Recently, we were delighted to learn from Tacogirl's blog that we could order organic produce directly from Sol Farms on the Belize mainland and have it shipped via Tropic Air from Belmopan to San Pedro.  Between us both being sick and the holidays, we didn't get around to placing an order until this week.  The flight schedule out of Belmopan seems to be a bit erratic, but we finally received notification from Greg at Sol Farms that our shipment had gone out on the last flight yesterday.  It had originally been scheduled for an earlier flight, but we had stopped by Tropic Air Cargo earlier in the day on our way back from lunch in town, and it was not there.  Unfortunately, Tropic did not call us after it came in on the later flight, so when we received Greg's email, we had only 30 minutes before Tropic Air Cargo closed at 6:30 to pick up our package.

It was pitch dark out, so Barry had to hunt for his headlamp and quickly get his bike ready to make the ride into town.  I was sure he wouldn't make it in time because by the time he got going, he had only 20 minutes before they closed.  Fortunately, he is a speedy cyclist, and they had just re-graded the dirt road from Grand Caribe on down to Reef Village, so it was a faster ride than it had been lately with all the potholes, and he made it just in the nick of time to pick up our precious cargo!  

Here is what we got from Sol Farms:
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Organic lettuce mix, peppers, arugula, and cherry tomatoes
I had already eaten dinner while he was gone as everything was ready right before he left, so I quickly made him a big salad with these lovely organic greens and golden cherry tomatoes to go with his chicken chili and cornbread.  He pronounced it delicious!

Since we had never ordered from Sol Farms before, we didn't know how we were supposed to pay, but Greg informed us that he invoices, and we would go to his bank and deposit the payment.  We have been surprised to learn that this is how many payments are made in Belize.  We paid our shipper for our goods from the US this way, as well as Goss Chocolate in Placencia when we placed an order from them.  Although paying at the bank does involve a bit of waiting in line, it is a simple way to make a payment in a country where credit cards are not nearly as widely used as in the U.S.  Fortunately, now that we're retired and living on island time, we have the time to do things a bit more slowly!
1/13/2012 02:07:44 am

Thanks for reminding me...I have yet to place my first order and am looking forward to it!

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1/13/2012 03:47:08 am

How was the cost?

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BeBelize Emily
1/13/2012 04:41:38 am

We haven't gotten the invoice yet, but based on the price list we received via email, very reasonable. Makes sense since you're buying straight from the farm. The 1/2 lb. bags of salad mix run $3.00 (BZD), for instance, a great price! You have to add on for shipping, but it's still a good deal, and quality and selection are much better than grocery stores on the island. And it's organic!

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Surendra
1/14/2012 07:01:37 pm

We visited San Ignacio last week and stopped by Sol Farms and Greg gave us the tour. Great guy and an awesome staff. We ordered a whole bunch of fresh vegetables and they had it all ready for us to pick up the next morning. I paid $52.00 BZ for what would cost us 2-3 times at Green House in San Pedro and the peanut samples were free!!

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BeBelize Emily
1/15/2012 01:32:10 am

That's great, Surendra! We will have to get over to Sol Farms when we're in Cayo...we will add it to our "mainland to do" list. We found out that Greg is originally from North Carolina like me, so he's gotta be a good guy!

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4/16/2012 09:51:05 pm

Similar thing happened t us once, our veg ended up being overnight at Tropic. Greg was very nice and replaced the order except for the dry stuff like nuts and moringa powder that was ok to be unrefrigerated.

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BeBelize Emily
4/16/2012 11:36:06 pm

Yes, Greg has offered to do the same for us. Thankfully, we have always been able to get to Tropic in time to pick it up before they closed for the night. The one time we thought we missed it, it turned out that it didn't ship out til the next morning, so all was well.

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