Mexican ingenuity

truck
How the van left the Hacienda.
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How the area was left, nice and clean.
New Image
How the area looked a few days ago.

HOW ABEL the dour yardman (and neighbor) got that mountain of green garbage into the back of his decrepit minivan is a mystery. He used a machete.

He lumbered off just as you see in the first photo, sweeping the street in his wake. He did not have to go far, about three blocks to a ravine where all was dumped.

He left the area clean, as you see in the second photo. Next week a couple of workmen will cut those banana tree stumps down even farther, and a rock-and-concrete “table,” 60 centimeters high, will be built there.

A second area where another stand of banana trees once lived, up against the house itself, will get the same treatment, and that will leave us with just one banana forest.

And its survival is in doubt too.

If you’re arriving late to the show, here’s the original post on this gardening epic, from earlier this week.

27 thoughts on “Mexican ingenuity”

  1. In sugar cane cutting season, down the pike a ways, where workers are mostly Latinos from Mexico, Guatemala and some from Honduras and farther south, stake bed trucks are employed to carry the harvest piled twice as high as the truck itself. I’ve never seen a pile of cane that fell from those heights but road conditions leave me to believe it has to have happened at least once. The truck cabs don’t look too healthy but when full they line up at the sugar mill to be unloaded and off they go, probably straight to a mechanic most likely to start the rebuild of the motor for the next season.

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    1. Carole: I remain amazed that he got all that stuff in there. I watched for a few minutes after he arrived, and then I went into the house, convinced he’d require two trips, perhaps three. And then I went back out there, and everything was jammed into the van. I should have known he’d be able to do that. They don’t call him Abel for nuttin’.

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  2. I tried a banana tree one time here in central Alabama. Grew about six feet over the summer, but didn’t survive the winter. No digging or trimming required. Simply pulled it out by the roots.

    Some folks have them here though. They cover them with polyethylene in the winter.

    I didn’t like it enough to go to all that trouble.

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    1. Ray: If you were able to pull that baby out by the roots, it had not even begun to make itself at home. It’s best you did not get into the banana business, believe me.

      Jammed into that van are more than pieces of banana trees. There’s some big hunks of aloe vera, limbs from two golden datura trees and about eight huge fronds of viciously spined maguey.

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  3. Loading vehicles in Mexico is an art. From five-ton trucks full of flowers for Day of the Dead, to fifteen teenagers traveling to a soccer game in the back of a Nissan quarter-ton pickup, a slaughtered cow in the trunk of a car, right down to my neighbor in Puerto Escondido driving home from the beach with her three sons riding on the hood of her car, you can never cease to be impressed.

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  4. If I were you, I’d make sure those things were truly dead before I poured concrete over them. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they managed to push through concrete or were at least able to crack it. My inclination would be to spray them repeatedly with Roundup until they died.

    But maybe your “Mexican ingenuity” has a better plan. Whatever it may be, buena suerte.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    DF, México
    Where the apartment will require absolutely ZERO maintenance on my part.

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    1. Kim: Mexican ingenuity does have an alternate plan. Motor oil. Not sure it will necessary, but we’re going to do it. The stand of banana trees by the front property wall has been surrounded by empedrado, rock and cement, for years, and not one banana tree has overpowered it.

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      1. Motor oil is considered toxic waste NOB. I’d not exactly want that poured onto my own property, regardless of the ostensible benefits. Especially when a safer alternative like RoundUP, which has its issues, will break down relatively rapidly, unlike the motor oil.

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        1. Kim: Of course, it’s toxic waste, but telling Mexicans that I know better would be so insensitive, and I’m a sensitive fellow.

          But not to worry. It will be buried beneath 60 centimeters of rock and cement. You’ll be appalled to learn that I also use gasoline to kill weeds and grass that grows where I don’t want it to. I hope nobody tosses a match out there.

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          1. Hahaha…yes, count me appalled. But it’s your property. Just keep it away from la cisterna. Or not, depending on how dangerously you want to live.

            By the way, when I was a kid, my dad used to pour used motor oil onto the driveway gravel to make it more pavement-like. Though he certainly wouldn’t do it these days, we drank well water and lived to tell the tale.

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              1. As stain and preservative, the Palapa builders on the coast used 2 parts diesel to one part gasoline for the posts and joists. Dries to a finish just like varnish.

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    2. It would cause an environmental disaster if Felipe was contaminating his property with Monsanto’s Roundup weed-killer aka glyphosate poison.

      Glyphosate wrecks human health and causes two key problems caused by glyphosate in the diet: Nutritional Deficiencies and
      Systemic Toxicity, cancer and birth defects.

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      1. Actually, there’s some controversy about that, i.e., it’s not exactly settled science. Generally glyphosate breaks down pretty fast in the soil, unlike motor oil, which is pretty toxic, much worse than glyphosate. And if you take care to avoid exposure to the liquid glyphosate, its potential for harm is small, but non-zero.

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  5. That looks like an old Ford Aerostar. We had one when they first came out. The transmissions are crap. Wonder how many he has replaced in that thing? And it is pretty amazing how much stuff you can get in one of those things.

    Used motor oil is a great weed-killer and when it breaks down it is also a great fertilizer.

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    1. Same here. A complete piece of trash. Fuel pump, U-joint, transmission. Even had the battery blow up when I started it once.

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    2. Judy: As he had the van tilted on the incline, water started falling from the radiator at a pretty good clip. When he was ready to leave I asked if he wanted to refill it. Nah, he said, and off he went. A form of tough love, I guess.

      Glad to hear I’m helping the environment by using motor oil. I won’t be using used oil, however, but new out of the can. I hope that’s equally tree-huggy.

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    1. Scott: Now that the three banana stands have been reduced to one, we’ll still get bananas, but they are bad bananas due to our not living in a proper environment for bananas.

      By the way, if you remember that song, you’re no spring chicken.

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