The first harvest is a beautiful thing. When you’ve laid the ground, planted and pulled weeds, and green pokes from the ground. Little yellow flowers sprout from the shoots, and finally, finally, corn grows. These are the gardeners from the Hickmann Wichi community and the gardens they’ve worked hard to cultivate.
The photos Cloudhead sells in our Red Bubble shop are taken by the children in this village. All profits go to buy hoses, pumps and water else is needed to tend the gardens that feed the community.
This project, Wichi/H20 is only possible through Cloudhead’s collaboration with Fundacion Siwok fun by Alec Deane. Alec has 30 years experience working in agriculture and with the Wichi communities of Salta.
Inside Fernando’s house. They have electricity for a refrigerator. That means cold water. These days, the temperature goes as high as 45 C/ 113F. I’ve never had water as good and cold as the water Fernando shared with us in his house.
Sonia and her garden. She’s the daughter-in-law of Simon, the village leader, and the only woman tending a garden in our group.
Marcelo’s son. They have one garden already growing and are setting up this second one for squash and other plants. Check out the “I am a good man” t-shirt he’s wearing.
Beautiful squash growing in Marcelo’s garden.
Ramon and his son in their garden.
Marcelo showing the corn part of his garden. Water is a problem in parts of these villages. There’s not enough pressure to push liquid through the hoses to the far parts of the three Wichi villages near Hickmann. That is why some gardens thrive, while others do not.
Ramon’s new garden. He is an engineer, so learning drip irrigation come more naturally to him than those who don’t have prior experience. We’re hoping he will be able to work with others in the community to teach them what he knows. Now, we pay Antonio, who drives in on his bike from another Wichi village about an hour away.
Jaime and his garden.
A little corn flower peeks through. This is a crucial stage, because if the plant does not receive adequate water, the flowers die. Then, this crop is done. They’ll have to start all over with the planting.
Fernando’s garden is not getting enough water, so the plants are withering. Alec Deane, the founder of Fundacion Siwok, is working to solve the problem by talking to local politicians. We need to build pumps that will give enough water pressure to send water everywhere its needed.
Want to help support this project? Check out the Cloudhead ART Wichi/H20 shop. All profits from your purchase go directly to support the development of these gardens and to bring water to the community.