Aleman Village

Aug 1, 2011 by Tom O'Hare

If you have been coming to (or living in) Rocky Point during the last 15 years, you probably know him personally, or certainly have heard of him and seen some of his work. He was born in 1966 in Aguascalientes. He started working at age 13, around Mexico City, engraving key chains and printing names on grains of rice, at city and county fairs. Along the way he learned the art of spray painting. When he was 19 years old he traveled to Southern California and worked there for five years. He then went to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1994/95 and worked with the City Arts Commission, painting twenty murals and training kids to paint. In 1996 he returned to Rocky Point and began a successful business of painting murals in homes, on walls, motor homes and RV’s. He also opened an art gallery in Old Port, which has since been closed.

In 2004, he partnered with Susan and Richard Pillon and purchased 7 1/2 acres about 7 miles north of town on the Highway, where he opened his Artisan Village . The artist community has, I believe, the largest selection of pottery in Rocky Point. In addition, he has over 120 molds of animals, fountains, benches, statuary, flower pots, etc. By now you should have guessed I’m writing about Sr. Victor Aleman. If you don’t see exactly what you want, custom designs are available, either from your picture or a sketch. On the property you will also find a desert plant nursery and a building full of small arts and crafts decorations. Besides Victor, there are five men who work full time making all the products that are for sale. Juan Navarro – tile man, Rodrigo Aleman – mold maker, Pablo Aleman, Pablo Gutierrez, and Saul Angulo are concrete finishers.

There are many unique things about the village, besides the hundreds and hundreds of ítems. There are peacocks running loose, a big ram goat, chickens and an agave plant section. One of the most interesting areas for me is located on the back half of the property and is a project which was started about 1 1/2 years ago. Over coffee one morning Victor, Dr. Jose Gonzales and some friends got into a discussion about fertilizer. It seems that the doctor had some knowledge on that subject and an idea, which turned into a project. They developed a plan and presented it to the Biosphere Ecological Program. They were soon given their first grant to start the project. A 10’x30’x2’ high trough, lined with plastic was built.

It has about a 4” fall from one end to the other. It was then filled with manure, fish scraps and hay, and sprinkled with about 20 kilos of red worms. All totaled about 20 tons of material. The trough as I call it, is watered daily and fermented for seven months. During this time the worms eat and multiply and a liquid concentrate is collected at the lowest end of the trough via gravity. One trough can produce 6.7 tons of fertilizer and 20 kilos of worms, which can be sold to Japan, where they are ground into powder and used as a protein supplement. Victor and Company have overcome many obstacles developing this project, such as proper temperature, sunlight, wind, water and exact mixture. With the aid of a second grant, the goal is to be able to market a superior fertilizer and concentrate by the end of this year.

An aside benefit of this project is that the fishing canneries scraps will be put to use instead of putting them in our landfill. As of this writing a new trough with a concrete base and catch basin is under construction, when finished it will yield more concentrate, worms and fertilizer.

The Aleman Village is open 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week.

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