The day was last Sunday, the second of August, which traditionally hosts the harvest festival in the North of the Island. More specifically, in the town where the cereal culture is most strongly lived: Icod el Alto or Icod de los Trigos, in the municipality of Los Realejos. Already in 2020 it was not possible to celebrate live due to the pandemic and this year, neither. The festive day of cutting and storing the cereal has been replaced by a five-chapter documentary that explains, in audiovisual format through social networks, all the ceremonial added to that ancestral task.
The Los Realejos City Council, through its # Rural Development area, the Cabildo and the Tenerife Rural Foundation, coordinate and edit a virtual version of the Diego Pérez Traditional Mowing Meeting, distributed in chapters over a week. The organizers give a special thanks to the group of harvesters of the municipality and other people who have collaborated in the recording carried out in the surroundings of Icod el Alto during a weekend.
That second Sunday in August, tradition determines the peasant festival. A meeting that starts from the work of the harvest and ends in a community lunch. The framing of the ethnographic rescue of the fundamental task in the region for centuries. The exhibition is like a trip back in time to transport locals and strangers to the Tenerife countryside of many decades ago.
Icod el Alto is a granary for Tenerife. Not only wheat, which is usually grown in rotation with potatoes, but other cereals such as barley or rye. In fact, most of the farmers that make up Acete come from there. And practically half of Tenerife’s cereal is produced here.
The Cabildo has taken the step of replacing the traditional sickle with state-of-the-art machines that help to recover, even in part, the boom and importance of cereal in this northern region of the Island. This month is the key to be able to sow later the seed in winter. The cycle repeats.