Up in the garden and down to the beach

A couple of weeks ago we were back on the shores of the Caribbean at our favorite beach town of Hopkins. This time our neighbors Amanda & Monica went with us for a couple days of chill’n on the beach. It had been a little windy for a few days prior and the water was pretty churned up. Which meant no snorkeling or fishing this time, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time.

The view from our second-story balcony in Hopkins.

The resort we stayed at was having some great deals, with the rooms being only 1/3 of their normal rate. Their sister resort, where we usually stay in Placencia is having the same deals, so of course, we booked a trip down there in a few weeks for our anniversary. Hopefully, then we will have beautiful weather and Kelley and I can get out and do a little fishing.

Hopkins Bay Resort.

All around the beach towns of Hopkins and Placencia they have built receptacles to recycle your plastic bottles. They are made of rebar and wire and built to look like starfish, manatees, fish and other sea creatures. Everyone seems to take it seriously because all the ones we’ve seen are only filled with plastic bottles, no other trash. This is such a great idea, that beaches elsewhere should be doing the same.

That starfish is about full.

While we were in Hopkins we saw a cashew tree growing along the roadside that had fruit on it. Just in case you were curious how a cashew grows, here it is. The tree produces a pear-shaped fruit and on the outside bottom of it grows a kidney-shaped nut. Raw cashews contain a resin that is toxic if ingested and can cause rashes or burns on the skin. Therefore they must go through a rigorous roasting process before they are safe to eat. The fruit can also be eaten or made into wine, but in my opinion, stick to just the delicious cashew nuts.

A cashew fruit with the nut growing on the bottom.

It might look like a bunch of worms or grubs, but in fact, it is turmeric that we just picked. Turmeric is a root in the ginger family that grows under what looks like a nice house plant. This was all grown in a pot out near our back deck and is very easy to grow. There are many health benefits of turmeric and it’s the main ingredient in curry. Kelley uses it fresh in soups, rice, and other dishes. It can also be dried and made into a powder. Here’s a tip… add a little powder turmeric to your batter next time you fry fish and it will give it a nice golden color.

That should be enough turmeric to last us all year.

A while back we built a new trellis for our dragon fruit and it’s doing well. Our original plant was getting out of control and in need of being trimmed, so we decided to extend the trellis another ten feet and plant more cuttings. We should get a bunch of fruit this year and in a couple more years when it really gets going, we should have loads of dragon fruit. The deep purple dragon fruit is definitely one of my favorites, or is it the pineapples or raspberries or the apple bananas? I guess it just depends on what’s in season.

The extended trellis with more dragon fruit.

I know I keep mentioning about our raspberry plants, but they just keep giving. Kelley and I eat handfuls for breakfast which is good because our bananas and pineapples have about another month before they are ready. We have given away and chopped down a few hundred plants so far and they just keep spreading. So if anyone wants to grow their own raspberries, please come and dig some up.

Even with the birds and animals eating them we are still picking about a gallon a week.

April and May are the hot months here where the temps will get into the upper 90°s. That means it’s time to get peppers and squash into the garden. We’ve got around 200 different pepper plants that are ready to go in and a bunch of yellow squash. San Antonio is a big farming community and a lot of people sell produce in their front yards, so no real need for us to plant other veggies. Being from Arizona and Mexico we love peppers, especially anaheim, poblano, and cayenne.  They do grow habanero and jalapeños here, but that’s about it. So if we want some green chili burritos, stuffed poblanos, or some cayenne pepper sauce we pretty much need to grow our own peppers.

Kelley planting some yellow squash that we started about a month ago.

Last year for Easter we processed our first ever ham from scratch and it turned out great. Since Easter is approaching we thought we’d give it another go. We picked up a 25lb. pork leg from the butcher and started the curing process. After a long cure, it will be ready to go into the smoker and be ready for an Easter feast. It’s a little bigger than the one we did last year, so hopefully, this one will also turn out just as good.

Injecting the brine into the leg to make sure it all cures right.

As of April 1st Belize has lifted most of the Covid rules. Masks are no longer required inside or outside unless you choose to. There is no more curfew and all bars and nightclubs are now open plus we can have gatherings once again. When entering Belize no tests are required as long as you can show proof of vaccination. If you are not vaccinated, then you will still have to have a negative test when you arrive that has been done within the past 72 hours. With currently only around 100 active cases for the entire country, we are pretty much back to normal.

7 thoughts on “Up in the garden and down to the beach”

  1. Did not know that about cashews. No wonder they are so expensive! We need the cool recycling “bins” in Rocky Point. Thanks for another fun filled blog.

  2. Why do you out the plastic down for the squash? Is it fir bug control? I believe that’s wget they do for strawberries. As an avid Arizona Gardner in the valley, we use the mesquite leaves under my strawberries. I love what you are doing and am amazed at your knowledge. Do you have someone that you work with that teaches you or is it hut and miss? My gardens are doing really well and my lettuce and spinach is remarkable and I give it away to neighbors.

    1. It’s actually a fine mesh that we laid down. In the past we had a problem with bugs eating and killing the plants so we were hoping this might help. Also it helps control the weeds. We have seen other farmers doin this and we thought we’d give it a try. We have also tried wood shavings around the plants, while it sure looked great we’re not sure it really helped. When are you guys coming down so we can share some gardening tips?

      1. We have been watching the Covid restrictions. Seems like they are opening things back up. It’s definately been a discussing between us. Back to you later on that.

Comments are closed.