The intrepid Dello Mano Brownie explored Abraham's farm, a 30 acre Cocoa plantation. This plantation was much larger than that of Ebinezer's farm as featured in an earlier blog. Run by a working family it was a joy to stand amidst the farm houses, kids playing, scattered open fires with huge pots of stew teetering and just like any other farm or household, it appeared there was a list of never ending jobs to be done.This farm is part of a collection of local farms owned by Abraham, although despite its size it seemed to be just like any other working farm.
This Cocoa plantation is tucked deeply into the West African country side. Surrounded by almost breath taking green lushness, we park a little way down a heavily pitted driveway, the erosion of which signalling the obvious force of the annual wet season rainfall. Still, you cant get that adorable green lushness without lots of rain.
A lovely still life of activity on the farm.
We arrive at the end of the cocoa bean harvest season. There are thankfully, still some cocoa beans drying and still some pods on the trees.
Once fermented the beans are left to dry on huge bamboo mats.
Below, corn drying in the fields. Supplementation is very common with other crops including all types of vegetables and fruit.
Abraham's son - he manages this farm with his family. His kids attend a nearby school.
A demonstration of Cocoa Pod harvesting. A long stick with a big (and very sharp!) knife is used to bring down each pod. These trees were fairly old so quite high as far as Cocoa trees go. As with all farming it remains an undeniable tussle for the farmer in determining if and when to replace a tree.
Oh and some of that green lushness I was telling you about. It was amazing to be standing there with the sun just poking through breaks in the overhead canopy.
And the rainforest floor - amazing. When the women open the cocoa pods they sit in circles on the forest floor and as they crack each pod and remove the contents they throw the outer shells back virtually in a circle around them. This coupled with the leaves falling creates the most beautiful thick and fertile mulch at ground level. Enough to make any gardener jealous!
And of course, there were all the usual farm folk!
I am not sure if I am putting this next one in to show you the surrounds of the farm - the rich forest density or to demonstrate how fast the mini bus was traveling - Now that is another story!
I am now thinking to go outside and look at my own garden mulch. Disappointingly not nearly as impressive. Anyone got any mulch tips?