Becoming Grassfed Day 35: Co-op and New Friends(Even some 8-legged ones)
San Ignacio, Belize-Barton Creek, Belize
Tuesday means one thing, co-op day! I got up around 6:30 and got ready to be picked up by 8. We just had to pick up Mary and we were on our way. Bart, Suzi, and I were instantly greeted by Migo the guard dog(nicest dog in the world) followed by the life of the party, Mary! We headed away from San Ignacio towards San Antonio and then to Barton Creek to the Martin residence.
The Martin family is the most joyous and happy family that I have ever met, about 8 kids and their parents live on a farm in the hills…farming every day and working as a group to keep on truckin’. As we pulled up we were instantly greeted by all of the family and their new 6-week-old puppy. As we all broke off into our own conversations with the family and it just kept getting better, Titus(13) showed me his garden and then his little brother (maybe 8) said that he had his own as well, these people are learning lifelong lessons from the get-go. I extremely admire the way that Mennonites raise their kids.
While we were standing there talking, I had been swatting away flies then something stung me on the leg. As I looked around to see what it was I saw a bee on the ground about to die, poor little guy… I guess I was invading his turf so I understand why he did it. This was my first bee sting in a few years and definitely the first one In Belize. We used some of the vinegar that we got from the family and it took the sting away in seconds.
We got our load of produce for the day and started driving back to the lodge to pick up the scale, table, tent, and bags. The load today was much more than we expected, the variety was great. Dried Coconut, Sapodilla Vinegar, Dried Mango Sticks, Starfruit, Baby Sweet Peppers, Coco, Sweet Potato, Kale, Lemon Basil and much more were divided into shares that are sold to members for $25. No matter what the situation is, Mary and I have so much fun wherever we go…even on a boring and bumpy car ride we told stories and had a great time.
We had a few new members to the co-op, one super special one was Rosita Arvigo. Rosita is the author of Sastun, the book I had talked about a few weeks ago and many more books. She was an apprentice to Don Elijio Panti, one of the last great Mayan Healers of Belize. It was incredible to meet her after reading Sastun because it makes you feel like you already know her.
I also met Judy Duplooy, owner of Duplooy’s Jungle Lodge, home of the Belize Botanical Gardens. I explained to her our adventurous attempt to come see her place, our rental car could not get up the hill so we were dead stopped in the middle of road with the pedal to the metal and not going anywhere. We had a nice chat and she invited me next week to come to her place and see the gardens. Between meeting Rosita and now Judy my day was beyond made. The rest was just a cherry on top.
After giving out all of the shares, we went over to the market and ran into Bart’s friend Yosiah Ray. Yosiah has such a wide variety of different skill sets from organic farming to detox and tiny house building.He also runs Universal Healing, they provide holistic healing, farm stays, retreats, and much more. It is so crazy the amount of extremely knowledgeable I am continually meeting; I can’t imagine the future opportunities that I will create with them.
After meeting another nice new friend, we stopped by the grocery store to get some pepita seeds and then onto the lodge. Soon after this I chopped up my coco, got ready, and went for a hike to One World. There’s something about nature that has a powerful impact on people and how they feel, I had so much energy after getting a bunch of fresh air and moving around. This is one of the biggest things I will miss about Belize. I have been seriously thinking about checking out Colorado when I get home, I think it would be cool to have an organic farm out in nature somewhere. I have heard that the healing community there is pretty dense. I really want to move to Belize but I am not ready to be down here full time.
I was welcomed back to two tarantulas in the shower, I hunted down Salvador and he came in to take care of them…I did not want to kill them but I was not sure how to capture them to relocate. Sure enough, he came in with a broom and took them down, the scariest part was before I called him I went back in to take a picture and the second one was gone…luckily we found him.
There was a lot of coco after we added the co-op shares to the supply already at the lodge, I decided to make mashed Coco. Usually in mashed potatoes or in this instance Coco, people use milk and butter to make them fluffy and delicious. I don’t use any dairy products so I added coconut oil, coconut flakes, Black Pepper, and Himalayan Sea Salt. I had only ever cooked with coco once and this is my first time having them mashed. I think they were like a super flavorful bowl of mashed potatoes but way healthier.
Along with that I had a piece of snapper, guacamole, kale, eggplant, radish, cucumber, and a kale salad with guac, pico, watermelon, onions, and green peppers. I talked to Rey about making some different things with coco like fries, casserole, chips, and more…we are going to see what is best so I not only have a meal to bring to the vegan thanksgiving at Mary’s house but so we can add it to the cookbook.
I ended the night by writing this and having fun in the kitchen, a laundry in the meantime and pretty soon I am off to bed. I had a very good day and met a bunch of really awesome, I am excited to meet with them and learn more about what they do. Rosita told me to read her other 2 books and come talk about what I learn, that’s a challenge I am willing to accept.
Tomorrow I am getting up early, going for a run, then getting on the bus to Belmopan for a trip to immigration…time for a passport stamp. This is something that I haven’t had to do yet so it will be interesting to see how early I can get there. Everyone dreads sitting at the office all day but if I take a book I think I will be just fine.
Just as I finished this up..I went to the bathroom and found another tarantula, this one was hidden right under the step into the bathroom…nobody to call so I used my shoe and squashed him, I felt bad but much more comfortable.3rd one in 4 hours…Oh well, just another part of the adventure.