TO EAT OR TO DYE?? That's the question when it comes to shaggy manes.
We know autumn is here because the mushrooms are out in full force, what with the cool air and rain, which mushrooms thrive on. Wild mushrooms are the best and nothing beat shaggy mane mushroom! It's delicious. But we have dilemma!
Our dilemma centers on our two passions: eating and dyeing. For those of you who don't know, mushrooms make the best dyes and they don't require metal or any other mordants to fix the color. Mushrooms come in a spectrum of colors, so the resulting dyes range from blacks (from the shaggy mane dripping black "ink" above) to oranges and yellows and purples and mauves. Completely natural and organic, of course. The photo above shows shaggy manes bleeding gorgeous black dyes.
We sustainably harvest our local wild mushrooms in the forests and fields of our Denman Island habitat. We take care to leave the spores behind for plentiful crop year after year. Mushroom habitats are a closely guarded secret for connoisseurs — even friends or family need not apply for treasure maps!
We process the fresh raw mushrooms into dyes by hand and do small dye baths for our organic cotton linen and hemp products. Awesome!!!! No, make that super awesome!!!!
So, the question is: To eat or to dye? Quantities are limited and natural organic dyes are so precious. I think we'll go with dye this year and perhaps next year's crop is for eating? We shall see. :D