Pokeweed Berries Waiting to Become a Dye Bath  

A few months ago on June 14 I wrote an article titled "Nothing says survival quite like Pokeweed.  I only learned of Pokeweed in June of this year--just a few days past my first year anniversary as an urban gardener.

Pokeweed is just one tiny example of why one would require several lifetimes to learn all there is to learn about gardening--and even at that it is doubtful if one could retain it all.  This one lowly American weed has a rich history all its own.

Today Charlie went after all the volunteer Pokeweed in his yard with a vengeance. He has plans to replace these interlopers with exotic (but hardy) hibiscus bushes that he recently purchased at Bruce Miller's Nursery..

By now, since it's fall, the Pokeweed have mature luscious red berries. (No they are not edible.)  To Charlie's credit, he allowed the weeds to remain for me until the berries fully matured.  While I had no intentions of eating them, I was curious to mash them up and use them as a dye as American Indians once did.

Today was the day.  I probably should have gotten on the Internet and found recipes for making dye from pokeweed berries but I was too lazy.  Instead, I simply mashed up the berries, put a little water in the pot, and stuck some canvas in.

I was a little disappointed as the color is not nearly as bright as the color of the mashed berries.  I tie-dyed one canvas and painted leaves with the pokeweed berry dye  on the other canvas.


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