Monday, August 03, 2009

Indigo Harvest Pics--long post

Fresh Indigo Ready for Harvesting

Rowland Ricketts cuts the indigo close to the ground. New shoots are sprouting up at the base of the plants for the second harvest--or the plant may be allowed to go to seed for next year's planting.

A scythe is used to cut the indigo. The scythe has a serrated blade to cut through the stems.

Volunteers helping with the first Indiana harvest for Rickett's Indigo carry bundles of cut indigo to the area where they will be laid out to dry in the sun.

Rowland spreads out cut indigo to dry in the sun.

The leaves turn dark blue as they begin to dry.

Drying indigo.

Indigo drying in the Indiana sun.
The leaves dry and turn quicker than the thick stems.

The dried indigo is put into a pile for winnowing--separating the stems from the leaves. The winnowing is done by stomping on the indigo pile to crush the leaves off of the stems.

After stomping, the stems are removed from the blue indigo.

The dried indigo is gathered and stored in bags until it can be composted.
To learn more about the process Rowland and Chinami Ricketts follow, please visit their website.
Rowland and Chinami are very generous in sharing their knowledge with others as well as being some of the nicest people you will ever meet. It was really a privilege to visit their farm and help with the indigo harvest. I will post some video clips as soon as I get those edited.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos and what a wonderful way to learn! If needs an extra hand for round two let me know!