As a world traveler, enjoying fantastic flavors, food, freedom and fun are a big part of my lifestyle. Coconuts are one of my favorite foods at home and while traveling. Coconuts are a delicious and nutritious nutrient dense super food and whole food. Coconuts will definitely play a prominent role in our master land plan, mind map and mind set. We are eager to create a fantastic food forest with cacao, citrus, coconut and coffee playing a major role on the 149 acres of our Belize Eco Village community.
Crazy About Coconuts in Belize
Belize is fairly well known for beautiful Caribbean beaches and being crazy for coconuts. Belize is blessed with beautiful beaches , land and weather perfect for growing coconuts. Belize has had coconut palms since early coconuts sailed the oceans and landed there. Over time coconut has become a main food crop and staple grown by the locals. Both the coconut and many other parts of the tree are useful. There are numerous small farms growing coconut palms for personal family and community consumption. They are also a good source of income when sold to markets and tourists. The coconut palms have produced a small but growing percentage of revenue for the agriculture industry in Belize. It has an estimated value of at least $10 Million. Many government agencies are looking at the potential for growing coconuts to help supply the growing demand for coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut water and dried coconut. Big H founded by Richard Harrison seems to be one company determined to turn coconut water into a successful business model. With various damage and disease issues affecting coconuts trees around the world the future looks very bright for Belize coconut growers.
Coconuts go through different stages of growth while also providing different sources of nutrition. In the early stage as the young green coconut develops it begins storing an almost clear coconut water with very little edible flesh. The young green coconut water is a favorite drink and the coconut husk is often used to serve frozen Pina Coladas. Often times many people drink the coconut water and discard the developing coconut husk and flesh (often called jelly) inside. Over time the coconut flesh becomes harder and thicker and contains a higher concentration of coconut flesh and coconut oil. Some water stays inside for a while even after the now mature brown coconut falls off the tree. This water will serve to nourish the coconut if it sends out roots and a shoot to grow a new tree. Over time the water will dry out and the brown coconut is still good to eat. Eventually the coconut will go rancid especially if it is cracked or one of the eyes are open which will cause it to dry up and go bad sooner.
When the brown coconut is fully mature it can be opened to remove the coconut flesh. It can be sun dried and saved for future use or it can be cooked to remove the coconut oil from the flesh and fiber. There is also a cold coconut oil extraction process which is a bit more complicated and results in a more expensive extra virgin raw coconut oil. For health enthusiasts this is a much more prized treat. Regardless of which coconut oil you choose they are better than the highly processed and refined corn, seed and vegetable oils on the market.
Coconut cream and oil can also be used to make lotions, potions and soaps. The coconut oil is great for us on the inside and outside. Whether we eat it or wear it it does the body good. Even the coconut meal left over after removing the oil is a great food for chickens and people. Health conscious companies are now making a paleo bread with the coconut flour and meal. Dr. Mercola has a great article on the many benefits of coconuts called Nuts for Coconuts.
Coconut Troubles in Paradise
Unfortunately many areas of Belize and the Caribbean are suffering from a variety of disease and infestations. The most serious infestation is from the Lethal Yellowing disease. Many people are hoping that coconut experts can come to the rapid rescue with a strong hybrid or treatment program to prevent the spread of these issues. Due to current problems with the citrus green disease in Belize many people are hopeful that coconuts might be able to replace a good portion of the citrus lost with coconuts and another profitable agriculture crop. One of the keys will be to shift farmers into a more sustainable practice of growing coconuts without all the synthetic chemical compounds used on the citrus crops. Farmers will benefit from planting a diverse mix of food crops and trees to produce food and income year round.
Can Coconuts Change Our Consciousness?
While traveling around Belize there seems to be a fairly wide distribution of coconut trees and coconut growers. The entire country of Belize seems to have coconut trees and there appears to be significant land that would be productive for additional coconut tree farms. Maybe creating a Coconut Tree Growers Association that is active in education and training for farmers to grow more organic coconuts and practice sustainable farming techniques would be helpful. By promoting organic permaculture principles the farms could be healthy and productive with a wide variety of crops growing together. Belize would benefit from a great role model for producing a wide range and variety of coconut products using a winning formula for an eco friendly, organic and sustainable food and income model. Maybe Richard Harrison who founded Big H has established the foundation for future coconut products in Belize. When we observe how nature produces abundant food and forests we can learn something about sustainability. By avoiding large mono crops we minimize disease and pest damage and dangers. Nature also provides natural pest repellents and predators to maintain a healthy balance.
Belize Eco Village Community Code of Conduct
Our Seventh Generation Community Code of Conduct will share our intentions to guests and residents to follow outstanding organic, self sufficiency and sustainability strategies. We will avoid spraying synthetic chemical compounds like fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and pesticides on our property. These synthetic chemical compounds are toxic to people, plants and the planet. We will support holistic health, Maya medicine, natural nutrition and proven permaculture principles. It is obvious the long and short tern consequences are too risky to the animals, bees, birds, butterflies and beautiful people living in our Belize Eco Village community to allow the use of toxic products. We will maintain very high standards for living in a chemical free environment to protect our clean air, food, homes, soil and water. Recently I came across Finca Morpho in Costa Rica as a great eco community role model.
In spite of the greening disease being widespread in Belize we will be planting grapefruits, lemons, limes, oranges and tangerines using a variety of natural, organic and permaculture principles to help our trees avoid disease. Late February to May is the normal dry season so it is not the optimal time to plant. The dry season is a good time to start preparing the land for planting with some light clearing and building the soil with composting and cover crops which encourage more natural organic matter and organisms. At the beginning of rainy season (June, July or August) and near a full moon we will begin planting a wide variety of cacao, citrus and coconut trees in various prepared locations on the property. We will also plant companion crops like bananas, beans, madre cacao, plantains and vine crops like cantelope, squash and watermelon. Eventually we will also have chickens, ducks, geese and guinea fowl to eat bugs and fertilize the soil. We will also be using compost tea, micro organisms and natural bug repellent trees like neem.
Healthy Habits & Habitats
In 2017 Morningtar NEWS will focus 50% on Healthy Habits and 50% on Healthy Habitats and Sustainability Strategies. We are also designing our new Belize Eco Village master planned community land plan. My passion project is to interview, research and visit super sustainability projects to learn, mentor and role model them. The vision is to attract a wide variety of eco-conscious and passionate people to help design, build and live in an eco friendly, healthy and sustainable community. Imagine a piece of paradise where people will live, retire, visit and work while enjoying an even more happy, healthy and in harmony lifestyle. We will focus on ideas, insights and inspiration as we provide more progress pictures and vivid videos about stewardship and sustainability. Stay tuned for progress posts with steps, strategies, suggestions and systems to develop the 149 acres of pristine Caribbean pine ridge and riparian forest into a Belize Eco Village master planned eco community.
Where is Your Gap?
What behaviors, beliefs and decisions about your habits and habitats are harming your health and the planet? What will it take for you to protect your family, self and the planet from damage, degradation and destruction? How can you stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution instead?
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
It is well documented that most fake, fast and junk foods harm us while fresh foods help us. There is a wealth of wisdom on my blog and the internet regarding a wide variety of healthy habits to start and health hazards to avoid. What are you willing to do differently to protect your self and our planet with better choices? A healthy habits and healthy habitat code of conduct and mastery action plan will enhance the quality of life for everyone. Are you ready to do your personal part for rapid real results?
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or concerns come to mind regarding the many benefits of healthy habits and healthy habitats ? Are you ready to learn more and join our terrific team?
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