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A slow craft

Three years ago I ordered some madder (Rubia tinctorum) seeds from Wild Colours Natural Dyes and sowed them in my dye allotment. I have just harvested my first crop!

The red colour of this plant is obtained from the roots, and the plant needs to be at least 3 years old before use can be made of it.

The red inside...

The red inside…

There is such beauty to this waiting game we play when working with nature. It gives us time to stand still too and observe and reflect. The whole process is slow, and in an increasingly fast world that feels like medicine to the soul.

Treasure waiting to be revealed

First dug up clump of roots

Madder patch after first harvest, waiting to re-grow

Madder patch waiting to re-grow

Total harvest: 3.8 kg fresh roots

Total harvest: 3.8 kg fresh roots

Washing and chopping the roots, ready for drying

Washing and chopping the roots, ready for drying & storing

Drying chopped roots in the Spring sun. 3.8kg became 530g!

Drying chopped roots in the Spring sun. 3.8kg became 530g!

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