Experiment Updates + Kelp

I really enjoyed last week's class and how hands on we were! I have never tried natural dying before this. For reference the plant I collected is shown on the right. I was surprised to find the color turned into a bright yellow. The plant had bright green leaves, reddish stem, and the inside was more of a light yellow. I was expecting the color to be either green or reddish brown based off the plant's appearance, but I did not think to consider the inside tone of the plant which was much lighter. I ended up leaving the dye in a glass jar for slightly longer than a day then rinsed it out. I dyed two packs of cotton thread from Emma's package and an old cotton white t-shirt I had. I still need to dry it, but I'm excited to see how it turns out, and I'm happy with the color.



I also checked up on the mycelium and the straw turned from light brown to almost completely white. I'm looking forward to eventually creating a bio-material from it.  

I additionally checked up on the kombucha. The leather top film is forming and there is more of a white film material forming and floating at the top. It seems to be turning out alright. 


I have still never tasted kombucha, so I bought a bottle at the store this week. As soon as I opened it, bubbles formed at the top in a hexagon pattern. I thought it was perfectly fitting for the class and was a pleasant surprise! As for the taste, the kombucha was very strong and tart. I bought strawberry lemonade flavored, and I think next time I will go with a different lighter flavor. 

In Emma's wonderful presentation I was shocked to learn that they clear the beach of kelp in Santa Monica. I researched more into this, and it is called "beach grooming." In addition to harming the kelp forest it also greatly affects sand dwellers and grunion eggs.

In Southern California, it is estimated that "45% or over 100 miles of beaches are groomed reguarly" (UCSB). On a beach in Santa Barbra it was also estimated that "4 tons (the weight of two cars) of fresh kelp is deposited on a mile of beach per day during the summer" and thus that much is being groomed and removed from the ocean per mile (UCSB). 

I was very sad to find this out, and I understand the want to keep the beach "clean," however it is just projecting a false image of nature and causing so much more harm. I also feel its fairly easy to avoid the kelp on an un-groomed beach or even explore it. I have never thought of kelp as being a nuisance. I now have a much greater appreciation for seaweed and all the products that use alginate after learning more about it from class! Overall, love learning all these new things and excited to see how the dying, kombucha, and mycelium turn out. 




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