Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Benefits of a drop in Belize tourism

While everybody in the tourism business in Belize is feeling a little unsettled due to the drop in tourism, we’re trying to look at the bright side. First, we only have two rooms, so we don’t need to have as many people stay here as the lodges with six or twelve or more rooms. We don’t need the numbers for our occupancy percentages, and we don’t have the overhead that we need to support. When we’re not full, we use the extra time to catch up on things, make improvements, and sometimes just kick back and take a little time off so we’re rested and ready for the next wave of visitors.

Last weekend, we found another benefit to slow business here. Blancaneaux has a magnificent organic garden where they grow all the produce for their three lodges, Blancaneaux in the Mountain Pine Ridge, Turtle Inn in Placencia, and La Plancha in Peten, Guatemala. Since they haven’t had as many visitors as usual, they have a surplus of produce, and last Saturday a small pickup pulled into the driveway, loaded with produce and men in Blancaneaux shirts. Instead of dumping the excess produce, they suggested that they load it up and peddle it to nearby businesses and residents, and we were one of their first stops. The produce was gorgeous, and very inexpensive. For $7BZ, we bought two bunches of broccoli, a beautiful head of cauliflower, a giant cabbage, about two pounds of perfect cilantro, and a whole grocery bag full of perfect red and green bib lettuce. Needless to say, we’ve been eating a lot of vegetables lately, and no doubt the vendor where we usually get our produce in the San Ignacio market is wondering where we’ve been!


sandy a. said...

I see they are using terraces on that hilly terrain and frames to avoid further erosion. I would have thought it was too hot there to grow lettuce, but maybe at this time of year cool enough? I'd be interested in seeing their garden.

MoonracerFarm said...

Sandy - I haven't tracked whether or not it's seasonal, but we sometimes get great lettuce here. Sometimes it's a little tough, but when it's good it's really good. Of course we can almost always get iceberg, but I think that's imported from Mexico or Guatemala.

We've been invited to come tour their garden, so let us know when you're in Belize and we'll go for a visit!