Many people in Central America still grow the food they eat in small family gardens — corn, papaya, bananas, rambutan, chili peppers, and lots more. They use what they harvest for family meals and keep the rest to sell at the weekly market.
During market day, businesses shut down and local roads close for natives from nearby villages to sell surplus goods in temporary booths. Each village hosts the market on a different day of the week, so that people can do their shopping without missing their own local market.
In the Guatemalan mountain village of Santa Avelina, gardens are typically planted on the corner of the family property, often next to the kitchen building. The cooking takes place in a separate location because these Mayan descendants still cook over open fires or on a wood-burning cooktop. These gardens do not have fences because they are protected by family members and their dogs, pigs, and roosters.
Herbs get a slightly different treatment. A woven spiked fence surrounds every herb garden, protecting them from the same pigs and chickens that guard the other crops.
These gardens offer good opportunities to use math in a real-world setting. Suppose you have constructed a fence that is 48 fists lengths (FL) long. Naturally, you want to have the largest opening possible for the gate. What dimensions should your opening be?
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