Kiersten Rowland

Adventures, Travel & Photography

Irrigating the land - "Camposinos" or Muppets?

27 May 2008

Reading time: 1 min

It’s that time of year again. The waters from the snowmelt of the high Sierra Nevada are flowing strongly. Soon this will end, and from mid-June to October or November we can expect little irrigation water. So the time is ripe for all good “camposinos” (country workers) to water their lands before the summer droughts.

Now this may seem a great idea at first glance, but putting it into practice is not as easy as it would seem. For a start we have a 5 min drive to a high “gate” to start the waterflow down towards my land. We then have to dam up a series of small streams, thus eventually getting water flowing through our land.

Eventually is the right wording, as it can take up to 2 hours before all the little nooks and crannies further up the hill have filled with water. So, like all good camposinos, we have a glass or six of vino tinto while we wait. By the time the water arrives we are rather worse for wear and not in a great state for the trials and tribulations to come.

This involves flooding the land by opening the acequia (irrigation channel) gate. The water flows over the land in a haphazard fashion and we have to take our spades (dont remember the correct word for them) and dig channels for the water to slowly creep across the land.

Some 5 hours later and we are covered in mud and have had to indulge in another bottle of vino. Such is life in the fast lane! All I can say is……..What a pair of “Muppets”!

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