Monday, September 7, 2009

Pokeberry Ink

Phytolacca americana - photo by Bill Stark

One of the things E has been wanting to try is ink-making, and yesterday we decided that the pokeberry bush down the street was just calling our names...*caution - as far as I know, every part of this plant is poisonous if ingested - this is not a good project for very young children...(as it was, I was a bit, shall we say, over zealous in my reminders to keep her fingers away from her face, to wash her hands, etc. "Luckily" little sister had a low fever and was asleep in Dan's lap for the afternoon as he read.)

After picking and mashing, she decided to practice some cursive writing (it must feel "old fashioned" to her, and in tune with the homemade ink) and then asked that I drag the easel out into the backyard. She was in The Zone for the afternoon...isn't that color amazing?

I had also picked Elderberries this morning and made a half recipe of Elderberry Syrup to give us a boost to our immune system in the coming months. If you're interested in medicinal plants, you should go and read this post (same as the one linked above); it is chock-full of information on the elderberry. Eliza's question was if it was named so because it grew where an elder was buried, and we later in the day read a story from A Kid's Herbal that told that very tale!

'Twas a day for purple berries - but don't get them mixed up!!!


5 orange potatoes said...

Beautiful! I bet they have pretty purple hands too! We like to dye wool with the pokeberries, but have never made ink with it. We have it growing all over the place, we will do this sometime this week for sure. Thanks for the link love.

Lisa :)

Merry said...

Oh Eliza!! What a beautiful color of ink you made! And I love your picture! What color ink does the elderberry make? Have you tried other berries from the neighborhood?

eringoodman said...

oooo...thank you so much for this!

my kids and i have been talking abou trying to do this!


Tan Family said...

Wonderful! We have a pokeberry bush in our yard and have been waiting for the berries to get dark so that we can do this. What fun! I'm going to start following your blog. :)