Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Indigo Fermentation Started

Posted on my tour blog...sorry for repeats.

I got two decent harvests of indigo leaves from the same plants this past summer. Stripping the leaves off the stems gives you cleaner indigo balls. It is debatable if the is really worth it. (Some good sake and some friends talking as you work is enough to tip the balance.) The leaves were dried in the sun and kept up under the rafters to keep them as crispy as possible. It is really cold now and time to start them fermenting three or four months to make the bacteria laden sukumo/indigo balls. First we gathered some oak leaves and laid a good solid 50 cm bed on the dirt floor inside the recently cleaned out kura. The indigo leaves were wet and then half wrung out and placed in a straw bag. The wet indigo leaves bag gets put on the oak leaves and covered with another 50 centimeters of oak leaves and then a heavier straw mat placed on top and heavy stones to weigh it down and keep out oxygen. You want a slow ferment not a quick rot!

I am hoping that the fermentation goes slow so I can open it up when the tour is here in April. If it gets too warm it goes a little ripe. Fingers crossed!

Wishing everyone who reads my blogs a peaceful and meaningful winter holiday season.



  1. must be time for me to do the same, with my somewhat smaller indigo harvest.

  2. wishing the ai kami takes care of your harvest. hoping to see it in may.

  3. Interesting to see the use of oakleaves, thank you. I have a small amount of dried japanese indigo leaves, and I also happen to have couple of big bags of oakleaves from autumn. Maybe I should try something like this with them.
    Happy New Year to Japan.