Sunday, May 1, 2011

cacao nursery

After our loss of the seeds from Toledo, we decided to rearrange our nursery. Rene had taken note when he was in San Jose, that they put the bags in 2 rows to allow air space between. We used some of our pile of marl to level the floor and then Rene put up a little palapa to protect our new nursery from the direct sun. It's fantastic to watch him take material from the bush and build this very serviceable structure. As the cohune fronds dry, they'll let in more light. If it's too much he'll just add another layer. So clever.

We've been filling bags like crazy, getting ready for seeds. Hoping to get replacements for the previous failure and then additional. We're hoping to have 500 - 600 grafted plants to put in the ground later this year. That might be too optimistic, but it's our goal.

The photo of the little plants shows the 38 that have come up from our initial planting of 41. A small success.

I'll be heading for Oregon next week and hope to pick up grafting supplies up there. Wow, my learning curve is getting a little intense, but fun.


Anonymous said...

This looks very interesting. How much do the seeds cost? Just curious, not thinking about going into the cacao business. We have had problems with bacterial or fungal wilt (killing off about 120 Frangipani seedlings near Monkey River). We have been thinking about solar sterilization of the soil for next time.


Dreamer farm said...

Hi Dennis, There is a fungus in Toledo called monilla (sp?) that affects the cacao pods. We are trying to keep it from spreading here to Cayo, by only bringing in seeds. We have to be certified organic for 3 years before selling to TCGA. It's only $15 to join TCGA & then $10 per year. Seeds are only .20c each. It's mostly the work & time. By grafting rather than letting seedlings produce we can start harvesting in about 3 year. By 5 years they'll be prime. We want to become self sufficient with our seeds & budwood to keep the fungus out of our farm. It's not as wet here, which we're hoping will be a help. Marco, the consultant to TCGA is guiding us and has been a wonderful help.