Chocolate, known as “The Food of the Gods” from South America, is a relatively easy plant to grow when you know its cultural requirements. Learn when to prune, what temperatures and light levels are needed. How to get your chocolate tree to fruit and flower and when is a chocolate pod ripe.
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Also, what kind of container to use when growing a chocolate tree and what kind of growing issues you may encounter whether grown in a sunroom or outdoor garden.Pods containing cocoa beans grow from the trunk and branches of the cocoa tree. Harvesting involves removing ripe pods from the trees and opening them to extract the wet beans.
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Pods are suitable for harvest for 3 to 4 weeks, after which time the beans begin to germinate. It is therefore necessary to harvest at regular intervals as the pods do not all ripen at the same time. The frequency of harvesting can have an effect on yield.
The pods are harvested manually by making a clean cut through the stalk with a well sharpened blade. The pods are opened to remove the beans within a week to 10 days after harvesting. In general the harvested pods are grouped together and split either in or at the edge of the plantation.(icco)
The best way of opening the pods is to use a wooden club which, if it strikes the central area of the pod, causes it to split into two halves; it is then easy to remove by hand the beans. After extraction from the pod, the beans undergo a fermentation and drying process before being bagged for delivery.