Of note, last week I finally started building my greenhouse.
Life in the jungle: I had a much better sleep last night. Orlando and Joseph showed up this morning. No concrete work today. We put up most of the main 4×4 support posts and got a bunch of the 2×6 cross beams up. A full day but not a very hard day for me as Orlando and Joseph have a system and rhythm going. I just follow their lead. The greenhouse is taking form and looks huge. Part of me is in awe watching it go up and part of me thinks I must be nuts for building such a big structure with no real plan or clue what it will end up costing other than to wing it. The front work area and greenhouse will be over 1,000 square feet. But to put up a 500 square foot starter greenhouse would have been expensive and a pain to expand on in the future. No rain again today and the mosquitos were horrible.
Another day of progress
Life in the jungle: No sleep last night. I did some coughing but this was more a case of not being able to shut off the monkey-mind. I woke up feeling like crap with an allergy attack. I took my Jack ass bitters to combat the allergy attack.
When Orlando and Joseph showed up, we started the morning pouring cement for the last 4 greenhouse footings. The rest of the day was getting the 4 center support beams up and getting all the cross members up. The mosquitos were bad and no rain again. They are calling for a Tropical Depression/ storm this weekend.
Looking at the progress and getting a more visual impression of the greenhouse I realized this afternoon should consider putting a 12×10 foot tiny apartment in the greenhouse. That way I could rent the house as a private or long-term rental.
Starting to take shape
I spent the evening considering and designing apartment layouts. I think this idea makes way too much sense not to do. But it would be a work in progress. To start I would only enclose the apartment, put a roof on and put the washroom floor in. Everything else could wait until I had a long-term tenant. And with only a few hour’s notice, I could move into the apartment for a few nights at a time for short-term bookings. I have all my camping gear for cooking.
Life in the jungle: I slept better last night but I definitely needed more sleep. Today was a trip to the city for some greenhouse supplies that I couldn’t get at the local hardware store. I found everything without too much difficulty.
When I finally got home, I had time to pull my front bike wheel off along with the front rack and fender. The only replacement bike tire I could find exceeded the maximum fit for my bike with fenders installed. I also realized that my front rack and fender were not necessary on my bike anymore anyways. [Last week my rear bike tire blew out.] I also cut some grass this evening. The mosquitos are so bad I am not sure what work I want to do tomorrow.
Central American Wood turtle
Life in the jungle: Part of me was apprehensive about going out into the mosquitos this morning. After breakfast, I went to the ponds to finish planting my papaya plants. And a quick inspection of the plants already planted. One row of plants had many plants that were missing leaves (from insects). [These plants were also sick and would end up dying anyways.]
In the afternoon I took a quick walk into the coconut field and discovered some of my new trees from the agriculture fair needed water. I needed to carry over half a dozen buckets of water into the field. If I had figured my waterline (that runs into the coconut field) problem weeks ago that job would have been much easier.
During that time a load of gravel mix and cement arrived from the hardware store. I need these supplies to pour a bathroom cement floor. And I needed these supplies to arrive prior to this weekends tropical storm flooding the road
Later in the day I also attempted to see if I could source my coconut field waterline problem within my front yard boundary. The waterline runs right beside the fence line. It doesn’t appear that the fence line installation damaged the line. Troubleshooting this problem just became a bigger job.
The last part of my day was weed wacking around the house.
Some type of orchid
Life in the jungle: My morning somehow got away from me and then we had a short rain shower. After breakfast I decided the next best plan was to get my grocery trip out of the way for the weekend before anymore weather hit. Getting home a laundry also seemed like a smart idea. I spent the better part of the afternoon painting a good portion of the greenhouse a first coat of paint. The mosquitos were not too bad while painting but anytime I was around trees with shade they came after me. Orlando called tonight about coming to work tomorrow.
My road is a mess
Life in the jungle: Orlando and Joseph showed up this morning. We got all our braces on the greenhouse frame. Me and Orlando also figured out most of the rest of the lumber required to finish the greenhouse including what is needed to frame in an apartment in the back corner. I tally upped the complete list and placed an order. I didn’t want to calculate the cost of the lumber as I am sure I would be sick to my stomach.
I have a potential line on getting internet on the farm. This would allow me to “get a job.” This greenhouse and apartment are definitely dwindling my finances very quickly. [This internet option would prove to be outrageously expensive.] That being said, if I delayed this greenhouse project my finances would continue to dwindle to the point of losing all courage to move forward. The funny part is that I would ultimately have no future in Belize without this greenhouse. I can only hope God plans to bless my future or I am in serious trouble.
Throughout the day we had a few rain showers that interrupted our day. In the last part of the day we mixed a load of cement and started a foundation/ perimeter for toilet location. After cleaning up I biked to the hardware store in the rain and picked up the necessary plumbing supplies required so that we can lay the bathroom floor down. While I still continue to cough throughout the day, my cough got bad again tonight.
Footing for the toilet (bottom left photo)
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.
Orlando & Joseph – Orlando is an older gentleman from the village and Joseph is technically one of my closest neighbours living just across the river. These are the guys I now call on when I need construction help. They kind of work as a team but sometimes only or the other shows up when I call.
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. I call that my river lot.
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