Archive for February, 2010

TGIF #17

Friday, February 5th, 2010
Stardust

Click for more Christopher David Ryan

Well, the week of rain is over! The canal that runs between my n’hood & the rest of the city came about 1-2 feet from overflowing the bridge. The authorities had shut down the Mercado & blocked off the streets, just in case.

Once the rain stopped, the temperature immediately started to climb, and people started coming out of their houses to chat with their neighbors.

Rain is not at all usual this time of year. It’s usually in the summer months, so it’s warm and short-lived.  This was just a week of cold downpours, and was really unpleasant.

Now for some Friday fun!

The Candelaria that wasn’t

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
Flood in Queretaro

Flooded Field- Queretaro State

Well, those of you who have been paying close attention know that “unusual weather” seems to follow me. (Remember Snowpocalypse?) So it’s no great surprise that Candelaria week, which is celebrated in February (the DRY season) with a week-long outdoor flower market and festivities celebrating the start of the growing season (It’s a pagan holiday, co-opted by the Church, re-co-opted by the pagans… Gotta love Mexico!) has turned into an absolute deluge. It’s been raining (we’re talking buckets, not drops) all week. Thunder, lightning, the whole enchilada.

And like most of the gringos, I’ve been cranky & cold (honestly, tomorrow it’ll be warmer in Seattle!) and hiding in my casita, lamenting the dearth of good hot chocolate mixes & watching pirated DVDs.

Today, however, I felt like the Ugly American for real. An errand took me out of town to the nearby city of Queretaro. So I rode in a taxi an hour thru the countryside each way. And, with as many farmers in the family as I have, for many generations, you’d think I would have gotten it.

What is an inconvenience for me is an unmitigated disaster for the farmers around here. And I doubt if there’s any crop insurance. The fields are plowed, and in some cases planted (I think with corn, but can’t tell for sure.) The soil is washing away & the seedlings are drowning. There are going to be hungry people and animals here this year.

The only possible good news is that most of the farmers don’t monocrop. So if this crop fails, they may be able to get by on their other crops; all their eggs aren’t in this basket. But it’s going to be rough- these are very small farms, and I’m afraid some will be lost.

I’ve been running into mention of the Food Crisis 2010 more and more. Maybe some of the real farmers have some insight into this.

But I do know that if you’ve been thinking about starting a vegetable garden, this would be a really good year to start. And I’d use heirloom seeds & save them for next year. Here’s what you can do w/100 square feet.