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¿Qué pasa en la milpa?

Coinciding with Mexico’s traditional patriotic festivities in September is the fall harvest of the corn crops. While the Covid-19 pandemic has put a damper on the former, it has not curtailed the activity of local farmers.

pg12aLiving on the western outskirts of Ajijic, I’ve enjoyed observing the evolution of changing scenery in neighboring fields while going out for early morning walks.

Towards the end of May, planting parcels were cleared of weeds and debris. Tractors or horses were brought out to plow the bare earth, clanging along as metal attachments struck the rocky surface.

Once the summer rains came on steadily in mid-June the campesinos got back to work, corralling their grazing livestock to sow the seeds of the season. Over the past two months I have watched seedlings sprout, green stalks emerge and grow tall with golden tassels popping out the top. Then tiny ears of corn known as muñecas (dolls) for their silky mops appeared, gradually turning into plump elotes (corn cobs). Any day now harvesting will begin and local clans will gather for elotadas to feast on corn-on-the cob fished out of steaming pots.

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