A couple of weeks ago found me heading for a family event in
No matter how often we head south, I always find something new to appreciate. This part of the West is so unique because of the Hispanic culture and the history that comes with it. As the residents easily move back and forth across the border, I often wonder if the area should be its own
One of the cultural aspects I find so interesting is the Hispanic land use pattern which is hundreds of years old and based on Roman and Middle Eastern concepts. Land was divided into commons, to be used by all the people, and smaller suertes that were under individual ownership. The commons gave the residents a large area for grazing and firewood collection and protected the watershed of the suertes. Each suertes was generally an elongated piece of land that would include river bottom land, pasture, and an irrigated area for crops. This land use design was based on the needs of the community and is so different than our Anglo land use which cares little for the common good. If you are interested in reading more about the Hispanic land use culture, I highly recommend Ancient Agriculture by Juan Estevan Arellano, a 5th generation farmer from northern
You are probably wondering what happened to the tamales. In preparation for this season’s beef, we have been eating our way through the last of the food in the freezer. Somehow a package of tamales had escaped earlier detection so we finished those off and I put the corn husks in the compost pile. The next morning I noticed that the deer fence around the back yard was flattened and there were piles of bear scat around the compost. The corn husks were no where to be seen. We repaired the fence, cleaned up the bear piles and figured all was well. Next morning was a repeat of the previous one so this time, in addition to a fence repair, we also added an electric wire on the outside at about bear nose height. The tamale munching bruin has not been back. I am generally very careful about having anything that resembles food and might attract a bear anywhere where one could find it. But who knew bears liked tamales?