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quack grass baskets  RSS feed

 
Kelda Miller
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So, as I mentioned in another post, I was reading about basketry materials in the book Tending the Wild. In it, the authors talked about how women indigineous to california would/still gather the roots of sedge species for baskets, because those roots can be cultivated to be very long and straight.

I was weeding a garden bed today and marvelling at all the long/straight qualities of quack grass roots. (or are they rhizomes). That seems like a great interim plant, like maybe if the native tribes had had access to quack grass they would have preferred it.

For any basket makers out there, who are also familiar with quack grass, do you think this could work. What time of the year would I gather the root? How long do you think it would need to be dried out before worked into a basket?
 
                            
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I have done a lot of basket making from walks through the woods and don't know that I've ever thought of using rhizomes as a material.  What I can offer is this:

Usually when using raw materials, I prefer for them to not be dried out completely when woven into baskets, wreaths, whatever.  If I am using vines or grasses, I soak them first so they are more pliable.  With that in mind, I would say try using these rhizomes as fresh as possible to start weaving with them then let the resulting project set to dry.  DEFINITELY let me know what you find out about this when you use it!

Now you have me thinking about a piece of land we are clearing.  It has a ton of quack grass growing along one side of it.  I think I'll have to try weaving the grass itself then trying out your rhizome weaving idea.  I'll post here if/when I get one finished!
 
Brenda Groth
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a use for quackgrass..go figure !!
 
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