October 27, 2017 – Madder Matters

For some time we have had access to madder root to use to make a lovely red dye. Phyllis bought a single madder plant some years ago and it has turned into a fairly sizable madder patch that is occasionally dug and the roots used to create the dye. Some of the plant material is returned to the patch, sprouts, and the cycle starts anew. But Phyllis is moving to a new location. So the madder is being relocated to a garden patch in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Today Phyllis helped search through the recently dug madder and selected some chunks of dirt that contained minuscule root shoots. These have now been incorporated into a bed about 4×9 feet. Will they take hold and sprout in their new locale? Only time will tell.

Phyllis selects madder roots

Madder roots ready to plant

Wool dyed with madder