Belize's most complete independent agricultural publication

Issue 37

Homemade Health – Why and How to Use Essential Oil – Part 1

By Marguerite Fly Bevis, RN, BSN  This article, part 1 of a 2 part article on essential oils, describes their basic properties and why they are used. Part 2 will describe how to use them. Essential oils, the quintessential essence of medicinal plants, have been used by man for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. They are mentioned in the Bible at least 600 times. Thirty-three different oils are mentioned. Essential oils are the original medicine upon which modern medicine is based. Birch and wintergreen contain salicylic acid, the same component in aspirin but essential oils are easier on the body and present fewer, if any, side effects, whereas modern medicines can have many, some of which can be more… Keep Reading

Issue 37

Belize Strengthening Partnerships by Applying “One Health”

By Dr. Joe Myers, DVM, BAHA Medical and veterinary officers from Belize were trained to collaborate using “One Health” strategies in zoonotic and food-borne disease surveillance, diagnosis and preparedness and response, through a comprehensive two-year professional development programme, the One Health Leadership Series (OHLS). The OHLS is part of the regional One Health, One Caribbean, One Love Project, implemented by the University of the West Indies (UWI), School of Veterinary Medicine. The One Health project was funded by the European Union (EU) and managed by the ACP Science and Technology Programme (S&T II), in collaboration with the ‘Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Project’, of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Programme coordinated by Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).… Keep Reading

Issue 37

Maya Mountain Heirloom Cacao

What Makes Belizean Cacao So Special?  Understanding Genetics of Belizean Cacao Beans  By Dan O’Doherty & Minehaha Forman   In the rapidly growing world of specialty craft chocolate, Belize has earned its place among the fine flavored origins of cacao. Known for its unique fruity/caramel flavor, Belize cacao has won numerous awards in recent years. Cacao beans originating from Maya villages in the Toledo district of Belize and processed by Maya Mountain Cacao, Ltd (MMC) recently received an heirloom designation from the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA). The cacao sample was made into chocolate and blind-tasted by a panel of nine veteran chocolate companies including Guittard, Valrhona, and Felchlin. Panelists universally praised the sample for its overall high quality, as… Keep Reading

Issue 37

Cannabis Hemp Building Materials

By Karin Westdyk James Savage, a New York business analyst, was greatly disturbed after learning about mold problems making thousands of New Orleans homes uninhabitable after hurricane Katrina, and of the thousands killed in Haiti, crushed by their own homes during an earthquake. He searched for solutions and came up with a material that has been around for thousands of years and started a company to create building materials made from mold resistant, stronger-than-steel cannabis hemp. Hempcrete The outer portion of the hemp stalk has a long history of use for producing paper, fabric, rope and sails (the word canvas comes from the word cannabis), but Savage discovered that hemp chips made from the woody interior of the cannabis plant… Keep Reading

Issue 37

Nematodes – Friend and Foe

by Mary Loan Nematodes are non-segmented worms that live everywhere on the planet, including in ice and snow to the depths of the ocean and even in arid deserts. They are most abundant in tropical regions of the world, like Belize. Other names they are known as include: eel worms, thread worms, root knot worms. There are thousands of identified species of nematodes with estimates of about one-half million varieties to be ‘discovered’, studied and named. Most nematodes are almost invisible to the human eye and are less than 1 mm, or 1/125 of an inch in length. There are generally thousands of nematodes in a handful of soil, over one million in a spadeful, and as many as three… Keep Reading

Issue 37

The Humanure Handbook — A Review by Chris Harris

This is the book no one would publish. Why? Because it deals in some detail with a subject distasteful to some, uncomfortable to others and “something we just don’t talk about “ to yet more. So the author, Joseph Jenkins, published it himself. And in the process he did us all a big favour. OK, so what is this “taboo subject”? Well it deals with the subject of the ecological disposal of human waste. At first glance the author’s ideas amount to little more than an advanced view of the “bucket and chuck it” approach used in many rural areas of the world already. But here comes the rub. Jenkins applauds the “bucket” idea, but strongly challenges the “chuck it”… Keep Reading

Issue 37

Dear Veggie Detective

Dear Veggie Detective, Would you please investigate the mystery of the white-centered tomato? Why do some tomatoes have white centers and others are all red and tasty? Signed, Tomato Lover         Dear Tomato Lover, Your mystery is solved! Tomatoes with white centers have a deficiency in potassium, an element abbreviated as K because phosphorus was assigned the letter P. Basic fertilizers that you buy have three main elements: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and are designated in 3 numbers which corresponds to these three elements. If your soil doesn’t need N or P you can buy elemental potassium fertilizer. Potassium will give you not only the nice red color on your tomatoes but bigger fruit… Keep Reading

Issue 37

Ag Briefs

  UB CF announces that the next Neal Kinsey Soil Fertility 3 day course will be held the week of August 27th (note this has been changed from the dates in the previous Ag Report). This will be a repeat of the very well-received Intro 2 Course given in February. To register, contact David Thiessen at 670-4817 or thiessenliquid@gmail.com. Limited registration.   Avocados reached the highest prices in the US over 19 years early this summer, at $28 USD/10 kilos, due to lowered yields caused by bad weather and other problems in the main producing countries of Mexico (strikes), Peru (floods), Chile (droughts) and the US (California droughts). Avocado as colorant: Researchers at Penn State, USA, inadvertently discovered that avocado… Keep Reading

Issue 35

“FOLKS THIS AIN’T NORMAL” by Joel Salatin Book review by Chris Harris

If you ride around on a huge combine harvester, keep thousands of chickens in a mass feeding coop or spray chemicals all over big fields, this book shows alternative methods of farming for you. After all it is written by a man who describes himself as a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic. Joel Salatin is one of the foremost advocates of ethical and responsible farming. He has traveled widely around the world, lecturing at universities and talking to farming groups. The book uses the American mass farming model to show the failings of corporate farming and food production. Salatin uses a lifetime of experience on his own farm in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia USA to point out and explain… Keep Reading

Go to Top