“What’s in the garden now?”

This is a question I getconstantly from the chefs, the guests, and the staff. The answer changes every day (sometimes even multiple times a day), and no doubt changed between writing this sentence and publishing it. Cotton Tree Lodge’s talented chefs prepare delicious meals three times a day using trusted classics and new inventions alike. Whether they’re deviled eggs for breakfast or an after dinner margarita, we need a constant supply of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Our garden supplies many of the delicious, farm fresh veggies used in the kitchen. The raised beds I walk past every day house rows of tomatoes, kale, peppers, bean, cucumbers, basil, and so much more. They’re surrounded by our fruit trees, which include mango, breadfruit, soursop, banana, custard apple, and cashew. Even better than just having the most local produce possible, our gardens are completely organic, using only our homemade compost and natural jungle sun to grow big and tasty!

Belize’s weather is divided into the wet and dry season: temperature is fairly constant throughout the year. Because of this, what we grow in the garden is limited mainly by what the kitchen wants to cook, so it’s totally possible to find a fresh Belizean coconut or watermelon on your plate in the middle of winter! Some of our mature fruit trees only produce fruit during a certain time of year, but we have enough different kinds that something’s always in season. Cashew season is just starting, we’re harvesting the last of our soursops, and mango season is just around the corner (stay tuned to see what we do with them). With this bounty of produce, it’s no wonder Cotton Tree is known for its food!

Chef-in-Residence Zach Wielgosz

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