Saturday, November 7, 2009

Country way of life in Grant County

There are around 30 thousand people in this southwestern New Mexico county and Silver City is the county seat with about 10 thousand people.

The population density of the county is 8 people per square mile. In contrast, the population density of LA county is 2,427 people per square mile.

Its predominantly a ranching and mining community with a new group of people that have moved here in the past 20 years that have a more alternative lifestyle and view of the world.

In Silver City there is a nice coop, and lots of the produce sold by them is locally grown. In fact, when you buy the produce they tell you who in town grew the food. Its a nice way to know when you are eating lunch or dinner exactly what field in town your lettuce, carrots or tomatoes came from. And further more, you even know the person who grew your food.

Many people have goats, chickens, and turkeys. I met a lady the other day who would sell me a turkey for Thanksgiving for $10, but one minor point I would have to butcher the turkey myself. Not a big deal if you have the time and experience, and then you get to pick out your turkey as well. Goat milk is common, and another friend of mine has goats and in the past I have actually had the opportunity to milk the goat, and then make goat cheese shortly there after. Fresh goat cheese 24 hours later is yummy and highly recommended for those who have some extra dill weed lying around to spice up the cheese. Fresh eggs, no problem, my friend started out with 51 chickens and is down to 24 chickens. But eggs are not a problem, and clearly they are real fresh.

As you walk around town, most people are pretty darn friendly. In fact, its pretty hard to walk down a country road one mile outside of town and not have people wave to you as they go by. If you want to reciprocate you better wave back as well. But its not too bad, as cars rarely pass you and every five or ten minutes a wave takes you a way from the yellows and tinges of red that line the final streets and final leaves that have not fallen yet.

Its peaceful, quiet, and if you like laid back with out lots of action, then the rural parts of New Mexico are probably for you. There is a certain soothing feeling to not having to rush around, or here back ground noise that never ends, the hum is not there. In fact, on a hike yesterday in the wilderness, it was so quiet that the nothingness was noisy. On a windless afternoon, with no around for miles and no cars what do you hear in the woods. I heard some things, and it was the silence. My friend told me that the silence can sometimes be noisy. I am not sure I have yet found the metaphor to describe that to my own mind.

Characters are every where, a unique individuality that is hard to describe. A ruggedness and sense of being that pervades the down town. There is a mix of nice homes, run down homes, and as one probably knows in New Mexico there are more trailers per capita than probably anywhere in the USA.

The trailer is just part of the landscape, there is almost some bizarre aesthetic to seeing trailers at every turn in the road. I personally would not choose to live in a trailer, but I respect the trailer for what it is. A beautiful acre of land with mountain vistas, a dry arroyo, some nice cotton wood trees and a trailer.

I could probably write a nice poem about trailers, but I will save that for another time. But the trailer is part of the landscape, along with the clear blue skies, the snowy mountain tops, the Aspen trees, and the keen awareness of being.


  1. We have a poetry garden where you can plant and pick your own spinach and there is a tomato almost ripe. We are hoping to pick it Friday and serve it after our poetry meeting. In fact we might evenn have our poetry meeting at the garden table! Then you can have your poetry and eat it too!

  2. Location of above: Caltech Poetry Garden, Pasadena, Ca... "when you are eating lunch or dinner [you know] exactly what field in town your lettuce, carrots or tomatoes came from"...amazing in this densely populated place, one can sit musing on a poem or be a vegetable in this garden, and see no other people for hours on end... occasionally another gardener (or and poet) will greet you...

  3. I think the timing on your garden is wonderful -- might be a sign of the times ahead -- or just a preparation.