July 2019 Japanese Indigo Harvest

24 Jul

It is time to harvest my Japanese Indigo before the Texas August heat. I am definitely a small grower, dependent on irrigation & sun shield fabric. My indigo bed is about 3 1/2 feet by 14 feet, it is not huge because my shade & irrigation lines limit productive garden. Plus I have to protect from “the diggers”, armadillos. Hence my desire to dry leaves, it is works for my pace. As an aside you can see my madder root which has a reckless disregard for the Texas heat & armidillos trying to breach the indigo fort.

I prepped 10 bundles to dry. This week’s weather is perfect for drying, hot, no rain & moderate wind.

My dye patio shelving does double duty as drying rack. The green fabric protects the “greens” overnight. We have racoons. In a couple of days the bunches will be dry enough to strip the leaves easily and store in bins for final drying for storage.

The bed has been watered and resecured. More will grow & I will harvest again in late September.

2 Responses to “July 2019 Japanese Indigo Harvest”

  1. Caryn Friedlander July 31, 2019 at 5:01 pm #

    Hi Deb,
    I have a quick and simple question (I hope), as I prepare to do my first harvest of Japanese indigo from my Pacific Northwest garden (Washington State)….I am planning on drying this first batch of leaves and wondering if, when using the dried leaves to dye with, I can substitute fructose in place of thiox as my reducing agent. My only experience with indigo thus far is using indigo powder and creating a vat using calx and fructose (or bananas). This is my first experience using fresh/dried leaves and I’d prefer not to add thiox to the mix if possible. thanks! Caryn

    Liked by 1 person

    • debmcclintock July 31, 2019 at 5:58 pm #

      Others have done it with fructose and slaked lime successfully. Are you in the FB group “Indigo Pigment Extraction Methods”? Folks have written about their success. Search in that group. I just have not done it yet since my garden is small and I haven’t had time to pull my dried leaves for more experimentation. The key, I think, is to let the leaves soak for about two days to break down the leaf cells. Then you strain the leaf matter and set it aside and work with the leftover broth. Please report back. I will blog about it when I do it.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: