Friday, July 20, 2007

I’m the “Sweet-Onion Fairy”

July 19, 2007

What do you do with 50 pounds of sweet onions?

My friend Jesse drove down from Albuquerque for a couple of days, and what adventures we had. But first I’ll tell you about the onions. This part of southern New Mexico – where irrigation water is available – is a thriving agricultural area. Besides the famous New Mexican green and red chiles, onions are a major crop. And the “semi-famous” Carzalia Sweet Onions are grown a few miles to the west. These onions are delicious.

I had gotten the notion that I’d like to buy a bag of these onions and send some back to friends in the Albuquerque area. I had seen a roadside vendor near the park that sold 5 and 10 pound bags of them. BUT, he hasn’t been there this week. No problem. We would just go to the farm where they are grown. Well, the farm is a huge operation – and only sells onions in 50-pound bags! For only $18!

About a third of the onions went home with Jesse, and now I’m the “Sweet-Onion Fairy”, passing out onions – along with park information to campers. People are delighted, and I’m having a great time.

Another adventure was to the newly renovated and re-opened Deming Historical Museum. When Jesse and I walked in, we had no idea what to expect. It is an amazing and well-organized museum. The displays are well done. One item caught me by surprise – a Playboy Magazine in Braille! Yes, nothing on the pages except raised dots!

After lunch and a stop at Walmart for some shopping, we drove to Las Cruces (about 60 miles) and toured the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum that is located near the university campus. It encompasses 47 acres.

This “interactive museum” brings to life the 3,000-year history of farming and ranching in New Mexico. The main building, 24,000 square feet, houses exhibits, a restaurant, gift shop and theater. Out-buildings house livestock a blacksmith shop, with more buildings in various stages of completion.

We started our visit there with a cart ride around the livestock corrals and barns; Jesse did gate-opening duties.. Here we were introduced to the three-ton Angus bull and the Texas Longhorn bull whose horns are 5-feet from tip to tip. (see photos). Jesse and I briefly toured the indoor exhibits. This could conceivably be a day-long outing, and it was nearing closing time. I’ll definitely be back.

Another visitor, another trip to the Pink Store in Palomas. Jesse and I did some shopping there.

Jesse’s biggest adventure the night he spent here was when my hammock came loose during the night. For his overnight accommodations, (Jeremiah is female-only for sleeping) he hung my hammock outdoors under the shade structure.

And speaking of Palomas; a week or so ago the “Frugal Traveler” from the New York Times was in the area and wrote an article, complete with video footage, that was published July 18. ( – click on Travel, then find the Frugal Traveler to read the article and link to the video).

I got a good photo of the Long-Eared Owl. It is a good thing I got the photo – his favorite branch is now occupied by a second barn owl and Long-Ear is no where to be seen. I also managed to get a photo of a cactus wren; they don’t sit still very long. Also a camper discovered this bull snake resting in a safe place – under a cactus.

That’s it for this blog entry. But first a quote “You are one-of-a-kind; no one else is just like you. So even though you are outnumbered, don’t change.”

And finally a Columbus, New Mexico, sunrise.