Thursday, May 1, 2014

Harvest 2013

There are plenty of notes and photos about our Siembra 2013.
We planted our fields May 28 and June 6, having purchased fertilizer granules to go with the seed. Many fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides come to Mexico from the US, and receive a lot of suspicious attention from the farmers that purchase them, including fears that Monsanto and other companies might be selling “plaga” of all sorts right along with their seeds to get the farmers to buy something to control them with.

We received irrigation water right away, so everything got off to a good start. I’m not sure whether it was conscious or not, but this planting season was one of little machinery use, and lots of hands-on work. We almost can say we had a peon de planta,  a full-time worker, because Mechin started working for us with the irrigation, and worked all through the summer and fall.

Mechin brought other workers when there was too much fertilizing/weed spraying for one person, and that worked very well. He and another worker both decided that they would not drink until the local fiesta, and as far as we could tell, they stuck to their decision, thus saving themselves a lot of money and the foolishness that often accompanies drunkenness. (Sorry – I’m not on a soapbox here, just stating the observable facts.)

The seeds sprouted and the plants appeared.

They grew.

So did the insect predators. See the holes near the roots of these young sorghum plants? Those are deadly attacks from, I think, gallina ciega (“blind chicken” – eeuuww), the hideous underground herbivorous predator.

Proud farmer.
Even prouder farmer,

We worried, as dry-land farmers do, about having enough rain. But looking back in memory and through my notes, the worry wasn’t necessary in 2013 (OK, perhaps it’s debatable whether worry is necessary or not). At any rate, we got   gentle rain often, with few really heavy storms. But there was plenty of thunder and lightning, usually in the evening and night, and rains all the way to harvest time. It was difficult for some local farmers to get into the fields, and it took quite a while for the maize and corn to dry sufficiently for harvesting.