Thursday, December 11, 2008

Harvesting cocoa

One day when I was in the village, I went out with our family to the garden to harvest cocoa. Cocoa is one of the cash crops in PNG – the people grow it and sell it to businesses who produce things like chocolate from it.

I had a pretty easy job when we harvested the cocoa. Papa took the cocoa pods down from the tree, our sister Rachel cut them open, and then I dug my fingers into them and pulled the beans out and put them in a big bag. It was really easy, but there was a seemingly never-ending supply of cocoa pods, so after several hours, my skin was beginning to get a bit thin. I was thankful when they insisted that I stop and rest. I think I probably did about 40kg worth of beans.

So next time you each chocolate, you can think of me helping to make it!!

Rachel cutting a pod open:

An open cocoa pod ready for me to remove the beans:

The cocoa beans that I removed (half-way through the day – I pretty much filled the bag all the way to the top!).

Some people also dry the cocoa beans in their village. At one village they had some that had been dried and we were able to eat a bean. It tasted bitter, sweet and alcoholic at the same time! I would describe it as tasting like chocolate wine, if there were such a thing.


robyn said...

G'day Julie, Harvesting cocoa was interesting, But anything to do with chocolate is interesting !! I will now be thinking of you way more often.

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie, your explanation of harvesting the cocoa was really interesting. I never realised such a lot of work went into my chocolate!! Just as well Rachael was opening the pods - that knife looked rather lethal. Do the National folk have to carry their produce to a central pickup point? Keep up the flow of information - we are really learning heaps. Bev & John

Nerida said...

Wow, I had no idea that cocoa beans grew in such big pods! So that is the origin of the Bertie Beetle I just ate...