Xochimilco

Brandon Gatica

History of the Floating Gardens.

Xocimilco in aztec language, Nahuatl, means "garden of flowers." The Xochimilca people settled in the Valley of Mexico between the years 700s and 1000s. The land they settled in was not the same for use of traditional farming. It was a very wet emvironment. They had to come up with a solution. There solution: chinampas, floating gardens. They were built on the surface of Lake Xochimilco. Using cane striuctures, mud was placed inside these contianers and were held down by trees along the shore. Fertilizer was received from the bottom of the lake which was abundant in mulch. Flower, fruit, and vegetables were successfully grown using this method of farming. The Aztecs ended up conquering the Xochimilco people and used their floating gardens to feed their empire. At its highest point, the chinampas system took up 22,000 acres of wetland. Today the last canals left represent only a fraction of what it used to be.