I ordered madder seeds from Salt Spring Island (BC), and casting around, found little info on growing in a colder clime. Fortunately, the natural dye group on FB has some experienced growers, and some of those are in zones similar to mine–or tougher!
I suppose buying these seeds and hoping that in three years i can harvest my own reds might be a bit delusional. Calgary has a shorter growing season, colder nights (even in the summer) and hard winters, but for the price of 6.00 (including shipping), what the hell. Never know until you try. The first step will be to germinate in the Dye Dungeon, under lights, and in sand. Hoofies crossed that the seeds are viable! Though i have yet to get a true red from any commercial madder i’ve used, i keep trying!)
I also have to find my woad seeds–i did grow some the year before the flood, but alas, after the move to the shithole, the pot froze under a roof run off and the poor things didn’t survive. Specifically grown for cold zones by Sarah of Joybilee Farms in BC, i put the darn remaining seeds somewhere “safe” and haven’t found them yet. (I don’t think she sells them anymore either…)
The old indigo pot remains downstairs in the Dye Dungeon also—haven’t used it in a year, but i’m not only hoping to revive it, but to start a more “organic” vat as well. And ordering seeds for these as well…) Picking up a load of calx, henna and other assorted dye goodies tomorrow, including some proper mordants in the form of gallnut and soy!
Hope springs eternal this first day of March!