Growing & making food.

The garden is doing good. All the fruit trees are going through a big growth spurt and starting to have fruit on them. It will still be a couple of years before there is an abundance on the trees, but they seem to have great potential. The veggie garden took a big hit last month when we had a week or so of some temps in the 100°’s. We pretty much lost all the broccoli, cantaloupe, zucchini, and some of the tomatoes. All the varieties of chilies are doing well as is the okra, kale, and asparagus. We just planted a bunch of corn a few weeks ago and it is growing very fast and should be ready in a couple of months.

Delicious homegrown cantaloupe.

We did manage to harvest some cantaloupe before the heat got to all the plants. They were sweet and juicy just like you would expect from a homegrown cantaloupe.

Sad to see after all the hard work you do.

Of course, the animals thought the same thing. I saw this Tyra (Bush Dog) cross the driveway one day heading up into the garden and later in the day we went to check on everything and found a bunch of half-eaten cantaloupes. We assume it was the Bush Dog since he was heading that way.

A little small, but at least the opossums won’t get them.

The same thing was happening to the pineapples. Two nights in a row there were ones eaten right off the plant. The very next night we were sitting outside enjoying a cold beer and there goes an opossum right in front of us into the pineapple patch.

At least they left the tops so we could replant them.

Since we didn’t want to keep feeding the opossum every night, we decided to pick all the pineapples that were getting close to being ready. They are a little small and not quite ripe yet, but at least the opossums won’t get them.

Hatch, habanero, pequin, and cayenne. Some of the hottest peppers around.

Like I said, all the chilies are doing great so we decided to dehydrate some and grind them up. I love hot and spicy food, the hotter the better, so we combined the habaneros, pequin (bird peppers), and cayenne peppers to make a seasoned salt. Great flavor with all three different peppers, but this stuff will light you up. It is also mango season here and our friends have been giving us a bunch to dehydrate.  So far we’ve dehydrated 100 or so mangos into delicious snacks.

Time to get smok’n.

This past weekend was all about sausage. We spent the better part of a day grinding, seasoning and stuffing sausage casings. The next day we fired up the smoker with some allspice wood and smoked them till they were a beautiful color of reddish-brown. Then immediately into an ice bath to help shrink the casings a little more.   We experimented with three different recipes (some beef and some pork) looking for that perfect hot link sausage. They all had their plus and minuses and after a little more adjustment of the spices, I think we will have a great recipe to call our own.

25 lbs. of Texas and Louisiana style hot links.

We recently ordered a sausage stuffer, what a difference that made over using the attachment for the Kitchen Aid mixer. Also a couple of weeks ago we picked up a Berkel commercial meat slicer real cheap at a pawn shop. We recently used the slicer when we made bacon, corned beef, and pastrami, and it is wonderful. We’ve had quite a few people show interest in our bacon, pastrami, corned beef, and different sausages that you can’t find here. So who knows where this might take us.

So much nicer with a real sausage stuffer.

Last week we got the first wave of the giant Sahara dust cloud. Everything was dusty and visibility was horrible. It’s amazing that a cloud of dust could travel that far. I guess this week we are supposed to get the second wave, at least everyone already has a mask.

There are mountain ranges in the background you can usually see.

Belize has held at only 20 something cases of the Covid virus since it all started, so at this point, they are planning on reopening the airport on August 15th for international flights. The land borders will still remain closed, but at least there will be flights coming in and out of here. There will still be a lot of testing and safety measures in place and you will be required to supply a negative Covid test from the past 72 hours. As soon as we know more we will pass it on so some of you can start making your reservations to get down here.

That’s about what’s happening here this week. Stay safe and we hope to see you soon.

5 thoughts on “Growing & making food.”

  1. Have a question. Can you grow tomatoes? Grocery store tomatoes have no taste. Need a BLT. 😳

    1. Yes Peggy, we are currently growing tomatoes and we have grown some good lettuce. And of course according to some friends we are making the best bacon in Belize. We wish you could be here for the best BLT you’ve ever had.

  2. Glad you two are living the dream. Sausage looks great can’t wait to give it a try. I check your weather from time to time, 100 be hot but I’m also impressed with your abundance of rain since I still live in the desert. We can’t go to our beach house but maybe another month or so and RP will open. NM really locked down, our business is essential so at least we get to work, a blessing. Happy 4th 244.

  3. I’m a really big fan of the hots! I always enjoy all your photos, but the peppers 🌶 were my favorite. The colors, vibrant. It’s amazing how self sustainable you all have created. Stay safe & healthy.

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