Growing Indigo in Connecticut

This spring, I’ve become friends with a new staff member at the Webb-Deane-Stevens museum in Wethersfield, CT, where we both work as textile arts teachers. Joy is a talented and skilled weaver, and she’s been telling me about her adventures in growing indigo and making a dye from the leaves of her plants. I’ve used commercially prepared indigo before to dye wool, but now Joy’s got me intrigued. She graciously gave me two starter pots of indigo seedlings, and this summer I’ll be coaxing them along in hopes of making my own dye. Indigo is a crop that prefers more tropical surroundings than we have here in CT. Wish me luck!

Above is a closeup of the babies posing in front of a much more mature fuschia. Joy says they must be kept moist, but when they’re this little, need protection from rain and direct sun. For the past week, they’ve been living on my kitchen windowsill, where I can keep a close eye on them, but the weather today is cloudy and mild, so they’re enjoying and afternoon on the deck. (It’s the camera that was tilted a bit, not the deck!)

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