Posted By: Marty


from a friend.....


LENTILS grow well in Belize. The lentil is a bean that is popular in vegetarian India. The Belize Development Trust ( NGO ) "Hyrdoponics Urban Vegetable Poverty Research Project", located in Hillview on the slope of Green Parrot Valley, by Santa Elena Town has successfully grown the lentil bean.
"We are excited", project director, Ray Auxillou said. "My wife is a vegetarian and red kidney beans, the local bean staple is time consuming and expensive in butane to cook. You have to soak the local Red Kidney Bean overnight in water before cooking them the next day. Lentils are so much faster to prepare and can be cooked immediately with less time and expense in butane. The lentils supply the protein needed for those lacking meat in their diet, or those who are vegetarians. A very small package of imported lentils by GOYA costs $3. We simply took the beans right out of an imported package of lentils bought at the Chinese grocery store and they sprouted within three days."
The lentil grows about two feet in height in a short period of time. " We personally prefer lentils to red kidney beans, but nobody we know grows them in Belize", the project director of the hydroponics vegetable research nursery said. "Perhaps we will go to commercial trials in the Fall of 2007. There is a definite import substitution value to this bean."

CHILITEPE in Guatemala, or AJI in Colombia, FOUND IN BELIZE!

In other exciting vegetable news. The small green pepper from Tuxpan, Mexico has been found in Belize. It is not well known and we have been unable to find anybody in Central Farm Research, or the Chinese Vegetable program, or farmers in Cayo who even knew about it.
On the way down through Mexico driving last June, six months ago, my wife and I ate in Tuxpan, Mexico and used a regular commercial pepper that was green liquid in the same size bottle that we make Habanero pepper hot sauce in Belize. Now I used to find Habanero pepper made in Belize hot. Though lately, the bottles put out by Maria Sharpe seem bland and more like ketchup. They certainly aren't hot anymore and I don't know if my tolerance level has changed, or if Maria Sharpe's product has been watered down to suit the more sensitive tastes of gringos up north? But this green pepper in Mexico was really hot. Two drops was all I could put on my food and still break out in a sweat. I want to grow that stuff in Belize as the Habanero peppers don't seem very hot anymore.
A neighbor in Hillview said she had the plant and it was called CHILTEPE. This morning she brought over some seeds that were tiny, about the size of b.b's that kids shoot out of B'B' guns. That fit the description of the plant we investigated in Tuxpan, Mexico. Her plant has since died, but we got a small bunch of the seeds and put them in the refrigerator as instructed. In Mexico I believe the bushes grow at higher altitudes about 1000 feet to 2000 feet? We are at 600 feet in Hillview with the vegetable research project and will try them over the next six months and see if we can grow them in Belize. I'm really excited to think we might introduce some really hot pepper sauce in Belize. Hot pepper sauce lovers will like this stuff. It makes habaneros pepper sauce taste like koolaid.
Posted By: Tranquilo Traveler


I just toured Blancaneaux's 3.5-acre organic vegetable garden in the Mountain Pine Ridge yesterday. Impressive operation with 8 full-time employees, terraced farming, rotating crops -- supplies the restaurant at Blancaneaux and Turtle Inn.

The Ka'ana Resort, just west of San Ignacio, which will be opening soon, also promises a totally organic garden to supply their kitchen, as the manager told me horror stories of whiffing the chemicals on market day in San Ignacio when the vegetable trucks open their doors.
Posted By: DB


Any know of a reliable source of locally grown vegetables on a daily basis on AC?
Posted By: Falconview


There is the new HYDROPONICS Organic, Vegetable Poverty Urban Research Project done on the third floor of FALCONVIEW BACKPACKERS ADVENTURE TOURIST HOSTEL. They are into the fourth week now and planting five vegetables a week, to see what works on a year round basis. Screened with sun shade high up in the air. They are located on the West slope of Green Parrot valley and about a 160 feet higher altitude than the Western Highway. Project is sponsored by volunteers of the Belize Development Trust NGO. They welcome advice and visitors.
The Hostel has cowboy bunkbeds at $9 USA plus tax, a night and a self serve communal kitchen, t.v. room and hammock room. Some camping spots if you have your own tent. Very rural, about a half a mile up hill from the bus stop at EXIT 66 1/2 Western Highway Santa Elena Town entrance. Rural suburb and dirt roads. Cattle on the other side of the green valley. Houses are only on one side.
Tour Operators pick up and deliver guests to the front desk, for the usual trips out in Western Cayo. Rated are ACTUN TUNICHIL MUCKNAL which is number one. A combo special from the hostel to Xununtanich, Clarissa Falls and Cahel Pech pyramids, CARACOL day trip, TIKAL day trip, Caves Branch Tubing, Macal River canoeing, White water canoeing in season, Barton Creek swimming hole and cave, Camping and hiking expeditions in the high BELIZE ALPS, Aquacate Lake for a day trip of bird counting, Mountain Pine Ridge day trip, covering Rio Frio Cave, Rio On Rapids and 1600 ft Falls.
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