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processing indigo

May 16, 2012

fresh indigo leaves can be fermented over an extended period of time to become a thick paste like substance known as sukumo

kept warm, slightly damp and covered with a straw mat and a layer of leaves

it has a strong smell of ammonia

Judy and Lis are not impressed

but Snoopy has smelt it all before and it’s not something to eat!

Bryan is shaping it into balls, known as aidama, and will leave it to dry completely

polygonum tinctoria is the Japanese indigo plant


seedlings pressed in a page of my journal. They self-seed and grow like weeds in my friends garden in Takeshimura, Nagano-ken.

I have grown it successfully in my Victoria garden. Hoping for a good crop with  new seeds. The plant is an annual, you should be able to get two cuttings from it and it sets seeds quite easily. 





seeds are hard-shelled and dark brown





we are having an unseasonably hot Spring.

I’ve planted seeds in starter pots, directly in the ground, hope they like rhubarb! and frozen some.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Judi bushby permalink
    June 8, 2012 3:11 pm

    Your extra days in Japan sound like they were fruitful ones. A little slower pace perhaps


  2. May 16, 2012 3:40 pm

    This is great Jean. I didn’t know the Japanese names of the differing stages of the process. Thank you!


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