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Dirk's previous story can be found here After the placement and construction of North Head Battery, Captain Dirk Allcock has taken some well deserved leave in the environs of King's Harbour. Since arriving on Cocovia, Dirk has been fascinated by the commodity that gave the Island it's Corrish name of Cocovia - cocoa. Cocoa is prepared from the seeds of the Cacao tree (also known as the Cocoa Tree). So Dirk found a native guide, and together with another Cocoa enthusiast he meet in the settlement, one John Cadbury, he has set out into the hinterland to find this miraculous tree. They didn't need to go far! The island was named for the abundance of this very tree, and the name soon proved appropriate. Dirk was instantly fascinated by the examples they found, as was John, but both men for different reasons. Dirk's interest was scientific, John's commercial. The two came to an agreement were Dirk would fund the setting up of first a plantation, and later a processing factory. The enterprise would be managed by John. So while John set out to clear a small patch of land to begin a plantation, Dirk made a study of the tree. The following sketch and description is from his notebook: The Cacao or Cocoa Tree is a small understory tree that is abundant through the Crown colony of Cocovia. The tree thrives in the shaded understory of the Jungle and mature specimens seem to range from about 10-15m in height. The leaves are alternate, entire and unlobed and are between 10-40cm long and 5-20cm broad. Unusually the flowers and seed pods grow directly from the trunk and larger branches of the tree. The flowers are small and pink in colour, and appear to be pollinated by a species of small fly. The pods range in colour from red, yellow, green and brown. Mature pods contain around 20 to 60 seeds or 'beans' encased in a white pulp. After a week, Dirk met up with John on the site of the newly established cocoa plantation and John gave Dirk a tour of the operation. As only mature trees produced seed pods, John had found a plot that already contained a number of mature trees. The jungle was being thinned out but some larger trees were carefully left to provide filtered light for the cacao trees. Seedlings were being collected and grown in pots for later transplanting into the ground. Mature pods are first collected, then smashed open with a machete. The seeds and pulp are then placed in large barrels to ferment. After about seven days of fermentation the beans are removed and must be quickly dried. Drying is achieved by spreading the seeds out in the sun for five to seven days. The dried beans can then be packed and sent for further processing. ------------------------------------ Overview Hi All! Here is my attempt at a cocoa plantation, I believe the first here. I wanted to focus on the process here and my next planed build is a factory to complete the processing of the cocoa beans. As always comments and criticism welcome! Oh and here is a reference pic!