Tag Archives: Agriculture

Blowin’ in the Wind

By Neal Erickson

The need for renewable energy sources has been high in the collective world consciousness for quite some time. According to some, as Bob Dylan wrote: “The answer is blowin’ in the Wind.”

As you drive toward Chiapas from Oaxaca on highway 190, you enter the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and will pass through some of the biggest wind farms in Latin America. On both sides of the road, at times seeming to stretch out as far as the eye can see, are acres and acres of futuristic-looking electricity-generating windmills. The Isthmus is only approximately 200km wide at it’s narrowest, and separates the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. Also at this point, the Sierra Madre Mountain range flattens out to a plateau before rising to the Sierras of Chiapas, creating a natural funnel for winds from the Gulf to pass through to the Pacific, and vice versa. Continue reading Blowin’ in the Wind

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Land of the Maguey

By Julie Etra

Maguey or Agave comes from the Greek word Agavo, which means magnificent, noble, admirable. Other common names are pita, cabuya, fique, mescal, toba (in Zapotec) and ki (Maya). One of the 9 bays of Huatulco is named for this plant. They are abundant in the Mexican landscape and form a dominant portion of the vegetation in many parts of Mexico, especially in semi-arid regions. Distribution is from the Canadian-US border to Bolivia, including the Caribbean. The greatest diversity is in Mexico, home to 76% of the world’s population or 157 species of which 71% (111) are endemic, meaning they occur nowhere else. Fifty-two species occur in the state of Oaxaca. The origin of this group of plants dates to the Miocene or about 15 million years ago. They flower only once, after about 10-12 years and also reproduce vegetatively which is how they are generally cultivated. They have lifespan of about 25 years and are pollinated by bats and hummingbirds.  Continue reading Land of the Maguey

Señorita Manners

Manners are a way of softening the blow as our ideals and personal space come into proximity with others, are also useful when coming into contact with smaller creatures and creepy crawlies.

The most common interaction is of the buzzing and sucking variety- mosquitoes! First step is prevention and keeping them outside; close doors and screens. If sitting al fresco, light an anti-mosquito coil and place it on the floor. Repellent is always a good option, although please step away from the table if spritzing in a restaurant and don’t forget to offer the bottle around. If a nasty mozzy makes it onto your skin…..slap away, it’s a dog eat dog world! Continue reading Señorita Manners

A Taste of Honey

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By Kathy Taylor

If you were inclined to subscribe to a “100 mile” diet, Huatulco is a pretty good place to live: all the fish and shrimp you can eat, shade grown coffee, mescal, fresh cheeses, sun-ripened fruits and vegetables, stone ground corn for tender tortillas, and of course, honey. Bees are what make the agricultural world go round. The relationship between bees and flowers is much like the conundrum of the chicken and the egg. Which came first?  Continue reading A Taste of Honey

Around the House…

By Deborah Van Hoewyk

When we bought a house in Santa Cruz, bugs were not uppermost in our consciousness—both the front and back yards were completely tiled, the pool sparkled, the plants sat neatly in their pots. When the property manager proudly told us it had been fumigated, our Spanish was so bad we said “Muchas gracias.” We never heard the words “las termitas.”  Continue reading Around the House…

Mico-lógica Alters our Perception of the Magic of Mushrooms in Oaxaca

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 6.08.16 PMAlvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.

When we think of mushrooms and Oaxaca the first thing which comes to mind is María Sabina, Huautla de Jiménez, and hallucinogenic “magic” mushrooms. But slowly that’s all changing as a result of the groundbreaking work in mycology of Josefina Jiménez and Johann Mathieu, through their company Mico-lógica. Continue reading Mico-lógica Alters our Perception of the Magic of Mushrooms in Oaxaca

Corn Part Part 3 Industrialized Corn, Genetically Modified Corn

By Julie Etra

Since this issue of the Huatulco Eye is about health and nutrition, this is a timely topic. It is surprising the degree and percent that our increasingly industrially produced food contains a corn product, and the degree to which most consumers are unaware of this iniquitousness. For people with corn allergies this can be a serious problem. Probably the most common corn ingredient in food is dextrose, corn sugar. Cornstarch, a thickening agent, is also a very common food additive. While not necessarily deleterious to our health, these additives can constitute a relatively large percent of food ingredients while providing minimal nutrition. Continue reading Corn Part Part 3 Industrialized Corn, Genetically Modified Corn