méxico: el día ocho
the avocado farm

"Look at the women doing what women do when the
men are talking about important things."
- Fraser.
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Gonzo to Alfonso's:
Size of Farm: 1260 hect
Years in Family: Over 40
Workers on Farm: 10

Type of Avocados: Hass
Time to Grow: 16 months
Wholesale Cost: .50/kilo
USA Retail Cost: $1.49/ea

Little Known Fact #1: Mexicans put avocado in just about everything, from soups to salads to tacos to sandwiches. According to Alfonso, eating 100g of avocado a day will definitely keep the doctor away!

Little Known Fact #2: If you plant the pit of an avocado, a plant will grow, but it won't have any fruit on it!

Little Known Fact #3: The area of Alfonso's avocado farm has a particular type of soil that's great for growing avocados, and one other popular plant. Hey, by the way, make sure you read the bit about how to make your own pot!

Watchpig of the Day
Make Your Own Pot:
1. Heat the copper up to a suitable temperature with the fiery aid of two quarreling sisters.

2. Bang the shit out of the copper for four days straight or until golden brown.

3. Just when you think you're done banging, bang on it some more for good measure.

4. Voila! A pot! (Don't let on how easy it was, or else the pot company will be out of business in no time).

Adventures in Avocadoland
Febrero 5 - Every other time we've been in Mexico (okay, the one other time we've been in Mexico) we've met Alfonso, the Avocado Farmer. He's always dropping off avocados for his friends and there's nothing I like better than a guy who gives out avocados.

When we saw him again on this visit, we asked if he would be so kind as to show us around his farm. Being the super-nice, avocado-giving guy that he is, he agreed!

So this is how we found ourselves in the back of a minivan travelling at Mexican road speeds towards avocadoland, better known by the locals as Airo de Rosales.

Ask an Avocado Farmer
What is an avocado? An avocado is actually a hybrid fruit. To grow avocados, it is not as simple as planting a seed of another avocado. At a certain point in the tree's development, the branches of a criollo tree must be grafted onto the trunk. Only then will it produce fruit.

What is a criollo? It is an ancestor of the avocado; a skinny, black fruit that tastes richer, yet more bitter than an avocado.

How did this process come about? A man from California named Hass first developed this method. As a result, a Hass avocado is the most popular kind, preferred over Fuertes or Azuls.

When is harvest time? This farm has fruit growing on two different heights: 1500m and 2200m. Since there is a temperature difference, they grow at different rates, and something is ready for harvest any time of year.

What are the hazards? Just last week there was a frost, which hurt the plants in the lower areas. The good thing about having two levels is that the upper farm was not affected by the frost. Our biggest problems, though, are groundhogs and moles; they're all over the place up here. Once I hired someone to trap the groundhogs, and within a week they had caught 130 of them.

Who are your best customers? Within North America, Canada is the best market, because America is able to grow their own in some places. The leading buyer for my avocados is France. France loves very rich foods.

Do you ever get sick of them? No, I still like them. And they're good for you. They help keep your cholesterol level down, even with just 100g a day.

What is your favourite way to eat avocados? Just slice and eat with some lime and salt.

Stage 1: The Graft

Stage 2: The Flower

Stage 3: The Bud

Stage 4: An Avocado

comida of errors...


Those aren't French Fries

A heady meal

más fotos en el archivo...

Nuestro Sitio Ahora
Airo de Rosales

Mañana: Getting Ready

see the full map...

El Tiempo:
Chilly in Avocadoland

Las Estadísticas
Gasolina: $0.00
Why:Alfonso drove
Distancia:About 150km

Crafty Business:
Town: Paricutin
Known For:Copper
Bowl Costs: $15.00
Time to Make:4 Days

Phil's Casa

A bed every night. Warm weather. Good food. This is heaven. The best part is that all decisions are made for us, we just follow along like happy little sheeps. Baaaa.


All:Raisin Bran, Fruit, and whatever else we could scrounge up
Chez Pemex Dos
The Gang:Tiny Fried Pesce (don't eat the heads), Sopa Tarasco, Guacamole, Enchilada Queso
Cuenta:Frank's Treat!

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© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Touring the facilities and picking up slack.