The garden and such

I know that in most parts of the states and such, spring is just around the corner, and if you are a gardener you are thinking about what to plant for the upcoming season. Down here in Belize it’s always the season for planting and we are very lucky to have it that way. We spend a lot of time in the yard taking care of the plants, putting new ones in and cutting back the jungle. It’s all starting to pay off because everything is looking good and we are regularly getting food from the garden. It’s a lot of work but we both truly enjoy doing it. Plus it’s exciting to see how fast the plants grow here and then produce some delicious food.

Raspberries in the garden.

We love all the fresh fruits and vegetables that are available in Belize, and the fact that knowing they were more than likely harvested a day or two earlier makes it even better. Anyway being from the states we grew accustomed to certain fruits and vegetables that we would regularly eat. Not everything we commonly ate is available here, but we have tried many new fruits and vegetables that we didn’t even know existed. Sometimes though you have a craving for that certain fruit or vegetable that was once a part of your regular meals. We can usually find Granny Smith apples from Washington (my favorites) and rarely find peaches, but artichokes are almost impossible to find along with kale, raspberries, and asparagus. You can find asparagus, but it is literally a dollar a stalk. Whereas in Mexico where we lived they grew it and it was about a dollar a bundle.

Asparagus crowns.

A couple of weeks ago we were very excited to find someone online who was selling asparagus crowns from his garden, he only had eight of them so we told him we’d take them all. The crowns are the bare root asparagus plants that have already been growing for a couple of years. If you plant asparagus from seed it will usually take a few years before it starts producing. With these crowns hopefully within a year or so we will start harvesting our own asparagus. It was an hour and a half drive each direction to get these crowns but we know it will be worth it if we can get an asparagus patch going. Asparagus update… they are all growing like crazy, and are already about 2’ tall. I think we might actually have an asparagus patch going!

Still waiting for the artichokes.

Artichokes are impossible to find here and we really love them. Last year we planted some seeds and a few of the plants survived and are doing well, but still, no chokes yet. We do have a few more seeds that have sprouted that we are babying right now, so hopefully, they will take off and we can finally have some fresh artichokes.

The kale has been producing for a good two months now.

The kale we had no problem growing and it seems to like its environment. So that’s going to be a regular crop in the garden as long as we can keep finding the seeds. Our raspberries are starting to take off and of course, our green chilis are doing well. At this point, we are just trying to grow things that are not readily available here, because all the other common vegetables are very good and plentiful at the markets.

pineapple hill2
One of the pineapple patches.

Out of the 65 or so pineapple plants we have going at least 7 have pineapples on them right now. Not too bad considering that all the plants were started from the tops of other pineapples. We usually eat a pineapple once a week and then plant the tops, at this rate we should always have a constant supply of pineapples. Plus we just picked our first guava off our tree. I bet a pineapple, guava colada might be pretty good. Try saying that really fast a few times.

Our first guava.

The last big bunch of bananas we managed to use all but about 6, which is pretty good considering there were 86 in that bunch. This week our first bunch of plantains was ready to cut. Since plantains are not great for eating raw, Kelley decided to turn some into plantain chips. A little salt and some chili and they made the perfect snack, especially with an ice-cold beer. The thing is, that this tray of chips is only from one plantain, and we’ve got a whole bunch. I guess it’s time to look up some more recipes for plantains.

Plantain chips.

The pizza oven is done! The guy who made it is making all his own blocks and bricks. For the dome on the oven, he is making interlocking lego type blocks with finely ground up glass that he fires in a heat chamber to create a ceramic type block. After the dome was built it was coated with a layer of clay and then some mesh wire and two layers of fiberglass cloth to help retain the heat. Then it is finished off with more layers of clay. For the tunnel and floor, he used bricks that he makes and then added a chimney and a custom door to finish it off.

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The finished pizza oven.

We have been having fires in the oven for about a week now and I think it’s about ready for a trial run. The outdoor kitchen is now complete with running water, a BBQ, a smoker, and a pizza oven, so now we are ready to cook up just about anything and everything.

pizza done2
Nothing better than cooking out in the jungle.

Last year we managed to pick up a few nice rounds of wood for tables etc. I’ve used one already to make a table for the front porch and still have a few left. The other day we saw this nice piece of cabbage bark at a friends place and we managed to work out a trade for a round we had. It worked out perfectly because he was looking for something to make a table out of. We’re not sure what we’re going to do with this nice plank, but we have a few ideas. Since this picture was taken I have sanded it all down and it is a beautiful piece of wood and can’t wait to get a finish on it.

new wood
This will make a nice bar top somewhere. 

About a month ago we noticed a hummingbird sitting on a nest that had two eggs in it. Well, it has been a while, so we thought we would check and see how she’s doing. As soon as we got close she flew away and up popped two baby hummingbirds. Kelley managed to get a quick picture and then get out of there so mama bird could get back on her nest. It won’t be long before they will be regulars at our feeders.

hummingbird baby2
Isn’t this the cutest picture you have seen today.

It is a lot of work around here, but we do manage to still have a lot of fun. Last weekend we went to a benefit concert for the Raptor Center. The Raptor Center is where they educate the public on different birds of prey of Belize and also rescue and rehab injured birds. The benefit was held at “The Bluffs” which made a great outdoor venue for the afternoon.

The blues band at the Bluff.

Great music, lots of sunshine, cold beer and all for a good cause. Plus there were silent auctions where we won a certificate to our favorite lumber store. Maybe there are plans in the works for that big wood slab of Cabbage Bark we acquired.

That’s about it for now, maybe we’ll see you down here sometime.

7 thoughts on “The garden and such”

  1. We have just moved to Belize from Vancouver, canada and starting our garden! We are located in southern Belize on Big River and the land is primarily pine savanna. There is lots if lively black soul by the abundant Bush palms.
    Where are you located and what has been your most successful crop? I am missing avocados dearly and wondering why we dont see them here? I heard they only fruit for two months of the year?

    1. Hello Julie,
      We are in Cayo up near Mountain Pine. Our fruit trees have only been in a bout a year and a half and are all thriving. For example out star fruit tree was about 18 inches tall when we planted it and now it is over 10 feet tall. Most of our coffee plants are loaded and the other fruits are starting to blossom. As for vegetables, we have had good luck with just about everything we have planted. Zucchini is the only thing we had problem with. The zucchini would get about 2 inches and the rot and fall off. We have just replanted some more so we will see what happens. Not sure about the avocados as ours has not started to produce yet.
      Good luck on your garden

  2. Love to follow your posts. So glad that everything is going well for you guys.
    Scot & Vicki

  3. I am so very impressed with all you are doing. Never a dull moment, you two are really making the most out of your life. I can’t wait to read your next blog.
    Thanks for sharing

  4. What a wonderful way to start my day….reading your well written stories of your lives in Belize, complete with beautiful photos. What a wonderful life you both are leading! 🙌🏻♥️

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