Plants and the jungle explorer

We had a lot of fun with our friends visiting, but in the mean time there was still a lot of other stuff going on around here.

The okra patch is officially going crazy and needs to be constantly picked. Kelley usually picks 40-50 okra a day, every day. The good thing is that now the plants are getting nice and tall so no more bending over to harvest them.

oakra pick
Part of Kelley’s daily routine, picking okra

With all that okra, we are giving some away, Kelley is making fried okra, gumbo and of course pickling it. The other day she made another 10 jars of hot pickled okra with habaneros from the garden that we have been sharing with friends. We don’t know how long the plants will stay alive and keep producing, but Ruben had a plant that he said was about three years old.

Spicy pickled okra is the best!

Our Hatch green chili plants are loving this environment. The other day we had a harvest of about 100 nice green chilis. I threw them on the grill and got them all roasted to perfection and then Kelley bagged them up to go into the freezer. This is about the first time we have had any real green chilies since we moved here and we can’t wait to make all the good things that come from those chilies. In case you are wondering about the heat level on these jungle grown chilies, well they are hot, very hot! It’s a good thing we both love hot chilies.

What more can I say? Fresh green chilies!

Our second banana stalk has popped out and this time there are at least 100 bananas on it. I know that because I was the tally man and I tallied my bananas. Okay,  sorry about that, anyway daylight come and me wanna go home. Okay, now I’m done. Our first bunch of bananas on the other tree should be ready in a couple of weeks, but there is only about 30 on that stalk. We should have a lot of bananas ready very soon, so it looks like we will eat as many as we can and dehydrate the rest for snacks. Of course there will also be banana bread, banana shakes and maybe even banana daiquiris for the holidays.

Hope this doesn’t attract too many monkeys

Other exciting news around here is that we have our first cocoa pods on our trees. There is only five about two inch long pods on one tree at this point, but hopefully the other trees will get jealous and also start producing. When mature, the pods will be about six inches long, football shape and full of cocoa beans. Once the trees get bigger each tree can produce between 100-200 pods per tree, and we have ten trees. Hopefully in the near future we will be making a lot of our own chocolate. The cocoa beans were so important in the ancient Mayan civilization that they were used as currency. So in a way, I guess money really does grow on trees.

cocoa pod
The beginning of all good chocolate things

We picked our first star fruit the other day and it was delicious! There are a few more on the tree that should be ready in the next few days or so. It is exciting for us to start seeing all the trees starting to produce and in a couple of years we should have more different types of fruits than you can imagine.

star fruit
Our first star fruit

Another plant surprise was that our caladiums got flowers, we did not know this. The other day a big white lily type flower came shooting straight up from the stalk. It’s always something new with the plants around here.

heart plant
Caladiums are also called the Heart of Jesus
heart flower
Interesting flower on the caladiums

Last week we were wandering around the yard and there was this horrific smell. It smelled like something had died and was rotting away. We searched all around the smell and saw nothing that resembled a dead animal. We finally narrowed it down and it turns out that it was a mushroom. The mushroom was about 5” across and looked like it had cast a net out of it. We looked it up and it turns out that it is a type of a stinky mushroom. We quickly disposed of it so that the spores don’t fall off and grow again near our house.

stinky mushroom
This is one stinky mushroom

We have seen some pretty big bugs down here and they are all very impressive. The other day there was a big beetle up on the porch. His legs looked like something out of a Si Fi movie with hooks and spurs all over them. When you pet his back though it was smooth like velvet and I think he actually liked it. If you put him in an aquarium and fed him he would have made a great pet for a kid.

Definitely bigger than a Hot Wheels beetle

The Jeep is coming along quite nicely. We stripped it down in order to replace or repair all the things that it needed. The hood needed to be painted even though the rest of the body was in good shape.

jeep stripped
The stripped down stock Jeep

It had cloth seats in it, but since we are leaving the top off we had the seats recovered in leather. Of course,  it needed bigger tires and rims, new shocks and a good front bumper with a winch. We also ditched the factory doors for some half metal tube doors. We still got a lot of work to do before it will be ready to be our jungle explorer, but I’m in no hurry.

jeep seats
The new interior is looking good

In case you are wondering, no there are no places down here to buy any accessories that the Jeep needed. You can find mechanical parts such as breaks, oil pumps, spark plugs and such, but that is about all. The only thing we purchased in Belize were the tires, everything else was ordered on Amazon. The way Amazon works here is that you order your stuff to a shipping company in Houston and then it comes in a container by boat to Belize. By time you are done with duty and the shipping company’s cost it is about 25-30% on top of your Amazon price. Which isn’t bad since you can usually find good deals on Amazon.

jeep lift
Soon the Jeep will be ready to take on the jungles of Belize

That’s about what’s happening around here this time. Between work, plants, maintenance, new projects and the Jeep we are keeping very busy down here which make those weekend happy hours so much better.

6 thoughts on “Plants and the jungle explorer”

  1. Now that’s “living off the land”! You will never go hungry. You should try Anaheim chilis…not as hot and great flavor. Nice jeep!

    Brad & Carol

  2. The Jeep won’t be ready, but we will have banana bread and bloody mary’s ready for breakfast!

  3. You will need to open a farmers market soon or start selling down at the market in town! By the way, I love okra in my bloody Mary’s!! I look forward to reading your blog… keep it coming tally man! Love it!!

    1. Hot pickled okra in a Bloody sounds terrific!
      I’m putting in my order for that Banana Bread and a Jeep ride!

Comments are closed.