Saturday, February 28, 2009

Woad

The Woad project is almost completed for the year.

The student's extraction of woad indigo from the first year woad plants, is completely different from the method used by Ian Howard in Norfolk and by Teresinha in Birmingham and by Blue de letoure in Toulouse. She is obtaining more woad indigo pigment, too -- averaging 4 grams of indigo per kg. of leaves.

In the DVD Indigo by Charllotte Kwon's Maiwa production, tropical indigo's rate is 5 grams of indigo per kg. of leaves, using a fermentation method in the tropics. So the Student is doing very well getting only 20% less indigo -- since her plants are exposed to summer frost and even broccoli has a challenge surviving here.

It is reasonable to expect that she will be able to improve the yield just 20% more in the next year by hybridizing. In fact, merely selecting a few plants for vigor and smooth leaved traits improved yield by 50%. What could be accomplished by a more concentrated effort?

And the blues are beautiful -- noble.
 
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