoor fire and work with that kind of summer dyeing space.. I might experiment with some solar techniques, too.. so many possibilities, and such a busy summer ahead.
Today I'm at the drum carder, going through my considerable fiber stash to create some amazing art batts of spinning fiber for other spinners to peruse at the Fleece Market, which is coming up this Saturday.
Back to the creative process..