Life in the jungle: It must have rained most of the night and into the morning. The road is drenched and it was a wet bike ride to the bus in the rain. I bussed it to Belize City and then caught a bus to the Agricultural Fair in Belmopan. There was only 1 main fruit tree seller and a small nursery that had mostly plants but a few citrus trees. I got really lucky that Nery’s son was driving out the fair. When he arrived, we connected and I purchased 49 trees in pretty short order. Luckily one of the workers knew a little about the trees and gave me some guidance. so hopefully I picked the right trees.
I ended up purchasing 2 Darcy Mandarin trees, 3 Local lime trees, 2 Nugami Kumquat trees, 2 Orlando Tangelo trees, 1 White Grape Fruit tree, 1 Sweet lime tree, 1 Blood orange tree, 2 (Pineapple) orange trees, 1 Valencia orange tree, 5 Washington orange trees, 5 Pink lemon trees, 3 Mulberry trees, 1 Banana Pear Avocado tree, 1 Semil Avocado tree, 1 Late November Avocado tree, 2 Dwarf golden plum trees, 3 Chinese plum trees, 6 Costa Rica Soursop trees , 1 Suriname cherry tree, 1 Neem tree, 2 Gooseberry bushes, 1 Black berry tree and2 Craboo trees.
It was a pretty chaotic purchase. The citrus trees were selling out super quick but I knew the guy across the isle had some citrus in the back of his booth. So, I was going crazy quick with my purchases to get to the next guy before someone discover his citrus trees.
A long day but things actually worked out, all things considered. I feel pretty pleased. Nery’s son will deliver my trees tomorrow morning. Thank goodness for Nery, he treats me good. I biked home in the dark on horribly wet and muddy road and I never fell once.
Heliconia latispatha Benth.
Life in the jungle: Nelson (Nery’s son) dropped off yesterday’s trees first thing this morning. So, I took the time to properly check and take an inventory of all the trees. Only one craboo tree was damaged during transport which all things considering is really good. And I am confident in a full recovery. [Which he did.]
After breakfast I went to work at the ponds for a few hours. Returning to the house I spent the afternoon doing small jobs. I did take a walk through the coconut field to inspect for flooding. There was rain last night but the rain held off all day today.
My fruit tree purchases
Life in the jungle: Most of my day was working at the ponds. In the afternoon I went for groceries. Verna Mae gave me some passion fruit. I had never heard of passion fruit only the flower which I spot in my coconut field with regularity. I tried the fruit and I loved it. I saved all the seeds and I am going to grow tons of it. And because it’s a vine I am going to grow it on the fence that goes all around the house. At the grocery I couldn’t resist buying a soursop fruit when I saw some there. So, this evening I enjoyed some soursop and extracted about 150 seeds from the whole fruit. I guess I have a lot of planting to do all of a sudden.
Passion Fruit. My new favorite fruit
Right before dark Saul delivered a truck load of assorted lumber. I worked until after dark to get most the lumber moved behind the house. Some of the lumber is needed for the greenhouse footings. Some of the lumber will be used to frame my cook house that the hearth tables I built the other day will go under. And a lot of the lumber will be used to build a chicken coop. The rain held off all day until tonight when it rained all night. Hopefully that pattern can hold by not raining during the day so I can continue to working all day. I now have a lot of work to do thanks to this lumber delivery.
Life in the jungle: It rained very heavy last night. During a trip to the bathroom, I discovered I have a small leak somewhere where my main roof butts up to my front roof section. My front pond is now almost full of water.
I started my morning at the ponds but before I had breakfast upon my return back to the house, I fell asleep on the hammock for over 2 hours. Since Sunday I noticed that I have a cough. I feel drained. In the last 20 years combined I have not been under the weather (sick) like I have been since arriving in Belize over 6 months ago. I am not convinced that this is old age at 49. For all intent I am in the best health of my life (until I arrived in Belize). But between biking 26,000 km’s and physical outdoor work virtually all day everyday since I arrived in Belize I should be in the best shape of my life.
