2020 Garden Harvest

Last year was our second full year here and the garden did pretty well. The fruit trees were just starting to produce, and this year is looking to be even better with lots of new growth and blossoms. We had some trouble with some of the veggies last year, but I think we have it figured out now. Anyway here are a few of the things we harvested last year.

A big bunch of 182 apple bananas.

Bananas. Apple bananas, local bananas, and plantains. We started with 5 plants and now there must be at least 25. Plus you have to cut the plant down once you harvest the bananas and we have given a few plants to friends. It looks like we will always have bananas.

Cacao pods that will turn into chocolate.

Cacao. We only harvested a handful of pods last year, but it was enough to make our own chocolate. This year the plants are doing much better.

We usually pick one every so often but didn’t want the critters to get to them first.

Pineapples. If they last on the plant until they fully ripen then they are soooo sweet. We currently have about 150 plants.

Delicious star fruit.

Star Fruit. Last year we only got a few off the tree, but currently, the tree is loaded with new blossoms.

Kelley can’t stand the smell of roasting coffee, I on the other hand love it!

Coffee. The plants supplied us with enough to make about 25 pots of coffee. Right now the plants are starting to flower and it is looking good for this season.

Raspberries are great, but very hard to harvest when the plant is too big.

Raspberries. Considering we just planted it 9 months ago, it still gave us enough to snack on. Now the plant is out of control and we are having to keep chopping it back even though it is loaded with fruit.

Guava is not our favorite fruit, but it will juice nicely with others.

Guava. We had a few last year, but the tree is getting bigger and is already starting to set more fruit.

Little limes that are orange inside and you can eat the peel.

Calamansi Limes. Last year we got a dozen or so off the plant. There was a lot of growth last year so hopefully this year we will have a lot more.

There are red and white dragon fruits. We got the red ones and they are delicious.

Dragon Fruit. We only had a few last year and I think they were maybe the best thing in the garden. We are currently building a lot bigger trellis for them, as they are growing like crazy.

About the size of a ping pong ball and the tree will get thousands when it matures.

Golden Plum. This tree grew big and fast last year and was loaded with fruit. Unfortunately, it dropped most of them, but the ones that did ripen were great, sort of the texture of an apple and a slight taste of a pear.

I have heard that our village of San Antonio is the peanut capital of Belize.

Peanuts. Our first time growing them and they did great. We’re not sure we will plant more this year we just have to see how the space in the garden goes.

The animals also thought the cantaloupe were good.

Cantaloupe. We actually did manage to harvest a few of them before the critters got to them, and they were very good.

Who knew kale would grow up to 4′ tall and produce for a whole year.

Kale. The kale crop grew for the entire year and never stopped producing. We ate as much as we could and were giving some away to friends.

Not too bad, from a rotten tomato thrown out in the yard.

Tomatoes. They didn’t grow as we were hoping they would, but we did still get some nice tomatoes. Considering all the plants were from an old tomato that Kelley threw out in the yard.

Made for a great Cesar salad.

Romaine Lettuce. We got a few nice heads, but then again insects, rains, and who knows what else got to a lot of them.

Spicy pickled okra with garden habaneros.

Okra.  The okra grew great here last year. Kelley breaded a bunch and froze for later and pickled a whole lot more. I think we might skip planting it this year.

Of course, there were some green chile bacon cheeseburgers.

Hatch Green Chiles. The plants did well last year, giving us enough to roast and save in the freezer until needed. The first harvest off of the plants was very good and hot, but the second round on the same plants were almost too hot to eat. Can’t figure that one out.

A nice variety of peppers last year.

Other peppers. Habanero, cayenne, and pequin peppers. They all did pretty well which allowed us to dry, grind and make some very good extra-spicy chili salt.

Turmeric, good for Asian cooking and also for tea.

Turmeric. We haven’t really used it too much, but it did grow well and is supposed to be good for you.

These are so good sautéed on top of a steak.

Mushrooms. We actually aren’t growing these we just forage for them around the property. And why not when you have wild oyster mushrooms out there.

Homemade peanut butter with a little coconut oil…delicious!

Besides eating all this good stuff straight from the garden we also preserved them in different ways. The peanuts we made into peanut butter with a little salt and coconut oil.

Basil and peanuts made a good pesto.

There were spicy kale chips and plantain chips. Dehydrated pineapples and bananas. Pesto from the basil and peanuts. Chocolate covered peanuts. Different teas from the coffee skins, lemongrass, raspberry leaves, and moringa.

Candy from the garden. Homegrown raspberries, peanuts, and chocolate.

This year we are hoping that some of the other trees will start producing. There are still mango, avocado, 5 types of citrus, 3 types of apples, peaches, papaya, and macadamia nut that we are waiting patiently for. We know in the future that all these trees will be producing more than we will ever use, but I’m sure we will come up with something to do with it all.

That’s some of the harvests from 2020. There were a lot of veggies that just didn’t work out for some reason, but we will keep planting and trying until we figure out what really works here. In the meantime, we are looking forward to seeing what the garden provides for us in 2021.

8 thoughts on “2020 Garden Harvest”

  1. You guys are killing me here ! As a gardener who likes to have a producing garden year round except for Jun,Jul & Aug, I am so jealous. I’m amazed at your production and of how you process the foods you grow. When you dry your foods, are you using a dehydrator, the oven or hanging the out in sacks? Do you use hot water or a pressure cooker for your canning? Is it hard to get your canning supplies? So many questions. I admire what you have been able to do in so little time.

    1. It is amazing that we can grow stuff year round. Last year I asked our friend when we should plant corn and he just laughed and said anytime. We brought a 9 tray dehydrator with us and we recently ordered a roaster. The roaster is used for coffee, peanuts, sunflower seeds and cacao. Kelley just does hot water baths when she cans. Canning supplies are very common here mostly because everyone does it plus the big Mennonite communities.
      I think you guys should come down and we can discuss this more over a couple cold drinks.

  2. Hi Dave and Kelley,
    Thank you for another chapter of your blog.

    Any luck with Artichokes? Do you buy your eggs? Maybe some hens to give you eggs!

    All good here in Choya
    23 January

    1. Good morning Jeff. Our arti plants got real big last year but never produced. We currently have a few new ones started. Sometimes we buy eggs and other times our friends will give us some. We want to get some chickens, but we just haven’t had time to build a coop yet.

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