Planting for the Future – August 2009

Planting for the Future

By Judy Baehr

Evolution Is Us


Masthead-PlantingI’d been out in the garden observing the rampant evolution of bugs, worms, blight and fungus from small to gigantic, when I sat down with the newspaper to rest and spied the headline: “Mammals Evolve Faster in the Tropics” ( I immediately knew that highly evolved readers like you would want to know this. To be smug, it is obvious here at Lake Chapala that we are a bit more evolved than creatures north of the border. Granted, we may be too old to benefit from tropical evolution and pass on our genes to future generations, but we can try! After all, most of us consider that “old” is just a state of mind caused by severe northern winters and can be overcome readily with sunshine and easy living. It’s never too late to try evolution!

As to the bugs, bats, birds, fungus and blight, the news article fully supported my observations on life in the tropics. But I wanted an expert opinion, so I called Wendee Hill, one of the founding directors of ACÁ.

“Yes, it’s true,” said Wendee. “We can grow several crops of lettuce a year, and using heirloom varieties, we pick the best of the crop for seeding the next crop. In this way, the heirloom varieties continue to evolve, and because of the multiple crops per year, they evolve faster than they would in colder climates with a shorter growing season.”

That settles it. I am going out to evolve with the tropical wildlife. In the meantime, if you would like to observe evolved plants instead of watching bats, birds and beetles, look for ACÁ’s naturally evolved species of lettuce and veggies at the Lake Chapala Society and SuperLake, or call ahead and come out to the farm for a tour.

Upcoming Summer Food Market Tours: Abastos Tour: 8/04 and 9/07; Organic Tour: 8/22 and 9/26. Tickets are at ACÁ Eco Center (Jaltepec), Diane Pearl Gallery and with Berta on the Patio at LCS.

Food Workshops: Thursdays 12 to 3 at the Eco Training Center. Open to the public. No fee and no need to register in advance. Show up at the farm when you can and be prepared to WORK. The ACÁ farm and Eco Training Center is in Jaltepec on the mountain side of the carretera. If you have questions email

Upcoming Food WorkshopTopics: August 6th Kitchen Herb Planters & Baskets; 13th Oils and Vinegars; 20th Medicinal Herbs; 27th Natural Cleaning Products and Insect Sprays; September 3rd Mad about Tea; 10th Spice Blends; 17th Using Herbs in Sauces.

For more information about Lake Chapala visit:

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