Hello from Belize :)

Discussion in 'PALM TREES - WHERE TROPICAL STARTS' started by firefly, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. firefly

    firefly New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Belize CA
    Hi! Coming to you from Belize, glad to join the forum and hope to learn a lot!
    A couple of pics of my property, which I am working on planting with about 10/12 acres of coconut palm, local and hybrid. Quite a number and variety of other palms growing wild, various sizes and species. Numerous other tropical hardwood and fruit trees too. I also enjoy orchids and am building a collection from the forest as I find them.

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  2. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    3,135
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    Welcome! What a beautiful environment, you really have a great slate to build upon! I look forward to following your progress. Please be sure to check out our sub forums for ideas too.
     
  3. firefly

    firefly New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Belize CA
    Thank you! I started work in earnest a couple of years ago, it was all forest in 2014 which I have been selectively clearing with a sharp machete.
     
  4. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,861
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I was in Belize in 1975 for a couple of weeks - inland, not too far from the Guatemalan border. I remember there were a lot of Mennonites there. This was before I was very interested in palms and tropicals. But I remember that it is a perfect environment for exotic plants. Where are you located.

    I also remember back then the road from Mexico down the coast was said to be one of the worst roads ever - and it was true. :) I found it to be a very unique and interesting country.

    I look forward to seeing more pics of your plants and your place.
     
  5. firefly

    firefly New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Belize CA
    Belize really hasn't changed much since you were last here, still very unique and very interesting. Many of the roads are still impassable in heavy rain, the exception being old Bluebird school buses, which seem to go anywhere. The Mennonites are now Belize's economic powerhouse thanks to chicken and beans.

    Yes everything here grows vigorously shall we say lol. I am blessed to have about 25 acres of black soiled agricultural land and mixed forest about 12 miles inland, north of Belize City. The area has been farmed by my family since the '50s but was allowed to grow back until recently. I sit in the middle of the Meso-American wildlife corridor and have big cats roaming about, two seen last summer, most of my neighbors have shotguns and stories to tell.

    I am enjoying discovering and getting to know different palms and plants on the property, and have been able to make use of the Everglades Palm for roofing material and furniture for my house.

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    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
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  6. firefly

    firefly New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Belize CA
    With an abundant supply of Acoelorrhaphe wrightii known locally as Pimenta, I have been able to make use of the trunks for a number of things. They are cut down on the new moon, shaved with a machete making sure not to nick the red underbark, then cut and split accordingly. So far I used them in the ceiling of this building and experimented with a chair design.
    Also used here to make fencing, framed walls (which are sometimes plastered over) and lobster pots as the wood can stand years of submersion in salt water. Quite an amazing palm. The dried leaves also make excellent kindling.
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  7. edric

    edric Active Member

    Messages:
    768
    Location:
    Oak Hill Florida
    Welcome, nice work, you are quite the craftsman, but how do they get the timbers so straight? thanks, Ed
     
  8. firefly

    firefly New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Belize CA
    Thanks, I just picked the straightest of the trees, most older ones suitable for this are over 20ft in length. You can't tell from the picture but some those beams maybe aren't as true as they appear lol. My electrician has been on the roof and he weighs over 250 lbs so it has some strength.
     
  9. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,861
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Sounds like quite the adventure - a modern day frontiersman.

    Thanks for the pics - we love pics. I never knew that about the Acoelorrhaphe wrightii - interesting though, as this palm is one of those that can tolerate salt water as a live plant as well. The reason I was in Belize many years ago is a friend of mine was doing the same thing as you. He had some property way away from it all, in wilderness, across several rivers (impassable many times). The first time I was really exposed to real time "sustainable living," and making due with your wits and what you have at your disposal.

    Can I assume you are a native "Belizian," American, or British - as your English is impeccable? :)
     
  10. firefly

    firefly New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Belize CA
    I probably have more enthusiasm than skill in the area of frontiersmanship, but thank you! Your friend was certainly a pioneer to have been out in the bush in the mid-70s, some people struggle out there even now. I imagine you were in the Pine Ridge area of the Maya Mountains maybe?
    I am relatively close to civilization (by Belizean standards anyway), the highway to Mexico goes past my front entrance, but once you are out in the forest here you can still quickly get the sense of being very far from the rest of the planet, which I enjoy.

    I am a native but was educated in the UK and a few other countries. I try to make myself clearly understood where possible and prefer usage, not abusage of the English language lol
     
  11. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    4,845
    Very nice!
     
  12. Ha, your field in Belize displayed here, looks like our places here in Kerala. Have you or anybody been here, the land of coconut palm? The name Kerala is derived from 'Kera' which means the same nut, Kerala- 'the refuge of Keras'. My district Alappuzha(Alleppey) is famous for coconut palms and internationally favorite palm fiber named 'Anchengo'. The fiber is processed from fibrous outer shell. You said you are planting cocos there, is it in demand there? Here coconut white meat inside is used in almost all type of cookeries and the oil too. Tender coconut water is in huge demand here. Around half a dollar(US) is the price for a nut here.
    I shall share some images from our ' land of cocos ' later.
     
  13. firefly

    firefly New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Belize CA
    Hello Dr. Babu, I'm afraid I haven't yet been to Kerala although I do plan on visiting your beautiful country some day, the closest I have managed is Nepal far to your north.
    I can imagine our terrains look quite similar as we sit in the same tropical belt, very lush and green. I think I am in Zone 12 and you are in 13?
    Belize is not so well known for coconuts, in fact the entire Caribbean basin has neglected this nut much to our loss. I know it and its numerous by-products to be big business in the Sub-continent and Asia. In fact, even Grace Kennedy (Jamaican produce supplier) imports their oil for sale in the Caribbean from the Philippines.
    There is a local oil business here in Belize but no organised export yet, freshly made full virgin oil is available at about $6US a litre. The grey mature nuts sell to the local oil producer for $0.35 each. The green nut sells for $0.20 each in bulk although can go for as much as $0.50 individually direct to the consumer, we also have a healthy local demand for the water which is consumed heavily here as part of the Belizean diet, it costs $7US a gallon and tends to be sold by street vendors.
    We enjoy an Indian import here actually; the Jamun tree and its berry came to Belize somehow and is called Blackberry here, used to make wine in vast quantities when the berries drop in September, tastes like mild port.
    I certainly look forward to your photos of the groves in Kerala!
    Regards.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  14. Nice to read your Belize data.
    A picture is worth thousand words. So enjoy Alleppey-- IMG_20160217_113032.jpg IMG_20160217_123009.jpg IMG_20160217_123257.jpg IMG_20160217_123613.jpg IMG_20160217_124423.jpg IMG_20160217_124520.jpg IMG_20160217_141513.jpg IMG_20160217_141513_1.jpg IMG_20160217_144626.jpg
     
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  15. firefly

    firefly New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    Belize CA
    Very nice, it certainly looks a lot like my part of the world.
     

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