Posted by: Mare F | December 14, 2011

Gathering supplies for the winter.

There are a lot of amazing people in my life and most of them have a great sense of humor. In a conversation over Labor Day Weekend I mentioned to a friend that I wanted to find some lichen and asked if he knew of a good spot. He hunts and fishes quite a bit so I knew that he would know some good foraging grounds. Within 48 hours he was at my house, in the dark, with a quart jar’s worth of lichen that he found that night. How can I hate this? On Thanksgiving morning I mentioned to another friend that I was going out the next day to get some birch bark and to look for black walnuts and he told me that he had just raked up his yard full of black walnuts, but that I was welcome to come and see what was still there. Doug, my SO, went the following morning and came home with a couple of walnuts, some husks, and 3 fallen birch trees. Two days later Doug came home with a small bucket full of black walnuts that our friend went into the woods and collected for me. I truly do know some marvelous people  AND no one has batted an eye when I told them why I want these goodies.

One of the science teachers at school came in with peeled birch bark and I believe I have another convert. We are making plans to get together over the winter and play with the various things that we’ve amassed. It will work well with her students and I wonder if I would have been interested in this when I was in middle school.

Now in an effort to be efficient, I’ve started a list for locations of the various flora is located so when next fall comes around I’m not scratching my head and wondering where I saw, heard, or picked up supplies for my winter dyeing this year. I can see it happening. I should probably list dates found, but that won’t apply to this year as I’ve started so late and my friends have started my winter stash for me. I have lots of mittens and hats to make for these great people as well as a loaf of pumpkin bread or two.

I’ve finally managed to get the rest of the mulch spread in gardens and I’m looking forward to mapping out the different flowers for dye sources next fall. I know I can plant marigolds in between my tomatoes, but I’m really not sure what else to plant where and I really am looking forward to charting it all out. I have direct sun bed, partial sun beds, and a spot I could place a plain old shade bed. Now I just have to sort out the plants. I think it will be perfect way to spend a cold, snowy January day with a pot of spiced tea. What do you think?

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