Summer 2012; White Cloud Garden; White Cloud, Kansas, Ioway Reservation

The melons ripened just in time for our annual powwow on the Ioway Reservation near White Cloud, Kansas.   The record heat and drought that engulfed much of the region this summer was slightly less intense on our lands near the Missouri River, which allowed us to get a relatively good crop of blue hubbard squash, white corn, red amaranth, and yellow watermelon without depending on a drop of irrigation.  Maybe it was the drought resilient seeds or the good thoughts we put out while we planted them?  Maybe the plants fed off the memory of last summer’s near-record floods embedded in the soil?  Or maybe they just liked getting rocked to sleep by the smooth sounds of the annual White Cloud Demolition Derby coming from the nearby rodeo grounds? 

It was only the second season for our new “community garden”- located just north of a row of pine trees where families have hosted feasts for several generations, just below one of our newly installed wind turbines, and less than a quarter mile east of the homesite where my mom lived when she was first born.  To my knowledge this is the first ever community garden on our reservation.  Not because we never planted food together, but because there was never a need to call it a “community garden” when we did- it was just how things were...