This is our micro cacao R and D garden. Houses 5 cacao trees, 3 kinds of variety (W10, PG610, PBC123) in a 15 sqm +- area. Spacing of 2-2.5 meters between trees.
Note: Ideal space/distance between trees is at least 3 meters.
This garden is 100 % cide free (no pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc) though sometimes I used some small amount of synthetic foliar NPK, but at a very minimum rate, at less than 50% of the suggested feeding rate. I applied once per month or sometimes 2-3 months interval, and since I only used just a small amount of synthetic input, it maybe safe to say that it’s more likely organic (at least 90%-95% organic).
If you noticed that leaves are just left underneath the trees, which in the basic good practice of cacao growing is not ideal, because they say “it can cause pest and diseases”, yet I don’t have any serious problem about it (by far) at all.
This farming methodology is called Permaculture, a practice that works with, not against nature.
Since this is 100% cide free garden, the insect kingdom here is so dense, meaning it’s very biodiverse. Microbes and fungi help breaking down organic matters more easily. Composting process is much faster than the normal rate. And plants are so healthy, happy and vigorous, one of the reason why pest and diseases are not a big deal here.
Forest frogs thrives here so well that they’ve even created this area their home. They reproduced so fast that they’ve even attracted so many predators, like stray cats and snakes. Yes, snakes… And I finally saw snakes living or just hunting here. However, I can’t blame the snakes, it’s an ideal place for them to hunt.
Birds also visits the area everyday, every morning they come here like it’s their one stop shop for worms, insects and some more foods that they can eat. I should say that growing organic and not putting salt based NPK directly to the soil, or not using any kind of cide helps nature do its thing efficiently and effectively. This is a perfect example of nature at its best. Growing your foods (as much as possible) naturally. Making your soil so healthy, once it is, all that lives there will also be so happy and healthy leading to good quality produce.
Remember, “Nature doesn’t need people, but we, the people, need nature” .
Special thanks to: Rob and Mike (Founders and Owners of GrowSwitch)