British Columbia student Sarah Dalziel, who regularly wins medals in Canadian science fairs, is working on hybridizing the woad plant for maximum yield in harsh climates. Woad, which as you probably know was used by Boadicea to paint herself blue in early Celtic times, is an important source of indigo dye. Sarah is hybridizing it to survive in Canada’s tough short summers (her farm is in the interior mountains of BC near the US border), and she seems to be succeeding. How many people do something like this in high school? Sarah is obviously ambitious and wants to promote a BC fashion industry producing clothing from its own organically grown hemp dyed ecologically with organic woad. Photo above shows fabric dyed with her homegrown woad on Joybilee Farm in Greenwood, BC, where she lives and works. You can buy wool and dye and other products from the farm – visit or order here. I think it’s worth taking a road trip there if you’re in the interior of BC. Download their brochure. And follow the farm on Facebook.
On her Joybilee farm they’re also raising a Noah’s Ark of wool-bearing animals as you can see below (angora rabbits not shown).