Since it is getting warm now, I began refreshing my outdoor indigo vat. It's a 230 L vat, so it would be quite a hassle to replace it completely. Which means, each spring I remove the mud and particles from the bottom. Usually I use a pond net but the netting didn't survive the winter and I wanted to fish out the sludge yesterday so I improvised with a kitchen sieve.
I place the sludge on some paper and let it dry out. The sludge consists of oxidised indigo and decomposed hydrosulfite and calcium hydroxide. The latter both would not be good in my garden and it is better not to strain the sewage system with it. Another reason why removing the sludge and replenishing the vat is the more environmentally conscious choice than replacing it.
Once dried, I can safely throw it in the trash. In Germany, we don't use landfills but energy from waste plants where the non-compostable and non-recyclable waste is incincerated to produce heat for district heating and electricity from steam. The slag is used to build streets. It's not a 100% but better than landfills at any rate.
Today, I will try to fish out sediment that settled down since yesterday and then I will replenish the vat with some fresh water, indigo, calcium hydroxide and hydrosulfite. Since it takes about a day to reduce the oxygen in such a large vat, it will be ready to use by tomorrow.
And here you can see our new dog Bolt inspecting the sludge.
He moved in almost three weeks ago. He is from the shelter, about 4 - 5 years old, of unknown origin. We only know that he spent most of his life in two different shelters, has been adopted last year and brought back only a few weeks later. And he was exactly the person I was looking for.
After mum and Ramses died in January, I fell into a very deep hole. For the past 14 years most of my life concentrated around taking care for my parents. After mum went to live in the nursing home, Ramses got sick and then all of a sudden both people were gone. And I was feeling very lost. Hubby and I spent a week in Paris, which was great. But I still missed a dog in my life, so as soon as we got back from France, I went to shelters to find one. And I came home with him.
And I am beginning to feel complete again. Not entirely but we're working on it.
My main goal this year will be the house. I didn't have the heart to sort through my mum's stuff while she was still living. Which is what I am doing right now. And which is very exhausting. Finding all the old letters and pictures, deciding what to keep and what to throw out. It takes a toll. And the whole bureaucratic stuff is still not finished. So I divide my days. I sort a bit through the flat, wash some wool on mum's stove and clean the garden a bit. This way, the whole way down memory lane is not getting too exhausting and overwhelming. And having a reason to get out in the woods again is helping as well.