Sunday, August 05, 2007
My neighbor, Lira Maia, harvested his soybeans this week. Timing couldn't have been better because the beans were ripe and field was dry as the Arizona desert. The harvester chewed into the crop meter by meter until the field was was clean as a piece of toast. Seeing the the operation reminded me that nobody here had ever seen mechanized agriculture up until 6-7 years ago. The former owner of this land, Sr. Arthur, was a subsistence farmer, producing what he could via the slash and burn system of agriculture. He worked the land most of his life until old age and sickness forced him to move into the city, where his wife became a seamstress to help support the family. The land was fairly much abandoned for the few years it took him to sell it. Sr. Arthur's land and our Bosque Santa Lucia became one. When Maia bought the land, it had to be surveyed to determine boundaries. He then opened up this small service road, which today separates forest from a soybean field. I take pleasure in walking under the shade of trees and he takes pleasure in making lots of money from agriculture. Maia was mayor of Santarém for eight years and it was his government that opened the door to mechanized agriculture. He is currently serving his first year as national congressman from Pará. I forgot to mention that he is an agronomist.