The SEW Indigo Cultivation and Organic Gardening Business in San Isidro have processed their first indigo crop into dye. The ambitious 7 women business has received ongoing training from Cuisnahaut. The training and the work of cultivating indigo is labor intensive, beginning with the first planting of the jiquilite seeds to the actual indigo powder, so in demand within and outside of El Salvador.
What are the steps to produce quality indigo?
Clear the weeds, prepare the soil with organic fertilizer, plant the seeds, harvest the mature plant between 4:30 and 6:30 am for stronger blue color. Place plants in tubs of water, cover overnight. Extract the plants and oxygenate over and over as the water becomes green and then a bluish color. Cover and let sit for a time. Finally, siphon off the water and extract the blue material at the bottom of the tub, strain and let dry. Break into chips, grind into powder. INDIGO!
San Isidro Organic Gardening
The cultivation of organic vegetables, which are planted in between the indigo plants, reflects SEW women’s concern for the health and well-being of their families and the environment. This group is well organized and focused. They work amicably together in their commitment to sustainable agriculture. Their initial training with Cuisnahaut consisted of making organic fertilizer (solid) and bio-fertilizer (liquid) to prepare the land. The produce feeds the women’s families and is marketed in neighboring villages. This fledgling business is accompanied by our SEW staff person who engages the women in human development, as well as business practices, workshops.