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Wheat

From: Journal of the Southwest
Volume 54, Number 4, Winter 2012
pp. 621-633 | 10.1353/jsw.2012.0028

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

The photographs in this portfolio were taken between 2008 and 2012. The original intent was to document the flourmills that played an important part in the regional economy of the Río Sonora valley. However, in addition to several mills in that area, the effort extended into the area around Magdalena, Sonora, further west to the mill at Oquitoa, and ultimately to the Hayden Flour Mill in Tempe, Arizona, on the banks of the Salt River. All of the mills represented here were originally hydro powered, although over time all were converted to alternative forms of power. By the end of the 19th century, there were close to sixty flourmills operating in Sonora. A variety of economic and other forces brought about their demise. In the mid-1960s, Conasupo—Mexico’s now defunct federal food agency—instituted aggressive regulatory practices that, in a very short period of time, contributed directly to the closing of the Sonoran mills. Exceptions to this were the mill in Ures, which closed during the late 1990s. Tempe’s Hayden mill also closed. These photographs reflect an era when the production of high-quality wheat was carried out on a local and regional basis. [End Page 621]


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Mill in Banámichi, Sonora (top & bottom)


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[End Page 622]


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Bran Duster in Huépac, Sonora


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Mill in Huépac, Sonora

[End Page 623]


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Interior of Ures mill


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Mill in Ures, Sonora

[End Page 624]


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Funnels, Ures mill

[End Page 625]


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Making tortillas de agua, Ojo de Agua, Sonora


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Mill near Magdalena, Sonora

[End Page 626]


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Hayden Mill, Tempe


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Inside Hayden mill, Tempe

[End Page 627]


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La Fama Mill, Hermosillo, Sonora (composite photograph using I-Phone stitch)

[End Page 628]


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Mill in Magdalena, Sonora


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Mill in Oquitoa, Sonora

[End Page 629]


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Inside mill at Oquitoa, Sonora

[End Page 630]


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Sonoran wheat pottery, by Rina Swentzell

[End Page 631]


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Making tortillas de agua, San Pedro El Saucito, Sonora


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Wheat fields on Native Seeds/Search farm, Patagonia, Arizona

[End Page 632]


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Equipment in Huépac mill


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Marco Bianco, owner of Pane Bianco Restaurant, Phoenix

[End Page 633]

Bill Steen

Bill Steen has worked as a photojournalist, primarily in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. His photographs have appeared in a number of books he and his wife, Athena, have published on vernacular, natural and straw bale building. In addition to his photographic work, he is also the director of the non-profit organization, The Canelo Project, dedicated to connecting people, culture and nature.

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