I ordered my first seeds yesterday. No tomatoes or sunflowers yet (my Fedco order is still being composed.) In a first for me, I ordered seeds off ebay. Cotton! This spring, Laura and I are going to put in a production dye garden, and I also want to grow cotton and flax to process. I have been studying "A Weaver's Garden" by Rita Buchanan for information on the fiber plants and Laura is the dye plant expert. I also want to buy some colorgrown cotton seeds for cotton that is already buff or sage green, but am a bit greedy and want to buy more than five seeds at a time, so I am still searching for a source there.
The library of my college days at Berea has a really good book about growing and processing flax on a small scale and even has some plans to build some of the equipment you need. I have a feeling I will be renewing it a bunch. I am still looking for additional sources on growing cotton on a small scale, Spin Off Magazine has had several articles in years past, but I don't even know if you can interlibrary loan magazines. hmmm...
The dye plants we are going to grow are Laura's favorite and those most suited to growing on a larger scale: Dyer's Knotweed (or Japanese Indigo), Marigolds, Madder and Dyer's Coreopsis. Onion skins will be a by-product of the vege garden, and black walnut hulls in the fall will round out our palette. I am interested in Hopi seed dyes and plan to research them more to see if they are suited to our climate and dyeing needs. According to Buchanan, the Hopi developed varieties of bean, corn and sunflower that were used for dyeing.
There is still so much for me to learn and research before spring, it makes the prospect of February seem not so bad!