A Weekend at The Camp: Gardening Baking and Crafting on Cayo Frances

Moving to Ambergris Caye from Manhattan, NYC was a big move.  Sure the language is the same and surprisingly the bulk of the TV stations (we get NY local afflilates in San Pedro) but that’s about it.

When I arrived in May of 2007, I was going to try it for a year – see if I could get a job and make it work.  I had no idea NO IDEA what I would do but I had a sense (foolhardy in retrospect) that something would pop up.  What it would be?  Not a clue.  I just knew that I didn’t want to do what I was doing before.  Rebecca 2.0.

(Here are some blogs that go into more detail about my move and job finding.)

I was WIDE open.  Not a state I was used to.  And had to stumble through a few things:  shopper for resort, 3 years as a bar manager to get to where I am now.

If someone had suggested to me that I would be a professional blogger 15 years ago, I would have looked at them like they were insane.  I would have thought them deranged.

Back then, in my navy suit and heels (AND PANTY HOSE!), you would have gotten the same reaction if you told me I would live on Mars.

Blogger and part-time Laundress, Crafter, Gardener, Napper and Baker at Cayo Frances Farm and Fly.

And why not.  The owner of the place (and my boyfriend’s) card looks like this.

Probably not the job titles he imagined when he went off to college.

Anyway…here are some pictures of my weekend at “the farm” or “the camp”.  I’m heading back in a few hours to attend my first San Pedro Pirates football (soccer) game on the year.  FINALLY.

Oh….add to our business card “Gecko Hatching” not parenting.  They run off immediately!

The rain stopped about 2 weeks ago and everything is blooming and fruiting…

Lemongrass grows like crazy.  It also portions up beautifully – easy to move a small bunch and just grow more.

Plantains.Sprouting coconuts…

The chicle tree or sapodilla is busting with fruit.  The fruit is most like a pear in my estimation.  It’s delicious.

But you also get covered in sticky white latex…the chicle that used to be gathered to make chewing gum.  A MAJOR industry on the mainland many years ago.

The grocera or sapra – the Phyllantus Acidus.   Some people soak it in lime and salt and make a sort of pickle from it.

If sour was judged on a scale of 1 to 10 – these would be 11.

Elsie spends much of her time waiting for boats to come back.  Her camp job.

Lots more lemon grass.

I’m waiting for 10 new orange jasmine plants for the front of the new cabana.  Ordered from a killer nursery in Belmopan.  Apparently they are very hard to kill…which is ideal for me.  Many of the things I planted a year or more ago are just starting to recover.

A yellow hibiscus almost free from mites.

This powder puff bush does not enjoy it here.  Planted about 2 years ago, it’s just coming back…

Red Ginger flowers that are also struggling.  I think they might have shrunken over the last year.  Not a good sign.

And new additions that thrive.  Purple and white ruellia or Mexican petunias.  They flower every  morning and the flowers drop off late afternoon.Portulaca does great.I planted two sets up canna lily bulbs – one bright red and one yellow.  Just a few weeks ago and they GROW

And then the coco yam plants.  They grew HUGE in the back of the property with all this seasons rain.

They produce plenty of tubers – I move a few babies up front.  I love the giant Jurassic leaves.

Gardening requires many bandanas to mop my sweat.  Wheelbarrowing ain’t easy.

Lastly…simple simple craft projects that require scraps of wood and lots of help from Andress, who works at the farm.

Last week, we turned this piece of sea-wood (as light and as riddled in small holes as a pumice stone) into an outdoor table.

Today hooks.  Wading and fishing produced many many wet clothes.







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  • SP Bound

    You must pinch yourself every single day! Your story reads like a novel…only it’s true. And those of us fortunate enough to visit every year are invited to share what you’ve created and discovered. Lucky us!!! You have made great gardening gains. Regardless of where you live, gardening is a process, and what a fun and rewarding endeavor it is! I noticed long rows of yellow canna lilies north of the bridge at a couple upscale places. They are so showy. Can’t wait to see more of those at the Camp. Thanks for sharing and reinforcing what we already know. Visiting Ambergris Caye and Cayo Frances Farm and Fly is more than a vacation. It’s a life changing experience worth doing every single year, at least. Take care.
    Amy

    • I’m glad you love it too! I will be honest…and don’t tell Jeff…the first time I went to the camp – three-ish years ago. There was one broken down main house and…that’s it. It’s growing slowly…and YES! The canna lilies are from Capt Morgan’s – I stopped in to chat with the garden – and the gorgeous red ones are from a small hotel in Boca Del Rio. I’m giddy about them. Thanks for the kind kind kind words! We look forward to see you guys SOON!

  • The camp looks beautiful, and your gardening efforts are paying off. I honestly don’t know how you do all you do. You are one busy lady. And Jeff is a lucky man!