I was just thinking about life in the campo. Just wondering how many of us have slept within a 100m from a cacao tree? I am getting pretty close to 1000 days. How about you?
updated by @thomas-forbes: 04/10/15 08:47:27PM
If you can grow cacao in New York City, you can grow it in Belgium. Indoors, under a daylight grow lamp (12 hours/day, regular cycles). You will probably want to start out on top of a heating mat, too. This will keep the tree warm and if you put a tray on top of the mat and put water in the tray the warmthwill help keep the moisture level up, too.
One reason you won't get pods is no pollinating insects, not just climate. I have seen pods on the trees at the NY Botanical gardens - never more than one or two. But they keep the ground under the tree completely clean of leaf litter and don't like many kinds of insect in the greenhouses, so no pollinators.
grow them all the time here - keep it in a bright (indirect sunlight seems to work the best), very warm (85+ F), very humid place. Unfortunately, where I live, there's winter, and the only place in the house that meets those requirements is the bathroom usually. Water every 2-3 days (watering frequency/amount is the trickiest part for me, as it's very easy to overwater). In the summers, the trees thrive outside, but watch the night time drops in temperature. Japanese beetles also see cocoa as a special treat.
If you manage to keep it alive for a few years, you can hand pollinate. The largest one i've managed to eek out has been about 6' tall (and i've got a very, very black thumb..)