October 19, 2007 – Visit to Village of Nocutzepo

Making tortillas.  This is a really beautiful kitchen.  Here Odelia’s sister is preparing tortillas for our lunch.  Note the wood burning stove, the tortilla press and her can of corn flour.  I have never had such fresh tortillas.  Later, at lunch, we were given an impromptu cultural lesson by Marisella on how to eat tortillas. She found the way we held them to be amusing, perhaps what I  really ought to say is that she found our tortilla-table manners laughable.  We gave it our best effort to improve!

Marisella, Odelia, and myself.  We are talking after lunch about sustainable farming and I am showing her a photo album of our farm in Iowa.  Marisella is serving as interpreter, she got  good at this (maybe through too much repetition) that she could pretty much tell the story of our farm with out much input from me!  Odelia is an innovator.  In her back yard is amaranth, chard, peaches (which no one thought would grow here) a fish pond, and a bread oven.  She and I share a passion for trying new ways to feed ourselves without depleting the garden.  I really enjoyed this conversation.

Odelia’s back yard.  Here fruit trees included banana, I’m jealous.  She was using the sediment from the fish pond for fertility in the garden.

This is the cemetery at Nocutzepo.  It’s adjacent to the cathedral there.  I don’t know why some graves are surrounded by wrought iron and some are entombed above ground.  I can just imagine the picnics held here for the Day (and night) of the Dead (Nov. 2).

Here a wagon of fresh cut alfalfa is carted in a wagon pulled by a single horse.

We saw plenty of interesting fencing.  This was my favorite.  If you look closely in the center of this wire fencing is a set of rusty bed springs.  Waste not, want not.  Not far from here I saw something I’d been looking for in every village, the three sisters, corn, beans and squash grown together.  The corn provides the trellis on which the beans grow, the beans provide nitrogen to the corn, and the squash serves to reduce weeds by shading them out.  These three also provide a nearly complete meal!

one year ago…

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