Debbie, over at Plot 55 and her little ladies (she has a beautiful pair of ladies too) did some pokeweed painting a few weeks ago. We have this lovely misplaced plant growing in our gardens to make a beautiful bright pink dye for wool, cotton and paper; but we have never painted with it (duh!). I did a little research and learned that Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) is also referred to as “inkberry.” It turns out that the Declaration of Independence was written in fermented pokeberry juice and many letters written home during the Civil War were written in pokeberry ink. There are also many medicinal qualities of this plant, but only an experienced herbalist should use it because it is highly toxic when misused.
Fauna has really been into learning cursive lately and wanted to practice writing her name with pokeberry juice. We just mashed up a handful of berries with our mortar and pestle, then added about 2 tablespoons of water and it was ready to go. What a beautiful color the inkberry made!
I don’t advise making inkberry with preschoolers or small children that would be tempted to put these beautiful juicy berries in their mouths! Now to go stain some paper with it!
By the way we are all feeling better today; but Araina is now breaking out in the Roseola rash, at least the high fevers are over and I now know what the virus is that has made its way into our little abode! Fauna and I must have drank over a gallon (each) of our super herb tea with elderberry syrup yesterday, trying to scare away those virus germs (I’m not too worried about catching roseola though)! Thanks again for the well wishes. 😉