After my brave-but-puny re-start, here is something brief.
I made 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, infecting their seeds with pests to get the farmers to buy something, from the company, of course, to control them with. I have long believed that Mexicans in general have a right to be suspicious about many things – look at Mexico’s history!, but this one seems a little far-fetched
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 summer worker, because Mechin started working for us with the irrigation, and worked through fall.
He brought other workers when there was too much fertilizing/weed spraying for one person, and that worked very well. He and another long-time worker each decided that they would not “drink” until the local fiesta, (a rather serious decision) 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 – it sounds like I’m on a soapbox here, but I’m just stating the observable facts.) Their choice meant they would work all week, including Mondays(!)
The seeds sprouted and the plants appeared.
So did the insect predators. See the holes near the roots of these young sorghum plants in the photo below?? Those are deadly attacks from, quite likely, I think, gallina ciega (“blind chicken” – eeuuww), the hideous underground herbivorous predator.
We worried, as dry-land farmers do, about 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. One unpleasant event of the summer was that Doña Socorro got a severe skin infection on her leg. We think it was from scratching a mosquito bite. You may thank me later for not including a photo of the infection, with discolored, dripping leg. At this clinic, the doctor treats some patients right inside the front door!
Our garden was happy with the wet summer, and produced many, many large squashes, and lots of zucchini plants with their edible flowers and beautiful squash.
We also were able to get a new stage built, shown here in progress.