Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cocoa bean, seed of Theobroma cacao (The Fruit of Gods)

A small Cacao tree usually 4–8 m tall and grow rarely up to 20 m. After 2-3 years the tree produces many cauliflorous flowers and fruits develop after about 5 years. The fruits grow for 150-180 days, contain 30-40 seeds surrounded with mucilaginous pulp, and produce 10-35 cm long pods with recalcitrant seeds. A good tree produces up to 40 pods a year.

There are three main varieties of cacao trees. The most common is Forastero, which accounts 90% of the world's cacao beans production. Rarest and most prized are the beans of the Criollo variety. Their aroma and delicacy make them sought after by the world's best chocolate makers. Finally, there is the Trinitario variety of cacao, which is a hybrid cross between Criollo and Forastero.

Cacao seeds are the source of commercial cocoa, chocolate, and cocoa butter. The Fermented seeds are roasted, cracked and ground to give a powdery mass from which fat is expressed. In the preparation of chocolate, this mass is mixed with sugar, flavoring, and extra cocoa fat. Milk chocolate incorporates milk as well. Cocoa butter is used in confections and in manufacture of tobacco, soap, and cosmetics.

Cocoa butter has been described as the world's most expensive fat, used rather extensively in the emollient "bullets" used for hemorrhoids.

Theobroma cacao, is native to South America. Cocoa cultivation began by Mayan tribes in Central America, since 1500 BC. Mayas and Aztec attributed divine origin to cocoa tree (brought by god Quetzacoatl). The precious cocoa beans were used as a currency. The sacred beverage called "chocolatl" was consumed from golden cups.

Cocoa butter is applied to wrinkles in the hope of correcting them.

(a split open Cocoa bean)

Pepper (Capsicum annuum)

Peppers are tender and warm-season vegetable. There are two types of peppers, Sweet peppers and Hot peppers.

Sweet peppers are large-fruited, mild-flavored and bell types. The sweet peppers include Bell, Banana, Pimiento and Sweet Cherry.

The hot peppers include Cayenne, Celestial, Large Cherry, Serrano, Tabasco, and Jalapeno. Hot peppers are usually allowed to ripen fully and change colors and are smaller, longer, thinner and more tapering fruits than sweet peppers.

Pepper cultivation FAQ

Pepper soup

Medicinal usage
As a medicinal plant, peppers have been used as a carminative, digestive irritant, stomachic, stimulant, rubefacient, and tonic. The plants have also been used as folk remedies for dropsy, colic, diarrhea, asthma, arthritis, muscle cramps, and toothache.

Prolonged contact with the skin may cause dermatitis and blisters, while excessive consumption can cause gastroenteritis and kidney damage.

Consumption of red pepper may aggravate symptons of duodenal ulcers. High levels of ground hot pepper have induced stomach ulcers and cirrhosis of the liver in laboratory animals.

Body temperature, flow of saliva, and gastric juices may be stimulated by peppers.

(variety of peppers)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Cucumber is a tender, warm-season vegetable. Grown for slicing and pickling. Cucumbers are ready for harvest 50 to

70 days from planting.

A single 8 inch cucumber(about 10.5 ounces) provides 12% of the minimum amount of fiber needed daily.

Cucumber cultivation FAQ's:

(cucumber in plant)


Mulberry trees are as ornamental as they are fruitful. The mulberry was once considered the "King of the Tree Crops"

Mulberry has various species are: White Mulberry, Black Mulberry, American Mulberry, Red Mulberry. Also there are few Hybrid forms exist between white and red mulberry.

The white mulberry is native to eastern and central China. The black mulberry is native to western Asia. The red mulberry is native to eastern United States.

The white mulberry fruits are generally very sweet but often lacking in needed tartness. Red mulberry fruits are usually deep red, almost black, and in the best clones have a flavor that almost equals that of the black mulberry. Black mulberry fruits are large and juicy, with a good balance of sweetness and tartness that makes them the best flavored species of mulberry. The refreshing tart taste of it, is in some ways reminiscent of grapefruit.

Rice (Oryza sativa)

Rice is cultivated primarily for it's grain, which is an important part of the diet in Asian counties.

Rice bran contains 15 to 17% oil, and is a source of vitamin B. Fermented or Sierra rice is consumed in the Andean highlands and is used exclusively there in the preparation of dry rice. Rice hulls are sometimes used in the production of purified alpha cellulose and furfural. Rice straw is used as roofing and packing material, feed, fertilizer, and fuel.

Rice is native to the tropics and subtropics of Southeast Asia. Almost 90% of the world's rice production is only from Asia as China and India being the largest producers.

(Rice field)

Peanut (Groundnut)

Peanut is an important oil and food crop; and being a 3rd major oil seed of the world, next to soybean and cotton.

It's seeds contains 25 to 32% protein and 42 to 52% oil. One Kilo gram of peanut is high enough in food energy and provides approximately the same energy value as 2 kilo grams of beef, 1.5 kilo grams of Cheddar cheese, one litre of milk, or 36 medium sized eggs.

The vines with leaves are an excellent high protein hay for horses and are used as ruminant livestock. The pods or shells serve as high fiber roughage in livestock feed, fuel, mulch, and are used in manufacturing fertilizer.

Peanuts are called in many local names, like earth-nuts groundnuts, goober peas, monkey nuts, pygmy nuts and pig nuts.

(Peanuts on it's plant)