Saturday, June 07, 2008

Waiting for the Rains

This morning, right after breakfast, I was on the roof watering my pots planted with my vegetable seeds. I was also scanning the horizon for rain clouds. Just imagine what is happening in the campos where having seeds germinate and produce corn and beans and squash so the family can eat is what is on many people's minds right now.....just imagine the tension that grows when the rainy season is delayed. And trust me, there are many men, women and children in the campos who know hunger.

Many ancient cultures believed that they must appease the Gods or do something to get their attention so that the Rain God would send rain. The Aztecs didn't mess around with incense and prayers. They made their petition to the Sky Gods by the sacrific of children. The more the children cried the better. More tears meant more rain. This was serious business. The whole population could disappear if there wasn't rain for the crops and water for drinking.

Thank goodness that these days the requirements for "making" rain are not so brutal.....the blessing of the seeds, prayers, dances, incense and fireworks are used.The rains usually start about the middle of June and continue until about the middle of October so on our drive to Celaya this week we saw fields that were plowed and waiting for the right time to plant, the time when the rains start.Not all farms wait for the rain. Irrigation from wells are used. I've read some statistics that 85% of the water usage around San Miguel is for agriculture. The government is urging farmers to change to drip rather than overhead irrigation because so much of the benefit of the water is lost through evaporation . I saw a lot of drip irrigation being used between San Miguel and Mexican Highway 57 but between San Miguel and Celaya most of the green fields had the wheels and pipes of the overhead systems. While some are still waiting to plant, those who have water to irrigate already have huge trucks on the highways taking produce to market.

With irrigation expanding and continued development, water is a major issue for San Miguel de Allende. I'm still trying to understand the issues involved, so I'm not ready to get into blogging about it. I just know that it is time for the rains to start. The weather report says we might get some rain later today.


Cynthia said...

I love it when you post about weather! I check to see what's happening in SMA, but unfortunately, the reporting station seems to be Queretaro. I'm never really sure about rain and temperature. According to the weather I see, San Miguel has been having afternoon showers almost daily.

I will be there in July and am so looking forward to the trip.

Billie said...

We HAVE NOT been having afternoon showers almost daily! At least not since we returned 2 weeks ago. April was really hot but before we left in May the nights seemed a little cooler. I don't know how it was while we were gone although I hear the town did get some rain in May.

Todd said...

I was working in the garden yesterday, when the rains started here in Patzcuaro.

After living in the pacific northwest, I never thought I would look forward to rain as much as I do.


Billie said...

Todd, I feel that I live closer to the earth here in Mexico. Maybe I'd feel that way in the USA too if I had lived near farms. Even with a flower garden in Houston, I didn't 'worry' about rain. I coud always have the sprinkler system come on.