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Tuesdays, 4:00 - 6:00 BST
August 6, 13, 20, 27 ~ September 17, 14
six sessions

indigo

with John Marshall
password: HonAi-24

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Getting Started

We’ll be working with Japanese indigo in this class, Persicaria tinctoria.

    Try to find someone in your area to share seeds with you. As a general rule, it’s best not to buy Persicaria from a catalog or online unless you know that the seller in the one harvesting the seeds. Persicaria remains fully viable for little over a year and after that, the germination rate plummets. Finding a local source will ensure not only that the seeds are fresh but already well adapted to your region.

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If you live in a temperate climate, plan on starting your seeds indoors four to six weeks ahead of what you anticipate will be the last frost.

   Prepare the soil in pots or trays. Sprinkle the seeds over the surface, rub them gently into the soil with the palm of your hand and lightly cover with a thin layer of additional soil or sand. Water generously and keep the soil moist and well drained. Place the tray in a warm sunny spot. In approximately six weeks, you should have a tray of lush greenery, along the lines of a Chia Pet (remember those?). Once the starts have two to three sets of leaves, you may transfer them to their summer location.

 

  Indigo prefers full sun – but what does that mean? Think in terms of where Persicaria is a thriving business – Tokushima, Japan. Tokushima is located on the southern island of Shikoku. Summers are hot and muggy, with lots of rainfall. With that in mind, full sun in this case means in an open field with overcast skies at close to sea level.

   I live at an elevation of roughly 2,200 feet ( 650 meters) above sea level in an area that reaches temperatures of 110ºF (44ºC) in midsummer. Humidity hovers around 15% at best and a brief rainfall is a rare event with cause for celebration. That is to say, not much like Tokushima.

   I plant my garden in a large, raised bed, roughly ten meters in diameter, between an apple tree and a one hundred fifty year old sprawling black walnut tree.  In the center is a tripod with a sprinkler that can cover the full bed.

    The trees protect my indigo from the searing afternoon sun. The sprinkler is on a timer and  set to come on once in the middle of the night for a deep watering and again around 3:00 in the afternoon to keep the plants from suffering from aerial drought.

   Use the situation in my garden and the environment in Tokushima as starting points in determining the best solution for your plot. Persicaria also grows quit well in pots on a sunny balcony if you are limited in outdoor space.

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   Separate your starts into clusters of two to three plants, poke a hole a few inches deep in the soil of the new bed, drop the roots into the hole, and pack the hole gently with soil. Persicaria is a very forgiving plant and can easily survive the transfer as long as the soil is kept moist and well drained. Never let the soil dry out completely.

   Simply follow the guidelines above and you’ll be all set to enter the wonderful world of indigo the first day of class.

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August 6

Day One - Zoom Recording

OK to download and keep for future reference.

Session 1 Indigo

Vimeo recordings - higher quality viewing than the Zoom recordings, but no sound. Not able to download.

Will be available for viewing for several months.

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Have a question? You're probably not the only one. Click on the icon above to see what others are asking.

Don't see the answer to your question? Feel free to write me and ask.

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August 13

Day Two - Zoom Recording

OK to download and keep for future reference.

Session 2 Indigo

Vimeo redordings - higher quality viewing than the Zoom recordings, but no sound. Not able to download.

Will be available for viewing for several months.

Topics and Downloads of Interest

All Things Blue and Beyond

John's various writings on the topic of Japanese indigo (scroll down toward the bottom of the page).

indigo-page

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August 20

Day Three - Zoom Recording

OK to download and keep for future reference.

Session 3 Indigo

Vimeo recordings - higher quality viewing than the Zoom recordings, but no sound. Not able to download.

Will be available for viewing for several months.

Images to Download and Keep

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August 27

Day Four - Zoom Recording

OK to download and keep for future reference.

Session 4 Indigo

Vimeo recordings - higher quality viewing than the Zoom recordings, but no sound. Not able to download.

Will be available for viewing for several months.

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September 17

Day Five - Zoom Recording

OK to download and keep for future reference.

Session 5 Indigo

Vimeo recordings - higher quality viewing than the Zoom recordings, but no sound. Not able to download.

Will be available for viewing for several months.

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September 14

Day Six - Zoom Recording

OK to download and keep for future reference.

Session 6 Indigo

Vimeo recordings - higher quality viewing than the Zoom recordings, but no sound. Not able to download.

Will be available for viewing for several months.

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