Friday, June 1, 2007

Our bit of paradixe

Our 12+ acres of ridgetop were now ours, but what to do. It felt (and still feels) so wonderful to have this little bit of land. We've made 6 trips to Belize to savor it and to move forward with our dreams.

We were very fortunate to meet Rene on our second trip. He's a Mayan who lives down the road from us. We'd seen him working at Hummingbird Hills as we'd trecked past. We stopped in one day to inquire about purchasing trees and found that the owner's weren't in the country, but Rene was working to maintain the grounds. We not only bo't some tree starts (the beginnings of our Neem trees), but found that Rene would work for us one day a week to help us start. We'd already had a bad experience hiring men to clear bush for us, and were impressed with Rene's committment to work as he'd agreed, even tho' the owner's weren't there. What a jewel he is. Previously, while still in Oregon, we'd hired a fellow to clear about an acre so that we could see what the ground actually looked like. We paid about 10 times what we should have and they did a horrible job. Rene had a couple of his sons help and they not only cleaned up the mess from the previous job, but did further clearing for us. What a difference! I could go on and on about the incredible job Rene has done for us, but I'll just say that he not only maintains the clearing that's been done, but maintains it like a garden. Every time we come down we find a new gift from our wonderful friend. Orchids tied to the trees, lovely flowering plants, pineapples and banana trees.

I had read that Mahogany does better in burned over ground, so we did an experiment. Rene cleared rows thru the bush and we planted Mahogany trees. We then had them burn an area of brush and planted Mahogany and teak in that cleared area. After over a year we can state that, at least on our place, the Mahogany in the rows is doing much better. Not sure if its' the shade or if it's too hot in the cleared areas, but we've decided to continue planting the Mahogany in the cleared rows and teak in the open areas. Will probably insert some cedar in the rows as an additional buffer.

I realize that this hasn't been very interesting too date, but hope to include photos of our last trip soon.