Cacao

The old beautiful cacao forest of the property of Paraiso del Bosque, occupying one hectare between the rainforest and the lake, has been restored recently. This scenic area has almost 200 cacao trees of different age and size, bearing fruit all year round. It maintains several varieties of cacao.

We enjoy taking care of the trees and we develop our own small scale chocolate making technique. We can take you for a walk through the orchard to see cacao trees, their blossoms and different varieties of ripening cacao fruits. You can learn about the chocolate making history and methods and see the main steps of a simple chocolate making process.

Not only humans like cacao, this cacao orchard is equally owned also by squirrels, tayras and kinkajous (perhaps some more animals?) who consume their fair share of the delicious fruits.

Cacao orchard of the Paraiso del Bosque Reserve can serve as a good site for comparative research on cacao. In the era of cacao plantations, one cannot overestimate the significance and potential of cacao orchards, incorporated in a natural forest setting.

These trees harbor valuable genetic material and their growing conditions are as close as possible to what is natural for a cacao tree. Their preferred climate and natural shade of the forest trees allow to buffer influences of diseases and pests. All the typical threats to cacao plantations are better mitigated if cacao trees grow in these optimal environmental conditions.

Rainforest also provides the best conditions for cacao pollinator midges. Let us remember how much our agricultural crops depend on optimal presence of pollinators.

Also, most of cacao in Costa Rica is grown up to the elevation of 300m, and a cacao orchard at the elevation of 600+ meters may be of a particular interest.

 

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