Greetings from Valladolid, Yucatan. I am located almost exactly mid way between Merida and Cancun. It is warm here today...about 95°F, pretty low humidity with a slight breeze. A nice day. It will most likely stay hot and dry for the rest of May. This is the time that the farmers burn their fields. They still use traditional slash and burn farming techniques. In March and April they cut down all the trees and shrubs in their milpa
and let it dry. This month they burn the dry wood and brush to fertilize the ground for another year. Last year at this time they had to close the Cancun International Airport because there was so much smoke from the burning milpas. Bad as it sounds, I think that it still puts less carbon dioxide in the air per acre than agribusiness. But I don't really have the facts to back that up.
The farmers wait for the first of June, give or take a day or so, for the rains to come. Then they poke a hole in the ground with a sharp stick and drop in some seeds and cover over the hole. They have been planting this way long before the Spanish came here in the 1540s. The only real difference is that now the stick has a sharp iron point. The traditional crops are the Three Sisters: corn, beans and squash. The corn grows up, the beans vine around the corn and the squash spreads out to cover the ground. These three foods are the basic diet of the campesinos
or the farmers and their families.
More later, if I can get this to upload!
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