Saturday, June 8, 2013

Floral Diversion

Last winter I decided that it was time to follow through with another dream that I've held for years, to create a space that's surrounded dahlias of all shapes and colors. Well, one of the shows that I did provided too much temptation to resist. I was directly across from a woman who is as passionate and driven to raise dahlias as I am to weave. I picked out about 30 varieties.

Well, they have waited just as long as they can to go into soil. I've put them into pots until I can get planters or raised beds finished. This should buy me a few weeks at least.

Here's the overview of the pots right now. Bear in mind that each plant will grow to 4' tall once they're in the ground.

Some of them are already going gangbusters.

And then, on another front, I'm experimenting with a potential business. I've started a bunch of Japanese indigo seeds. Again, they are way later than they should have been started, but I'm hopeful that I can at least bring them to seed, even if I don't get much in the way of leaves this first year.

The idea behind this crop is simple: production weaving is very hard on my body. I won't be able to do it forever, so I'm testing the waters of a completely different business that meets many of the same requirements. It can be done with no electricity in a way that's sustainable on a small plot of land. It will allow me to continue treating my craft work as an act of meditation. And, most importantly, I think I can make a decent living by selling dyestuff, teaching workshops, and selling my hand-dyed cloth at craft shows.

Bear in mind that this is all years away. But, if I'm going to gain the skills that I would need, I should start soon. The business will take a few years to become profitable, even after I have gained the skills that allow me to offer something worthwhile to the world.

But at this point it's all about planting seeds...


Laura Fry said...

There are good and bad things about diversifying. Good luck with it all. :)
constantly battling with balancing all the different 'jobs' that each bring in a little money

Blossom Merz said...

Thanks, Laura. You're totally right. I'm treating the indigo as a hobby until I need to get serious. Then I'll probably add it as a secondary product, and eventually phase out the laborious weaving. Years from now, though, and it could all change by then. :)