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What a great group! Hello to all, from PAL in balmy Belize!  RSS feed

 
pal lane
Posts: 17
Location: Macal River, Cayo, Belize
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I just found this forum a couple of days ago, and feel like I've come home! There is someone who knows something about everything I'm interested in, and they're willing to share what they know! I live on 200 acres in the jungle, some of it is "maintained" but mostly raw jungle. I've been here 22 years, off-grid and no road. I've been doing it "on my own" for 10 years (SWF, will be checking out the singles forum! ), and was looking for some inspiration and advice with some projects... this forum is a fountain of inspiration! I don't have a lot of time to spend on the forum, but have bounced around a bit, and hope to contribute when I have something relevant to add. My main interest at the moment is finding some help to design and install a small hydroelectric system, and a long-term goal is to have a self-sufficient intentional community/eco-village/galt's gulch. The Maya were the original permies, and that's what most of us do here, instinctively. Yet it's inspiring to see how, all over the world, people are committed to doing the right thing and truly being stewards of the land. My hat's off to everyone, and may we all bring out the best in ourselves and each other.

PAL
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 715
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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Hi Pal,
welcome to permies. there is tons of good info around here.

tell us more about your property. 200 acres sounds fun. what types of things are you growing in the maintained portion of the jungle?




 
pal lane
Posts: 17
Location: Macal River, Cayo, Belize
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Thanks for the welcome! Right now I have a hodge podge of all the usual tropicals... chaya, several kinds of bananas, coconuts, peach palm, mangos, papaya, carambola, Malay apple, rose apple, passion fruit, sour sop, Surinam cherries, caimeto, some citrus, cacao, coffee, avocados, neem, lemon grass, allspice, vanilla, tumeric ginger, plus loads of ornamentals, some of the wild fruits and berries, and a lot of medicinal plants and trees in the jungle. I haven't focused on planting too much, as I always have too much of everything when it's ripe, and I don't harvest for market. I'm just now gearing up to do a master plan and start making better use of the land, especially raising food for my free-range chickens and muskovies so I don't have to buy feed. If I can get a hydro system working, then that opens up a lot of opportunities for better refrigeration and dehydration of the produce for marketable products. The plants in the jungle have countless possibilities for health products, too.

I haven't had much luck with conventional gardening due to extreme weather conditions and a huge insect population. But the chickens are helping with the insects, so I may go ahead and try some covered beds to keep the rain off and give it another try. The local market is pretty good, so I haven't suffered. I haven't found the 'Tropical permaculture' thread yet, but I'm sure there must be one here.
 
Bill McGee
Posts: 185
Location: Southeastern Connecticut, USA
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Pal,
Are you in touch with Amish/Mennonite folk down there?
 
pal lane
Posts: 17
Location: Macal River, Cayo, Belize
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Hi, Bill.... I buy things from them occasionally, furniture, trees, equipment... but not much else. The orthodox groups aren't supposed to look at women who are not completely covered head to toe.... the Spanish Lookout group is very family oriented, and they don't socialize outside their ranks very often. If you need me to deliver a message run an errand, I can do that much!
 
Bill McGee
Posts: 185
Location: Southeastern Connecticut, USA
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Pal,
Nah, just wondering if they could be of help with conventional gardening and other projects. I hope their othodoxy loosens up over the next hundred years and they can open up the collars, roll up the sleeves and recognize women as co-workers and equals.

 
pal lane
Posts: 17
Location: Macal River, Cayo, Belize
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I agree 100%! They have many skills and talents, and are so industrious that many would benefit from more exposure to them... but they shun the negative influence of the outsiders, and in some ways I don't blame them for feeling that way. I have some beautiful round back Shaker-style mahogany/cabbage bark chairs that I got them to make for me 20-some years ago, and have had untold equipment fixed by some of their world-class machinists. More than likely they will also be instrumental in the hydro system I'm planning to install when I get it figured out, too. If anyone has thoughts about that, please check out my post in the hydro forum.
 
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