All 3 trees are absolutely covered in the biggest avocados I have ever seen! I wished at that moment my nephew and niece were visiting - they are the best tree climbers I know and would have certainly been able to gather us armfuls of beautiful fruit. As they are not I had to make do with windfalls - but fortunately it was a breezy morning - and there were plenty of avos on the ground.
Here are just a few which I collected - the dark ones are ready to eat, the bright green ones are now ripening in my fruit bowl. I also collected up all the very ripe and bird pecked fruits. (You'll see why soon!)
The amazing thing about avos is that they are incredibly good for you - apparently a complete super food with the most amazing health benefits. When I got home I made my favourite snack - avo on toast. Yum!
Read more about the wonders of avocados here:http://healthnfitnesshops.com/health-benefits-of-avocado.html/
Mine didn't look quite this beautiful - but I promise, it tasted just as good.
Of course, after my lunch I had a lot of avocado skin and big pips left over, and together with the spoiled ones I collected I put them all into my big pot on the stove.
I'm sure you can guess what is coming next! Being not at all scientific, I covered it all with water, the simmered it all for an hour or so. Because the large avocado pips contain a lot of natural tannin I didn't worry about any mordant at this stage, (I am taking a direct dye approach here). Only time will tell whether this was a good idea or not!
After a good long simmer to extract the natural pigments I then strained out the debris and added a large piece of pre- wetted white cotton fabric. At this stage the hot dye bath was a pale pinkish tea-like colour. Pretty, but not terribly promising. For good measure I simmered it again (with the lid on) for another half an hour, then turned off the heat and let the fabric sit in the cooling dye bath.
Interestingly, as it cooled, the dye bath became darker - I'm thinking that perhaps it is oxidising - just like avos do when you cut them open. I don't know if that is actually what is going on, but it sort of makes sense.
In the second picture below you can see I have put a plate on top of the fabric to keep it fully submerged.
I'm going to leave it in the dye bath for a few days to see whether the fabric becomes any darker. There is one further thing I am going to try...... I have read that I can apply an aftermordant which will modify the colour of the avocado dyed fabric. For avocados an iron mordant is said to change the colour to a dark bluish purple, so I am preparing an iron mordant (also known as iron liquor) ready to try once I remove the fabric from the dye bath.
To make the aftermordant I have put a few rolls of steel wool into an old milk carton and added a weak solution of vinegar and water. I intend to leave this for a few days to allow the steel wool to rust, thus creating an iron rich solution. This iron liquor can be stored indefinitely in a properly sealed and labelled bottle.
I'll finish the process this week and post my results next week - fingers crossed I will have some lovely fabric for a new idea I have for a quilted poem.
Thanks for reading.