fiber and food

Textiles, basketry, network, matting and cordage were most likely always developed in parallel with the cultivation of edible plants, which also implies the development of mathematical and geometrical knowledge that is (quite literally) intertwined with the practice of these crafts.

Page 237, The Dawn of Everything

This makes me happy – to literally see these things connected – food, fiber, abstract thinking. I can see these connections so clearly in my own life. These passages from The Dawn of Everything bring them even more into focus.

I have fiber hanging around in the house. Waiting for the making of cordage or baskets or weaving. When the mood strikes, maybe this fall.

Dandelion stalks, iris leaves, horseradish fibers (pale, just visible on right)
All stuffed into a pack basket

This morning I saw two garlic stalks I had left on the deck. I took two bulbs for cooking and was going to dispose of the stalks. But – there’s fiber there – what if I made use of it? So I stripped the dried leaves off.

I realized there’s an inner, shiny layer that might dry nicely, so I stripped that too.

I have a lot of garlic drying in the shed waiting to be ready for processing. Food and fiber.

6 Responses

  1. Marti says:

    Your garlic looks terrific! Is it hard neck? When I lived in Tennessee and in our other home here in New Mexico, I grew soft neck garlic because I liked to braid it and hang it in the kitchen. Hung bundles of herbs, oregano, parsley, thyme and basil in the garage. I stopped drying basil though because I prefer to use it fresh.

    Always wanted to learn to weave a basket, maybe I will forage to see what I can find to do so. What are your materials?

    • Catherine says:

      It’s hard neck. I could break down the stalks and braid it but that would be hard work. I find it easier to just cut and store, since there’s so much of it. Maybe I’ll try some soft neck next year. I’ve made a few little baskets, but want to try a larger one with twining. Dry, then rehydrate the leaves or stems lightly for cordage or weaving. There are many resources online. I use dandelion stems, lily/iris/daffodil leaves, the interior fiber of horseradish (have to ret it), etc. etc. Lot of fibers waiting to be foraged out there.

  2. thank you for this so so much. All of it. And the excerpts from the Dawn of Everything….PLEASE continue

  3. Liz A says:

    that basket is a beauty … the perfect container for fiber

    and yes, I’m very much enjoying the ongoing quotes from The Dawn of Everything … thank you for sharing them

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