Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I took Stan to Santa Fe today to get his eyes dilated.  He had me come along so that I could drive us back.  I was really looking forward to seeing Stan in those ridiculous, dark black, cover-all shades.  I was reading an article about water rights in New Mexico when Stan rolled out of the examination room, shades free.  Water is a big deal around here.  Real estate developments especially are putting pressure on a limited water supply.  In other places of the world, corporations manage to buy up the rights to a natural resource that should belong to everyone, and then they manage it (or mismanage it) in whatever manner they deem the most immediately profitable, even if that manner goes against good sense, the consensus of the scientific community, and human decency.  "What happened?  Where are your shades, Stan?"  No dilation today.  But back to water...

This is the pump that Stan uses to irrigate his fields. Behind the house there is an irrigation trench.  Basically, it's a man-made ditch that diverts water from the river Embudo to the small farms in this valley.  Water from the Embudo flows into the ditch and downhill toward the farms.  For those of you who are not into plumbing, I will cut to the chase: some farmers around here use flood irrigation, i.e. to irrigate their fields they flood them.  Stan uses a system of hoses and drip lines.  Thanks to the high-tech drip lines that run along his rows, Stan can irrigate his fields with the least possible amount of water.  I asked him the other day how many farms the river Embudo could really support in this valley, and he told me that it could support more if everyone switched from flood irrigation to drip lines.  Like I said, water is big in New Mexico.

I did not intend for this post to be about water; I intended it to be a photo dump of this farm that I am coming to love and which I will miss when I leave in seven short days.  I drove home from Santa Fe with Stan's un-dilated eyes, unpacked the groceries and realized that for all my posting, I hadn't really even begun to write about this farm.  Straight-away went out to take some pictures.  Perhaps it was the article about water that drew me to the water pump; perhaps it was the sound of the water pump running (the first time since I've been here) that drew me to it.  Or perhaps it was the film crew that pulled into this driveway yesterday in their enormous black pick-up truck to interview Stan for a film project about acequias: waterways.  I didn't hover around for the interview, so I don't know what got said, but I do know what I think about natural resources in general.

The world can be a beautiful place, but if you think that there aren't massive corporate powers out there who care nothing for the livelihood of you, me, and our well being, you are completely naive.  Too often, the people who fight and work for that which is just and good get labeled as political whackos.  It is the case that we do get labeled, but it's not that case that we're whackos.  The real truth is that there are a finite number of resources on this planet, and those resources belong to all of us.  It is only through a complicated snafu of laws, power structures, and cultural indoctrination that rights to resources belong to those of us with the greatest ability to pay.  That manipulation of mind is the greatest triumph of power there is.  The wealth of the natural world actually belongs to all of us, but our laws, unfortunately, do not reflect this truth.  Our laws reflect waste and greed.  The only reason Dasani owns the water in that plastic bottle is because they put it in there.  By buying that water, we confirm the law.    

1 comment:

Dr. Crowbar said...

Hvae you read "The Milagro Beanfield War"?