My mother still has vivid memories of early childhood spent in the mountainous green valleys of Southwestern Mexico. Born into a farming family, her appreciation of agriculture started very early. For her father & grandfather, each day would begin at 4 am. Their farming practice relied on the labor-intensive & traditional practice of oxen tilling & stream irrigation. My great grandmother & grandmother would prepare daily lunches that my mom (aged 5 or 6) and tía (her elder by a year) were tasked with delivering to the fields where work was being done. In the late afternoon, they dressed in similar garments and were sent into town with full baskets to sell the day’s harvest to the local townspeople. Grown in rich soil, the freshest tomatoes, maíz, beans, aguacate, sugar cane & more would fill these baskets. The freshness of the crops was evident by the considerably lighter or empty baskets they would carry on the return journey home.
A multitude of circumstances would result in the family eventually having to abandon the farming practice shortly after this period and would see them move to a large city. Though her family left the practice, it never truly left her spirit. She’s always felt the most comfortable working outside, surrounded by plants & animals. Today, many years & thousands of miles separated from her place of birth, it’s still where she feels the most at home & rooted. Currently, she has some chickens and is working on starting a garden. She’s finding her way back to where it all started.