All about plants

After a fun and relaxing week with Darren up in the jungle and then out on the islands, it was time for us to get back to work. There’s not much really happening here this week, but we still have a few things we’d like to share.

beach caulker
Good by to the island…for now.

I’ve been planning on cutting down a couple of trees next to the house to help clear up an area that would be a great sitting and relaxing area. Then we were thinking what if I cut one of the trees table height and found a nice round slice of wood to put on the stump and make it a pub table. After searching a local buy-and-sell online, we found the perfect piece, except once we got there it was way too big. It was a beautiful piece of wood and even though we didn’t have a use for it immediately we just couldn’t resist buying it. It’s not every day you come across slabs of this size and I knew we would eventually find a use for it someday. The lady actually had five of these beautiful pieces of wood so we decided that we needed at least two of them. After loading them in the truck we thought, let’s just buy them all and we will find something creative to do with them. And at $25USD each how could we turn them down. So now besides a big table, I am looking for other suggestions to use these wonderful pieces of wood for. Any creative minds out there with suggestions? And no I’m not going to build a Flintstone car, I think we are over that.

Nice slabs of wood and they are stamped by the forest service so they are legal.

A friend up the road brought over a bunch of fresh bananas off his tree the other day and they are so good! After you have tasted fresh picked bananas you will never want to eat another store bought banana again. Our banana trees are doing very well and hopefully later this year they will start to produce some of our own. At this point we have growing; local bananas, apple bananas, plantains and I think one other that I can’t remember so we should be set on bananas once they start producing.

k banana
Going bananas for bananas

Coming from the southwest of the US and northern Mexico we love our green chiles, but they are very hard if not impossible to find down here. I did manage to get some hatch green chile seeds, so a while back I gave some to our friend Ruben and he got them to grow and produce some nice chiles. So now that we are getting settled in, I’ve got my seeds planted and have about 50 plants doing good. Hopefully, in a couple months we will have a big green chile roast and Kelley can make all the things that are good with green chiles. We can’t wait!

Hatch green chile plants

The other vegetable that we love and is impossible to find here are artichokes. We have looked everywhere and asked everyone we know and no one has ever seen them down here. The conditions here seem really good for growing them, cool damp evenings and warm afternoons just like the California coast where they grow best. So at this point, we have about 50 plants started that look like they might make it. If they do mature and produce artichokes, everyone we know wants to buy them, including a couple of the markets, that is of course after we get our fill of them. If we can get these to grow then I still have about 1,000 more seeds and maybe we will just plant a shitload of them.

Maybe we will be the only people in Belize to grow artichokes.

All the fruit trees we planted a few months ago are doing quite well so we decided to have Ruben clear another 100’ so we could get more variety of trees and have room for a good vegetable garden. It should take about two months before the new area will be ready to plant, but in the meantime, we will be looking for all those special trees.

100′ more cleared beyond the fruit trees

Every day we are learning more and more about the plants that surround us and what they can do for you. It seems that every plant can do something for you whether you make a tea with it, crush it up and eat it or just rub it on you. At this point, we haven’t had a need to use any of these remedies that are growing all around us. Although we have heard many stories from others and the results seem amazing. Such as a friends daughter had asthma really bad and they could not get it under control. It turns out that you take the thorns off the Cockspur tree, boil them and then drink the tea and it will help. After a week of drinking the tea, her asthma was much better than ever before.

Cockspur plant

Then a friend of ours also told us about boiling down Ix-canan plant that is common around here and it is used for all skin problems such as bug bites. So we cut some down, boiled it up and put it in an old water bottle and now we always have this on hand, and it works very well to relieve the itch and reduce the swelling.

Ix-canan plant is good for all skin problems

Another plant that is common here is the Bear Paw Fern, so called by its fuzzy soft legs. We have them growing on a bunch of palm trees around here, besides being beautiful they also have great medicinal purposes.  Local herbalists recommend making a tea and drinking it for the beginning stages of cancer, the pain of latter stages and for high blood pressure.

The fuzzy Bear Paw fern.

This is just an example of some of the plants around us and judging by the health of most of the elders in the village, there must be something to the traditional knowledge of all these plants. There are a lot of natural remedies out there, it’s just figuring out which ones will work best for you.

6 thoughts on “All about plants”

  1. So neat to hear about your “fun with plants”.
    Now that you’re gonna have chokes, are guacs next?

    1. We have a lot of trees going and one of them is a grafted avocado tree that produces two different types and at different times of the year. Once it gets going we should have a constant supply of avocados.

  2. Maybe cut a slab of wood into the outline of Belize and finish it nicely. Landmarks can be marked by inlaying something from that place, i.e. a stone from a Mayan temple, a seashell, bottle cap, etc.

    Your garden sounds like it’s gonna be awesome!

  3. If those slabs weren’t so beautiful I’d say make some sort of beach game / knife throwing targets. I’ll have to put that in the back of my mind and see what happens.

    Love the plants!!!!!

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