In 2017, with seed money from Puffin Foundation West and support from Wyckoff Farmhouse, friends and family members, I began an experiment making indigo from seed to dye. Tropical indigo, a colonial South Carolina cash crop, proved nearly impossible to grow here in Brooklyn. Japanese indigo flourished, but a late growing season and administrative planting delays made my crop a bit too small for sufficient dye experimentation and production.

 

My Japanese indigo plants went to seed. When I harvested leaves, I cut the stems, leaves and flowers and saved all parts of the plant, later winnowing the seeds from dried out plant matter. I’ve begun distributing seeds to friends in Brooklyn with gardens and sunny indoor spaces, and am locating greenhouses where I can begin growing indoors in early February.

Email Iviva if you’d like to participate in Crowd-sourced Indigo: Brooklyn As Farm.