Factors to consider are 49 years old, stress, allergies (have been hyper sensitive in Belize), Covid-19 and the Covid-19 vaccination. As mentioned, I don’t believe age is a factor. Since arriving in Belize I deal with a ton of frustration so stress and allergies combined could be a factor. But working 80-90 hours a week in a truck (ultra stressful) never made me sick. I just burned out regularly. Have I caught Covid-19 since being in Belize? Multiple times? I can’t say for sure. What about the vaccine? Not to start something but I trust the vaccine as far as you can lift the billions of dollars in profit the pharmaceutical companies made from it and throw it. I think there are 1,600 documented side effects to the vaccine. It really makes me wonder. I did a little research on current Covid-19 symptoms. “If you feel like it’s a cold or allergies it’s probably Covid-19.”
Mexican Masked tree frog
Since I missed breakfast, I moved the remainder of yesterday’s lumber delivery before making an instant chicken soup for lunch. My energy continued to be zapped leaving me back on the hammock. That’s when the rain really started pouring down, and thunder. A crack of thunder was so loud it caused me to spontaneous jump in my hammock and use a curse word in the same second. I thought the house was caving in on itself. The power went out and did not return until 5 PM. I have no energy to make super. The air is very, very loud with frog and toad calls.
Mexican Masked tree frog
Life in the jungle: As anticipated, I felt like crap this morning. I transitioned from my bed to my hammock. At around 12 PM I became too frustrated with my lack of productivity I forced myself to work. I climbed up on the roof to see if I could figure out a source to my leak that I discovered the other day. I could not. This is not good.
After that I started cutting up some of the lumber that was dropped off the other day. I need some 1×4’s before the footing work can be started on the main greenhouse. But the wood is wet and bad for the saw. This wet season is going to hit me badly I know it. The fact that the road was not fixed in the dry is going to really screw me badly. And there is no excuse other then the road repair guy has ripped me off. Everything attempted over the next 6 months is going to be 10 times the challenge in an environment that is already too challenging to begin with. There was no rain today. Wet but perfect weather. Unfortunate that I couldn’t be as productive as the day offered.
Glossary of Terms
Glossary of words or people that may or may not be part of this blog post. This glossary will be at the bottom of every blog post for Belize.
Jack & Jill – These are my ex-property managers (names changed). They are Canadian, they introduced me to Belize in 1997, sold me their house in Belize in 2003, and rebuilt my house from 2014 to 2018. I have known them for over 30 years. After almost 20 years of me supporting their life here in Belize Jack decided quite unexpectedly to declare “war” on me right before Christmas 2021. They would end up stealing my business license and causing me a lot of grief. They live on the farm, but not on my land.
Wayne – He is the son of the original owners of the farm (both owners are deceased). The original farm was 2 – 30 acre pieces minus 2 – ¾ acre parcels for my house and 2 – ¾ acre parcels that Jack & Jill own which were all originally purchased from the original owners. In 2017 Wayne sold me 40 acres of land from the original 60 acres (30 acres plus 10 acres). Wayne lives in his parent house and has a few cows on his remaining 17 acres of land.
Nery – a local in the area that helps me with certain projects when needed. A very knowledgeable guy originally from El Salvador. He teaches me a lot about farming and tree.
The ponds – I have 2 large (300ft long x 50ft wide x 10ft deep) ponds on my 30 acre parcel of land which is basically jungle. I have about 60 coconut trees (mostly mature) around the ponds. I have plans to plant a few hundred papaya trees here plus other fruit bearing trees around the ponds.
The coconut field – I have about 400 coconut trees planted (various growth states) on about 3 acres of cleared land of the 10 acre parcel. I plan to add various fruit trees to the same field as soon as I can.
The river lot – my house sits on a ¾ acre lot. I have a second joining ¾ acre lot that allows me river frontage on the Belize River
The dry – Belize has 2 main seasons. The rainy season and the dry (no rain). The wet is obviously the rainy season.
Chopping – using my machete to clear brush and unwanted trees