Alfalfa field (work)….

I was heading west on County Highway 85 (MC85 for any locals reading along), also named “Buckeye Road” in its eastern environs, going toward the town of Buckeye, where I hoped to find someone who had some positive test results and was in need of medication.

My work with the health department takes me to various corners of the county…all of them over time…so I get to go places and see things that a “normal” office job likely wouldn’t provide.Ā  Sometimes I go to jails, city parks, transient camps, doctors’ offices, hospital emergency rooms, or psych wards…and other times I’m actually out “in the field.”

The US Department of Agriculture’s “2012 Census of Agriculture” (the most current one I could find) for Maricopa County, Arizona, provides that there were 2,579 farms consisting of 475,898 acres of land at that time.Ā  Those numbers reflected a 38% increase in the number of farms and a 2% decrease in acres of land since the previous census, dated 2007.Ā  I provide all of that to simply state that there remains quite a bit of agricultural land in the County, with most of it being situated on the outskirts of the more densely populated areas.

For those interested, this Wikipedia article provides that Maricopa County has a total area of 9, 224 square miles, is 132 miles wide from east to west, and measures 103 miles from north to south…it has a greater land mass than seven states, is the fourth most populous county in the USA, and has a population of 4,307,033 (2017), which is greater than that of 23 states.

I took my camera to work with me on this particular day because I was hoping to make some photos of the melon and corn fields that are near my home, on my way home from work…when the light would be softer with the setting sun, etc…so I had it with me when I was in the field driving hither and yon…passing field upon field of corn, cotton, hay, onions, and alfalfa.

A five minute stop on the way to Buckeye allowed me to get down and personal with a surprisingly fragrant field of alfalfa at about 10:30 am on a day that was supposed to get up near 115 degrees.

I found the address, but not the person I was looking for when I made it to Buckeye…

…but I did bring back some unplanned bounty in the way of a few photographs…and testimony to the fact that Arizona farming can yield beautiful results!

8 responses

  1. You have an interesting job! I had forgotten that Maricopa County was that big…and I don’t like to remember that it gets that hot.

    July 27, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    • It is very interesting, Terry, and the County is quite large…and yes, I wish I could forget that it gets that hot!

      July 29, 2018 at 2:32 pm

  2. Great images. What a lovely treat for both you and us! Hate to even think of that sort of heat though. šŸ™

    July 29, 2018 at 2:34 am

    • Thank you, Gunta…and while it was a sweat-inducing heat at that hour, it wasn’t horrible yet….yet….

      July 29, 2018 at 2:35 pm

  3. This is one of things i love about working in public health….the opportunity to roam the city and countryside, and see what turns up. The post brings back memories of my trips around NYC, to all kinds of places, usually to small non-profits providing services to people with brain injuries, not to individuals. There was a man named Moishe in my office, back in downtown NYC, whose job was to keep on top of immunizations within the Orthodox Jewish population in the surrounding 50 miles. Another man, Julio, stayed on top of potential TB outbreaks, closely watching the prisons. We all had our territories. šŸ™‚
    A bright young barista I know was trying to decide which Masters program to go into recently; public health was on her list, as well as social work. That’s encouraging (though I believe she wound up in a primate language acquisition program!).
    At any rate, growing populations and climate change weather patterns can be made a little more bearable by trips like the one you describe. I know that first-hand. These are wonderful photos of the alfafa blooms! I used to do the same thing – always had my camera with me and often stopped at the end of the day in some beautiful spot to take photos. Kept me sane. šŸ™‚

    July 30, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    • Being out of the office and out there in the fields is one of the perks of this profession, for sure, Lynn…and helping with the sanity is some good secondary-gain, in my book! And you and all of your counterparts that you mentioned would have wonderful stories to tell, as well…good stuff.

      Sounds like your barista friend is going to have an equally challenging and interesting profession if she sticks with it.

      August 10, 2018 at 8:51 pm

  4. Liana

    what a perfect pairing – your words and these images

    the beauty in all of this

    August 11, 2018 at 6:50 am

    • Thank you lady….

      August 19, 2018 at 5:16 pm

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