This is a picture of an eighty year old organic farmer of
in his corn field. Historically, small organic farming has always been a way of life on the Crooked Tree Village . Villagers traditionally do not use chemicals or pesticides to control insects or weeds; back in the day, my dad used to rely on plot rotation, crop rotation and manually removing weeds by hand. Farmers of the village used to plant corn on a plot the first year with beans, okra, melons and pumpkins in between to enrich the soil and keep weeds and pests at bay with a lot of manual labor in between for coming years. island of Crooked Tree
Villagers in Crooked Tree checking out the organic produce from farmer Steve Flowers (R)
Chemicals and pesticides came at some point from the Government of Belize, but were used only as a last resort. But today family farmers are beginning to go back to the old ways; chemical-free organic corn and vegetables.
Organic family farming was always around, but farmers were not aware of how important it was. The market for pesticide-free organically-produced foods is catching on quickly; but I am not aware of any national standards for organic food in the Belize District area; at least not in
. Crooked Tree Village
A couple of years ago I visited a cacao farm in the Toledo District and the cacao farmer told me that his farm is a member of the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association which supplies fair trade cacao for a UK company-Green and Black ‘s organic chocolate.
So far, no agent from the Belize Agriculture Department has visited
to educate the farmers on becoming truly certified organic farmers. Crooked Tree Village