August 27, 2008

Plum Season on Don Caro’s Farm–Epoca de Ciruelas, Finca de Don Caro

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Above: Florencia and Carlos Caro, my in-laws, with our son, Esteban, on the farm

If this weren't in Argentina, the photo above would be almost like "American Gothic"…and I know I'm going to get in trouble for publishing a semi-unflattering photo of my mother-in-law, but I just love this photo–it is just exactly how they are.  (Perdoname, Florencia, ya se que me va a regañar por publicar este foto de Uds., pero a mi me encanta!) 

In town, my father-in-law is addressed as 'Don' Caro–a formal and very respectful way of addressing someone.  He is known for being trustworthy, following through on his word, and being hard-working and fair.  I know that he loves the earth and all it provides, that he takes great pride in his farm and the work done there, and that he adores trees and their fruit.  He hires the same workers every year, and every year they grow plums, peaches, quince, apples and cherries to sell.

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The farm didn't always belong to my father-in-law.  He grew up there, and it was his parents farm.  Carlos was the youngest of seven.  He was the only one who stayed and worked the farm, the other siblings marrying off, starting their own families, sometimes in other provinces.   When he married Florencia, she moved there with her mother-in-law, Carlos' mother.  And it's where my husband and his brother grew up, too.

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 They got electricity on the farm when Guillermo was 7–that's in 1979, folks!  Prior to that, water was hand-pumped, rather than forced from a generator.  That also means no TV, and no indoor plumbing.  Rustic!  The farm should start getting city water this year.

When Carlos' mother died, all the siblings wanted their share of the farm, and wanted it to be sold.  But Carlos, who had worked so hard all those years maintaining the farm and making it his own livelihood, refused.  So over the next several years of hard work, he bought out his brothers and sisters.  Now the farm is his, free and clear.

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All of the above photos are plums sun-drying on cane mats on the farm.  Later, the plums are boxed into wooden crates with 'CARLOS CARO' stamped on the side, and sold at market.  To me, having this slice of farm life has been priceless, and I am so honored to be able to be a part of it, however small. 

Many more beautiful photos of the finca to come!

11 Responses to “Plum Season on Don Caro’s Farm–Epoca de Ciruelas, Finca de Don Caro”

  1. Beautiful photos and a great look at how plums are dried here. The photo of your in-laws is awesome. If I could, I’d steal, or ask permission to take, a bunch of those cañas for my house and yard. :)

  2. Love the photos of the plums — and of your in-laws, too. Hats off to your father-in-law, who has chosen an honorable life, and to your parents for preserving the family farm.

  3. Very nice looking family! Esteban is a cutie (Even with his head down, I can tell.). 😉 Did you say Don Caro also grows cherries? Love it!
    Paz

  4. Just found your blog on Facebook no less!
    I love the photos, especially the first one. There is so much character in the faces

  5. !hooo! que sorpresa ! falta el Indio, …
    ya comienzan a florecer los ciruelos, para la próxima cosecha. saludos desde Bowen Mendoza R. Argentina. Florencia

  6. I really enjoyed this post, particularly that first photograph. Its got great presence, great impact.
    And a great little boy, too. (g)

  7. I love the first picture as well, and all the others too actually. It´s nice to see the work your father and mother in law do over there. I´ve always admired people who work the soil, there´s something pure in that. And he must enjoy knowing that he kept the family business running, struggles and all.

  8. “Now the farm is his, free and clear.” Magic words for any farmer.
    Lovely post Rebecca, American Gothic reference and all, albeit Argentina style. Your in-laws shine with truth and humanness, and there is remarkable beauty in that.

  9. Hi Rebecca, I love this story, it reminds of my grandfather (who was also a farmer and loved working his land and also bought out his brother and sister) and also of my childhood (we didn’t have electricity until I was about 9 – I remember it was such an exciting experience when it happened). I hope all is going well for you, thanks for sharing this great story. Layla

  10. Lovely post, Rebecca. I also love the photo. I wish we had gone to the market to get some of his fruit when we were in Mendoza. Do they distribute their fruit to the city market you wrote about? We may go back in the summer.

  11. Finally back from my travels and have the chance to check out your blog. These pictures are so beautiful! Looking forward to reading more.

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