Our farm is 42 acres that was originally pasture land for cattle and sheep that has since mostly become overgrown with thick jungle bush and trees.
The Birth of a Dream
Many years ago a baby mahogany tree was planted on the farm. At the time it was not an overly celebratory experience (for myself). But little did I know that it was a seedling stages of what has become my legacy mission and vision.
The Great Mahogany: The mahogany tree is the most important tree to Belize’s history. This tree was harvested and exported to Great Britain from the 1770’s until the 1950’s. The tree was exploited and was never replanted. In 2003 the Mahogany Tree was placed as an Appendix 2 species on CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). Mahogany wood is very valuable for its rich color, workability and the fact that this wood does not swell or split.
The Birth of Tree Farm
I can’t say that I have had a life time passion for trees. After all; trees are just trees. I believe I was first introduced to trees in grade 9 high school. I had a best friend who was crazy nuts about trees who insisted on quizzing me every time we passed a tree of significance. Actually, the quizzing drove me nuts.
I have another memory of a Royal Palm tree being cut down in 1998 near our farm (in Belize) for building material. I recall being physically sick to my stomach because of the massive opening in the forest canopy the felling of this tree caused as result of knocking other trees to the ground.
In 2012 I remember watching Season 7 of the Dragon’s Den and watching the Carbon Farmers pitch a business idea to plant trees to offset carbon footprints. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was watching in the moment but I did know I was watching something that would form future dreams and goals.
In the mean time our lone mahogany tree was growing and had since started dropping seed pods. Seeds were planted in plant bags; and seedlings were planted on the farm, given away or sold.
In 2014 my legacy plan and dream was to start a tree farm for the reforestation of rainforest and jungles of Belize. And the mahogany tree would be my inspiration and my daily focus.
We have yet to officially start on our tree farm but have started our research and have spent some time with Ya’axche Conservation Trust of Belize to help give direction and instruction.
I want to raise and have planted as many trees as our farm can produce and then even more. I want to see the earth covered in trees.
“Arie house was outstanding! When we arrived it was clean and well-equipped, and Dan the Caretaker was extremely helpful in acquainting us with the house and its amenities. The surrounding property is beautiful, and bird-watching from the deck was a favorite morning activity for all of us. As far as I can tell, there just aren't many places that are available right on the banks of the Belize River, at that location made it really special. I loved hearing howler monkeys every morning and evening, seeing spiny and green iguanas in the trees, and turtles on the road in. This place is paradise for lovers of wildlife!”
Day L. a university Associate Professor from Missouri