A busy couple of weeks, but there was free beer.

Who doesn’t like free beer? Belikin has been having a promotion called “Pop A Stappa” where you can win prizes of a free beer, $20, $100 and $1,000. If you find a symbol under your bottle cap you win. So far we have got 14 caps,  worth a free beer each, plus one at a bar that they gave us on the spot. It’s not $1,000, but a free beer is a free beer.

Winner! Winner! Beers for dinner!

The other day our neighbor came by again offering more fresh pork, so of course, we had to get some. How can you say no when you know it’s fresh and it’s delivered right to your door. So we picked up a 23 lb. hind leg, which will become our Easter ham, more ribs, and a pork belly. Kelley thought she would try something different with the belly this time, so she made porchetta. It’s an Italian dish where you put a lot of herbs and spices on the inside of the belly and then roll it up, tie it and cook it for 7-8 hours. It turned out savory, fatty, and rich, but how could it not, after all, it was a pork belly.

Italian food isn’t always pasta and pizzas, sometimes it’s Porchetta!

The porchetta was our Italian meal of the week, but now it was time for our Irish St. Patty’s Day corned beef which had been in the brine since the first of March. Homemade corned beef is so much better than store-bought and very easy to make. Besides, our only option for corned beef here is to make it ourselves. It just wouldn’t be St. Patty’s day without corned beef, cabbage, and red potatoes, Irish we could have shared with you.

17-day cure and the corned beef is ready to go.

While going through the garden the other day we noticed that a bunch of our pineapple plants were all trampled over like something big had run through the middle of them.  None of the pineapples were eaten or anything, just something big had gone through there. We haven’t seen any evidence of cow or any other footprints around anywhere. But it does let your imagination run wild, was it a Tipar, a heard of peccaries, or a jaguar chasing something. I guess we will never know.

Half a dozen big pineapple plants trampled down.

Speaking of the garden, (you know I was going to), we finally got some veggie seeds to grow and are ready to start planting. This is the third time we’ve planted the seed trays in the past few months. The first couple times very few sprouted, because of too much rain, cold weather, and no sunshine to warm them up. This time there was little rain and nice sunny days plus I made a small plastic cover for them and it seems everything sprouted. So at this point, we now have 40 nice yellow squash plants in the ground, and in a couple of weeks, we will be putting in 300-400 pepper plants. There are green bells, colored bells, cayenne, jalapeños, and a few other varieties. Hopefully, they will do good and we will be set for peppers this year.

We’re going to have to find Peter Piper to help pick all these peppers.

Our ginger plant finally died back so it was time to dig up the ginger roots. We will go ahead and use these as needed and then in a couple of months plant some more for later on. I didn’t realize there are so many health benefits from eating ginger, I mostly thought it was just used in Asian cooking. One of the benefits that caught my eye was to make a tea out of it and it’s supposed to really aid in weight loss, especially around the waist area. The tea is pretty strong and spicy, but we are giving this a try for a few weeks and see what happens.

Fresh ginger roots from the garden.

Where’s Kelley? Our cacao plants are really growing great. There are a couple that are now almost twice as tall as Kelley. There should be a lot of chocolate in our future.

Hard to believe about two years ago these plants were only about a foot tall.

There have been a couple trees next to our house that have been needing to come down for quite a while. The trees really swayed a lot in the wind and we didn’t want them to fall on the house if there was a big storm. We’ve taken down quite a few trees around here ourselves, but these were now growing right over the house and were getting pretty big. So it was time to call in a professional or at least someone who could do it without damaging the house.

Julio is crazy up there, but he knows what he’s doing.

A friend of ours knows a guy (Julio) who is an expert and can climb a tree like nobody’s business. So Julio gets here and looks at the trees, then he gets a ladder, rope, and a machete and up the tree he goes. Mind you that he takes off his rubber boots and puts on a pair of crocks, plus he is about the same age as me. Once up the tree, he ties his rope onto a branch and then whacks away with his machete and then we lower it down to the ground. Once all the branches are off the tree then a rope is tied up near the top and he cuts the base of the tree with a chainsaw while we pull the rope to guide the trunk where we want it to fall. Overall, seven trees were cut down that day and there are a few more up in the garden that will need to be removed later. Julio definitely knows what he is doing when it comes to taking down trees, and I’m sure we will be calling him again in the future.

Lowering one of many big branches out of the trees.

Over the past month or so we have been doing some more clearing around the back and side of the house. Mostly just getting rid of all the undergrowth and leaving the big trees. We like the way this is shaping up because you can now see more than ten feet out into the jungle. We have already been seeing more animals and birds moving around out there in the cleared areas.

New clearing off the back patio.

We also made another trail with the downed trees that goes from the front of the house to the back trails. Eventually, the grass will grow in the cleared areas and the trails will be lined with some colorful tropical plants. It should look great once everything is grown in.

The new pathway from the front of the house leading to the back trails.

Earlier this month Belize started vaccinating for covid. It seems to be going smoothly and there are a lot of people getting the shots. Currently, Belize only has 51 active cases in the entire country, so that’s doing pretty good. Up until recently, you had to provide a negative covid test taken 72 hours prior to arriving here in Belize. That has now changed and all you have to do now is show proof that you have had a vaccination and you are good to go. Travel here is really pretty easy and safe, so come on down and see us sometime.


3 thoughts on “A busy couple of weeks, but there was free beer.”

  1. Who doesn’t like free beer 🍺😂🤣👏🏼👏🏼
    The garden and grounds look fantastic…good job guys.
    Love all the great photos 👍🏼👍🏼

  2. Brad and I admire what you have accomplished in so little time. I’m afraid I would not have the energy to do what you guys do. I like to garden, but at the size of gardening you two do, I couldn’t even come close. Not only gardening, but also preparing your foods for storage. It’s great that you also have friends who know people to help with the big stuff. We will get out there to visit, but not sure when. Covid is the reason, as we hesitate on the vac. Time will tell. Stay safe and clink a bottle for us.

    1. We will definitely clink a glass for you! All the fruit trees really don’t take much care once they are planted as mother nature takes care of the watering most of the time. Once the veggies are in they only need tending to a couple times a week. Plus we have a friend who comes once a month to weed whack all the grass around the house and garden. It is a lot of work around here, but to tell you the truth we have never felt better. We hope to see you down here real soon.

Comments are closed.