What We Grow

We grow and process a selection of vibrant natural dyes, including indigo. Having a diverse range of crops helps to build healthy soil and revitalize the property ecosystem. It’s all done chemical-free and by hand.

Natural dyes: Vibrant colour

A harvest basket of calendula flowers
A harvest basket of calendula flowers. Once harvested, the flowers will be dried for use as natural dyes.

We select and grow natural dye plants that produce the most lightfast and colourfast dyes and that offer the most versatile range of colours. A lightfast dye will retain its colour well after exposure to sunlight and a colourfast dye will retain its colour well after washing. Our dyes are carefully dried on site immediately after harvest to preserve quality and maximum strength of colour.

Our dyes are available in our online shop, or directly from us at the farm (wholesale, bulk, or local pickup). If you’re searching for a specific dye or colour, we’d love to know! View our natural dyes >

Creating colour from plants combines our deep love for craft with our desire to connect with the land. The dye process requires slowing down, selecting plants, sourcing water, creating a colour bath, waiting while the goods are dyed, and hanging them on a line to dry. It is a whole process that brings with it layers of history, meaning, and connection with the local region.

Wherever possible, we choose open-pollinated seed and we’re always sure to plant a few extra beds of flowers to keep the bees and insects happy. All of our crops are grown spray-free (no chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides).

Learn more about how we grow and create natural colour >

Natural dye crops growing on the farm in mid-summer
Natural dye crops growing on the farm in mid-summer

How we grow it

Growing with care for the soil, land, and creatures who share our farm.

We have been influenced by a number of different growing practices, both traditional and contemporary. We value the efficiency and organization that a bio-intensive market garden approach provides, especially for annual crops. When it comes to perennials and managing the entire farm as an ecosystem, the holistic views and guiding principles of permaculture have been most helpful.

Our farm is managed as an ecosystem with shrubs, trees, perennial gardens, and as little disturbance of the soil as possible. All of our farm’s organic matter goes back into the soil and many areas are filled with woodlands, perennial flowers, berries, and other food and year-round habitat sources for the birds and creatures who share our farm. Our dyes are produced with thoughtful consideration to the environment (no chemical herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers), and we are always seeking ways to minimize resource use and waste while maximizing our positive impact.

For our crops, which are mostly annuals, we use a permanent bed system. This means that we build the crop beds once and then leave the soil as undisturbed as possible after the initial preparation. We nourish our soil from the top down using natural amendments such as compost, wood chips, straw, seaweed, or green manures.

We hope you will not only love the vibrancy and range of our natural colours, but feel good about using them in your creative work.

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in—what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
Hopi sunflowers in the late afternoon sun
A row of our Hopi sunflowers in the late afternoon sun. Not only do they look gorgeous in the field, the seed hulls make a lovely blue, purple, or grey dye, and the birds devour any leftovers we may leave behind!

Certifications

We are a Bee Friendly Farm, certified by the Pollinator Partnership. This means that we provide a certain amount of habitat and season-long forage for bees on our farm through flowering beneficial crop rows, hedgerows, and edge zones – in addition to our many flowering crops.

Certified Bee Friendly Farming, Pollinator Partnertship