Week Four: Fruits and Vegetables

November 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Collecting for this week involved less scavenging and more grocery shopping (or it may not count as shopping when you’re only aiming for the peels).  We tried out pomegranates, yellow and red onion peels, and pokeberries (which did require significant scavenging).  Hopefully, we will soon convince a few gardeners to spare their tomato vines from the compost pile and we can add them to our spectrum of yellows.

Pokeberries were particularly fun– when our advisor first told us about em, we thought they were some mysterious thing but suddenly realized they were everywhere! The first time we tried them out we got a nice brown, but we’d heard that there might be some fuschia to be had from these berries so were determined to keep trying. After many attempts (and many browns!) we finally connected the dots (thanks to our recent purchase of Rebecca Burgess’ great book “Harvesting Color”) that boiling the dye loses the nice fuschia color.  At long last we were able to get a great purply pink by soaking the mushed up berries in vinegar overnight and then simmering (NOT boiling) the fibers with the dye.  What fun!

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