Jamaican Bees, Fruit and Herbs

Categories: Travel Hog
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All photos by Laine Doss
Bob Marley eternally give his "one love" salute at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston.
Short Order was recently invited to tour Jamaica, where we visited parts of the island not usually on the tourist radar. Yesterday, we shared our experience on a coffee plantation in the Blue Mountains. Today, we'll visit a few farms and the Bob Marley Museum (where we found quite an interesting herb garden).

We head back into the Blue Mountain range, where the land is fertile and the cloud cover helps hide the tropical sun from sensitive crops.

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Belcour Lodge
Our first stop is Belcour Lodge. This seven-acre estate, built in the 1700s, was originally a coffee farm. Now, owners Robin and Michael Lumsden grow tropical fruit, keep bees and conduct cooking demonstrations in the lodge.

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Bee hives at Belcour Lodge
The Lumsden's 75 bee colonies produce Blue Mountain multifloral honey. Belcour also produces a full line of preserves and savory jerk seasonings, all using local ingredients like guava, scotch bonnet peppers and sorrell.

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Robyn Fox welcomes us with a fresh fruit spritzer.
Lunch is further up the mountains, at EITS Cafe, and Mount Edge Guesthouse. Michael Fox and daughter Robyn are the owners of this backpacker lodge, cafe and farm nestled on the hillside town of Newcastle.

EITS stands for Europe in the Summer, and utilizes fresh greens from the adjoining farm, which Robyn says encompasses pretty much land as far as the eye can see.

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Pea soup and fresh greens straight from the ground.
The crops are harvested and delivered to local houses and restaurants in nearby Kingston under the name Foodbasket. Robyn is part of the new Jamaica Organic Agricultural Movement, which is a growing trend on the island.

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Scotch bonnet peppers - use sparingly.
Robyn grows kale, greens, thyme, and the Scotch bonnet pepper, which has a heat rating of about 8,000 units on the Scoville scale.

Our last stop this afternoon is a necessary pilgrimage to the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston. The once home of Reggae legend Marley has been turned into a museum, filled with memorabilia.

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Local schoolchildren on a class trip to the Bob Marley museum.
As we wait for our tour guide to start the tour, we spot a group of local schoolchildren on a class field trip and chat with the kids.

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Bob Marley's favorite herb grows at his former home, which is now a tribute museum.
Cameras aren't allowed inside the museum, but we were able to get a shot of the herb garden that Marley's wife, Rita started and the museum maintains. Alongside the basil, thyme and lemongrass we find Marley's favorite herb growing happily in the sun ... marijuana.

Tomorrow, we'll show you where to eat like a local when in Jamaica.

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