Working on a cocoa farm
Posted in: Travels & Adventures
Hi Juan Pablo, Sarah, I can definitely recommend Finca la Amistad. It is in a wonderful rural area of Costa Rica. The farm is well run and the cacao produced is first quality. Peter
You might contact Juan Pablo Buchert in costa Rica firstname.lastname@example.org
There is also a cooperative that ships cacao from the Southern Caribbean of CR called APPTA
You can research commodity prices on-line. Prices in-country could fall in the $3.50 to $5 per kg range for pretty good cacao.
There exists a raw food movement that believes that cooking food kills enzymes that are necessary to protect our digestive systems, etc.
Combine this outlook with the belief that the less processed our chocolate is the healthier it is for us.
So, there is a market niche that is being exploited to that end.
Within the area of Costa Rica where most cacao is grown (the province of Limon) the driest month of the year, statistically, is September. There are two "dry" seasons which are centered on September and March and the wetter seasons are in December and July. This better distribution of rainfall favors cacao growing, as opposed to the areas that get so much rainfall during the September/October months but have a six month dry season that is a bit dry for cacao production. While there are different peaks of harvest the principal harvest is in October/November and this also corresponds to the harvest season for a plethora of fruits in the zone of Limon. Cacao has been grown traditionally in Limon since pre-colombian times and was first planted by europeans in Matina, Limon around 1650. We proudly continue to grow the heirloom Matina cacao.
Actually there is much to harvest and dry September through early December: cacao, durian, mangosteen, rambutan, pulusan, columbian sapote, duku, langsat, santol, various garcinias, cupuasu and pataste among others! Oh yes, and that's when the vanilla is ready too. Where it's wet during these months is the Pacific coast and the Central Valley; neither of which are major cacao areas (too high in the Central Valley). September through early December is dry on the Caribbean coast and in the Northern Zone: where the bulk of the cacao is grown. I'm not sure where you are in Costa Rica, but perhaps you should pay us a visit in October and dry out