Winter is for Willow!

Winter is for Willow!

Happy New Year, 2022!

I try to use the winter to dream, visualize and make an action plan with intention. I am already working on the farm plan this year!  One of the crafts I have always been interested in is basket weaving. I have wanted to create herb picking baskets and trays, backpacks and especially bike baskets. Growing a willow hedge with basket making in mind is near the top of the list of projects this year.

This is a picture of willow canes. Some have a purple hue and some have a green hue. a few are cut for making a basket bottom      This is a drawing from my sketch book. I use it to visualize what the hedge will look like. I will choose multiple varieties for their different properties. Color or size         This is a photo of one of the baskets I made in 2021. I have a candle inside.

I started watching videos on traditional and not so traditional basket makers who grow their own Willows or tend a habitat where they naturally grow. I have been noticing willow everywhere since I started paying attention! There are three basket willows with green and purple colors in them at a garden near me. I have been taking cuttings and learning to make the motions with the fresh strands. Since they are pretty small, it is easy to use when it's fresh. Now that I have a little more experience, I want to try drying and then soaking them again to allow for shrinking. 

Now, I want to plant several varieties selected for color and length of canes, and a friend wants to work with live canes woven into a structure for shade in the summer.