Yesterday I accompanied Chepo (Alex’s Dad and a main player in the community) to pick corn. Here they use elote to say corn on the cob and after that it is maiz again. The farm is located in the town next to Mastatal, called San Miguel. I asked Chepo why his farm is all the way over there and not in Mastatal and he said because there is a fundation called ADALAI or something like that that promotes agriculture and they bought sections of land for people years ago, and now that is where his farm is. He also said it’s cause it has a beautiful view, and oh man…..he was right. The farm is on an incredibly steep hill and you can see the whole national park, La Congreja. It is a beautiful beautiful mountain range and there is nothing like that view! It was a really fun experience, tiring but fun. As I have been getting more into the gardening here it’s really an incredible experience to harvest food. The fact that I can plant something and then see it through to the kitchen is pretty amazing. Now I know why all of you gardeners love gardening so much!! I’ve always appreciated it but have never had my own experience with it.
Any way we harvested sweet potatoes (camotes), corn (elote) and plantains (platanos). And we also learned how to walk on this super steep hill. Chepo was just bopping around up and down the slope and Mary and I (another volunteer) were scrambling around and trying our best not to fall and knock down all the corn stalks! Chepo told us a story about how he moved from this area east towards the carribean coast where the terrain in really flat. He lived there for several years and soon became accustomed to the flat land. BUT then…. He moved back here to the mountains and had to recondition his legs again to the steep terrain. I don’t think I’m quite accustomed to the mountains yet!!