Nature prevailing

We are in the dry season.

And by dry, I mean really, really, really dry. All of the grass and plants are brown.  We ordered a pipa of water (about 7,000 liters) to get us through for a surge of guests that happens every year around Easter (Semana Santa). Some of our plants are dying; we expect a certain amount of loss every dry season. On the personal end, I’m using more cocoa butter than normal for my skin and any exercise needs to happen before the big heat of the day. It is dry, and it is hot.

For new readers, or those unfamiliar with the Michoacán climate, we have two seasons here in the Mexican highlands: dry and rainy. The dry season runs from October through May. Around now, the middle of April, all anyone can talk about is the heat and the dryness. When we make small-talk with folks at the stores, it is all about the heat, the lack of rain, and the poor plants.

But: Nature, it seems, knows what she is doing.

The height of the dry season is also the height of the nopal season: when the cactus start making new, small, tender pads which we can harvest and eat:

The height of the dry season is also the height of cherry season: when our capuline trees start to produce native cherries that we can munch on or include in sauces:

The height of the dry season is also the height of our avocado season: our avocado tree is producing the most it has yet, and we have been enjoying and will enjoy avocados for many months.

The height of the dry season is also the height of the peach season: our peach trees are just beginning to produce fruit!

The height of the dry season is also the height of the citrus season: this year, I timidly peeled a mandarin from our tree and took a bite. Wow! Juicy, sweet, and just a tiny bit tart. This is the first year our mandarins have been good for anything except marmalade! They are delicious.

So nature, as always, keeps us going. While we can’t produce gardens full of lettuce or tomatoes without any water, we can enjoy the bounty available to us provided by Mother Earth. One of the most difficult permaculture principles to explain to a lot of people is that we give the control over to nature: we do not try to bend nature to our temporary needs. Instead, we change our expectations of nature in order to enjoy the literal fruits she bestows on us in her most vulnerable time of the year.

See the climate page here.

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