Tuesday, January 8, 2008

South Texas Farming

Map of the irrigation district canals as they come from the Rio Grande.
Picture of a canal. These are 15 feet above the farm fields.
The canals are piped underground and then come to the surface in stand pipes like this one. At the base you can see the rolled plastic tubing that is spread out to distribute the water into the rows of the field. Many of these pipes have a valve wheel on the top and a ladder to crawl up and open the valve. At some places I found lift pumps to raise the water levels to higher canals.
Standing on the canal dike you can see the field below. They cultivate the rows where the water runs every so often while the crop is small. I tried to get a picture but could not find a tractor close enough.
Sugar cane that is closer to harvest.
This was freshly plowed. The clods were like concrete. Flood the land, then add the sun to bake it, when sufficiently dry, then go plow. Only Rod would take a picture of dirt.
I think these were cabbage.
Farm workers harvest these heads by hand bending down and then tossing them one by one into the wagons. There were at least 50 workers on this field.
Texas agriculture is very labor intensive.

High temp yesterday 84 Low last night at 3 AM was 73. We turned off the air conditioner for a while but its back over 80 so back on it goes. The wind continues. But it would be really steamy without it, so let it blow. Last year it got really cold down here, for 10 days from the 15 to the 25th of Jan, so will enjoy the warm while it is here.

5:00 PM We made it to 88 this afternoon and the wind went from SSW to NW and died to around 10 MPH. We are supposed to get to 55 tonight which is great for sleeping. Put the awning out this afternoon and used the lawn chair to secure the concrete so it wouldn't blow away or anything. Tough duty but someone has to do it.

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