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Feb 14, 2005, 8:16 PM

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Horticulture Businesses

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Are there any expats involved in horticulture-related businesses, i.e. landscape design, nurseries, flower shops etc. (BTW I know SMA is arid, but still...think xeriscapes, succulents, etc.) Thanks.

Found Carol's comments on water very interesting (and disturbing), but is there a serious conservation effort? Drip irrigation, rain collection, gray water recycling, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, etc. I recall some of those features being touted in some new houses being built. Or am I getting ahead of things here?


Carol Schmidt

Feb 15, 2005, 4:11 PM

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Re: [alcuban] Horticulture Businesses

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A foreigner cannot hold a job that a Mexican can do, and gardening is a major Mexican male occupation. Mexican-run nurseries are all over the place, and there are guys who advertise that they can install gardens, a step up from merely taking care of an existing garden. Landscape architects? I doubt it, and there are so many unemployed and under-employed regular architects in Mexico that I doubt if it is a serious career path. There are people with considerable ecological understanding involved in many development issues.

Of course the Mexican government is highly aware of the water shortage worldwide--for example, Mexico and Texas have had a running battle for years over diverted water from the Rio Grande that Mexico is supposed to repay to Texas farmers so they don't lose their crops. But when 40% of your population lives on less than the 50 cent an hour minimum wage, immediate survival programs can take first precedence.

In San Miguel Mayor Villarreal is very concerned about water problems, and new permits for construction requiring water are being denied in the higher parts of the city, but are available in the lower lands where there is more water. There is an organization which works solely on our water problems, short range and long range. Is every Mexican as aware of water conservation efforts as the most ecologically aware U.S. resident? Of course not. In many ways I think of Mexico as the U.S. in the '50s when we were first becoming aware of so many issues. Much education must be done on so many issues, and beginnings are being made.

The Mayor's first concern regarding water was getting a sewage treatment plant built, and building covered drains to handle the raw sewage doing down some of the "rivers"/canals along Calzada de la Luz. He was negotiating with the developers of the propoased Jack Nicklaus golf resort on how they would build a water reclamation plant that would not only supply water to the golf course greens but also have water available to sell low-cost for agriculture. I keep hearing conflicting stories on what is happening on that scene and haven't really paid much attention, but it is an issue.

Agriculture uses 80% of the water around San Miguel, and educating farmers to use water the best ways possible is the biggest problem. Someone once said, SMA doesn't export broccoli, it exports our water.

Carol Schmidt
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