Pig, Plants and Dinosaurs?

With the exception of a pig roast, it’s been pretty quiet around here the past couple of weeks. So here are just a few things about what’s happening around the Toucan Hideaway.

Our friends down the road from us raise a few pigs and wanted to know if we would be interested in cooking one. Of course, we said yes, you know we are always up for a pig roast. The chosen pig dressed out around 100 lbs. which was going to be too big to fit in our cooking box. Not a problem, remove the head, cut him in half and he was then a perfect fit. The day before cooking, we injected it with a homemade Mojo sauce that Kelley makes. We have done this recipe many times in the past and it always turns out great.

Injecting some of that Mojo juice deep inside the little piggy.

After marinating overnight he was ready to go into the cooking box for a few hours. All week we’d had on and off rain showers and it was threatening to do the same the day of the pig roast. Nothing we could do at this point, but hope for the best and get that piggy cooking. It did start raining as the pig was cooking, but let up just as he was ready to be served. The rain didn’t seem to bother anyone as we all just hung around and BS’ed and enjoyed a few drinks until it was time to eat. Once the pig was taken to the table, Kelley wasted no time in getting him all carved up and ready to serve. The pig was moist, tender, and delicious and was a big hit with everyone.

Everyone waiting for some of that delicious roast pig.

It turned out to be a great afternoon even though it started with a little rain. A lot of friends to catch up with and delicious food, what more does one need.  The game of the afternoon was darts which kept everyone entertained for most of the day.

It turned out to be a great day, eating, drinking and playing darts with friends.

Pineapples are getting big and juicy, unfortunately, the animals know that too. Currently, we are losing about 1/4 of the pineapples to animals, which is why we are picking them before they are completely ripe. Spraying a habanero-water mixture on the pineapples seemed to be working, but now with some rain every day I think it’s washing off. The cacao plants are still producing well and thankfully nothing seems to bother them, so that means more chocolate to be made.

Pineapples, cacao, and a couple habaneros.

The pepper plants up in the garden are finally starting to take off now that we have steady rains. We’ve got about 250 pepper plants in the ground of all varieties. There are anaheims, jalapeños, cayennes, habaneros, and poblanos. There are even a few non-spicy habaneros that have all the flavor but without any heat.


Some of the pepper plants we have growing.

The peppers are just starting to produce and the yellow squash is starting to get a few on the plants. One of the nice things up here is that if we have an abundance of fruits or veggies, it’s not a problem. The lady down the way from us has a small produce stand in front of her house with stuff from her garden. If we get too much squash or something, then we can take it over to her and trade for things we are not growing. How great is that?

Yellow squash is our favorite squash.

Hopefully, the pepper plants will do well and supply us with enough till next year. The ones that we don’t eat fresh, we’ll roast, dehydrate or even throw them in the freezer whole.

Can’t wait for some chili rellenos or some bacon green chili cheeseburgers.

The past couple of years we’ve had a decent run of coffee with the plants getting bigger and producing better each year. Recently though the beans were turning black and drying up and the plants looked like they were dying. After talking to other locals they told me that it’s a disease in the plant and it has been happening to them also.

Our Arabica coffee plants took a big hit this year.

It only seems to be happening on the Arabica coffee plants and not the Robusta. The Robusta plants are still doing well and the beans are a lot larger, but the quantity is a lot less. We’ve cut the Arabica’s back and they seem to be growing. Hopefully, we won’t have to pull them all and start over.

Robusta coffee trees are still looking good.

We have quite a few split-leaf philodendrons growing wild around the property. When we find one that we like, Kelley will bring it back from the jungle and plant it at the base of a tree near the house. We have quite a few around the yard, but this one has gotten to be the biggest so far.

This one is right out the bathroom window from the guest casita.

The other lot that we recently acquired is starting to take shape. Two of the 5 acres are cleared and Ruben has plowed about an acre and is almost ready to plant. By planting a crop in this area it helps keep the jungle from growing back, plus it benefits Ruben and us. Along the roadside, we will be planting bananas and flowering plants. Then on the other cleared acre we will put a variety of fruit trees and leave a small clearing for a home. Approximately three of the acres are still jungle and we plan on leaving it that way.

The soil is rich and dark and looks like it came from a bag of Miracle Grow soil from Home Depot.

Almost every day there are loud squawks from these green birds as they quickly fly over the yard. We use to think they were parrots, but parrots fly a lot slower. They finally landed in a tree in front of the house and Kelley was able to get some pictures. It turns out that they are Olive Throated Parakeets.  They are very loud when they fly and you can hear them coming a mile away.

Olive Throated Parakeets in the tree above the casita.

The other day there was a big Basilisk lizard (Jesus Christ Lizard) in the yard. We watched him for a while and Kelley got some pictures. Then a few minutes later this other big one comes out of the bush and they start sizing each other up. They circled each other for a few minutes and then all hell broke loose. They were fighting, biting, and tossing each other in the air. I imagined this is what it would have looked like if dinosaurs were fighting. These lizards were at least two feet long, in fact, I’ve only seen one a few years ago that was bigger. Kelley took more than 100 pictures and here are a few of them.

They are called Jesus Christ Lizards for their ability to run on their two back legs across water.

June 12th will be our 4-year anniversary of living in Belize. It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long since we left our home in Mexico. In that short amount of time of being here, we’ve seen and experienced more things than we ever could have imagined. Just when we think we’ve seen it all there is a new place to explore, animals to see, plants we’ve never seen before, culture to learn about and so much more. It doesn’t matter how long we live here, we’ll never take it all in, but it sure is a lot of fun trying.

Until next time, be safe, and hope to see you soon.


5 thoughts on “Pig, Plants and Dinosaurs?”

  1. Awesome stuff! 4 years already?! You’ve come far pilgrims.
    Btw, I retired from Intel January…after 24 years. 😀
    – Brad & Carol

    1. Congratulations on retirement! Sound like you might have time for a visit to Belize. We’ll be up that way next month, maybe we can get together for lunch or something.

  2. Awesome info and pictures. Can’t wait to get back to Belize in August and hopefully check on our property. Then we can go see Jim and Nick from RCPM in San Pedro at the 303. See you soon.

Comments are closed.