On July 2nd the Farm to Cafeteria Program hosted its first of three summer workshops in the school garden. Our incredible garden keeper, Colleen Stewart, led a Shibori workshop in which friends of the garden played with indigo dye and their imagination to create astonishing blue and white patterns on decorative flags and tee-shirts.
At the start of the workshop Colleen introduced attendees to both a large vat of the deep blue plant dye and the bed of indigo plants she seeded in the garden this spring. After a brief overview of how the plant is processed to create a blue dye and how the dyeing process works, participants gathered their cotton material and began playing. A combination of folding techniques along with pebbles, rubber bands and small tiles were used before soaking the white cotton swatches in the dye.
Some children curiously wandered the garden while waiting for their cotton swatch to absorb the dye. Others continued to experiment with new designs as their initial swatch soaked in the vat of blue dye. All were fascinated with watching the oxidization process transform their soaked swatch from a light green to a dark blue. When the rubber bands were removed from the blue swatches, Colleen gathered with the children to observe and comment on the array of intricate patterns left behind. At the end of the workshop, an assortment of blue and white decorative flags hung from clothespins to dry on the garden fence.
As the sun beamed down on the garden and our greenhouse, holding an abundance of recently harvested calendula flowers, Colleen spoke to our garden friends about the next workshop she will be hosting. At the end of the month, she will teach us how to pair dried calendula flowers with oil and beeswax to make a soothing skin salve! This is a workshop you won’t want to miss; everyone will have the opportunity to take home a tin of salve! We look forward to seeing you at the next event.
To find out more about our “Summer in the School Garden Workshops,” visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/orcasislandf2c or email Ashley Randall at firstname.lastname@example.orgAll funds raised for the event go toward covering the cost of materials and purchasing garden supplies. All workshops are open to the community. All ages welcome.