The Candelaria that wasn’t

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.

4 Responses to “The Candelaria that wasn’t”

  1. Brad says:

    Cool – Mother Earth News online. Takes me back! The effect of the weather on local farmers is indeed bad news, and your advice to start gardening is good counsel. In your own case, maybe you can figure out how to produce corn smut in VA and sell it at delicacy prices in MX. Somehow I don’t think Taco Bell in Harrisonburg would be interested…

  2. Sara says:

    bwahaha! I think you have to call it some fancy Mayan name before folks will eat it. But we’ve already flooded MX w/cheap corn,so that would be adding insult to injury.

    Yeah, for nomads, I guess instead of cultivating a garden, we cultivate a gardener. (And collect zucchini recipes) ;)

  3. Dad says:

    If I had read your blog about rainy week before emailing I could have spared the writing. sounds like your flooding was not as bad as other spots. I also read some of the article about 2010 food crisis by Eric de Carbonnel and feel compelled to comment. WORST BUNCH OF DRIVEL I’VE EVER READ. If this is something you subscribe to, cancel immediately. If someone sends it to you, tell them to stop. I started counting data he misinterpreted and false assumptions he made and quit at 10. I also quit reading the article due to anger. The truth is
    that we are developing a troublesome world surplus of the major food grains (rice, wheat, corn and soybeans) and that is driving the price down. I must caution you to read mainstream publications on a subject not some idiot who develops a theme “food crisis” and then writes around the theme to sell a newsletter.

  4. Sara says:

    Ok, now tell me what you really think ;)
    No, that’s what I wanted to know- whether this guy was a lunatic or not. Sounds as if “yes.” It’s interesting that “scientist son” who is not a farmer, also said that the methodology & charts were completely wrong.

    But it’s still a good yr to have a garden- like every year, even if it’s not a matter of survival.

    BTW, it looks like we’ll have MORE rain, starting Tues.