Monday, December 31, 2012

Cocoa Picking Season


While the snow flakes are falling the cocoa pods are ripening... 

It's the beginning of cocoa picking season!

After they cut the pod open, the wet cocoa beans are collected in five gallon buckets.  The buckets are often carried on foot to the boucan, the cocoa cooperative.  Even the simplest tool, like a wheel barrel, could make the burdensome task of lugging the buckets to the cooperative easier.  It is a day's labor.

First the buckets get weighed.  Then the pods are sorted and then stored in the Sweat Boxes and covered with banana leaves to concentrate the heat during the fermentation process, which takes 6-8 days.  The beans are turned twice daily.

Busy hands at work.

Once the fermentation process is over, the beans are spread out on drawers to dry in the sun.  The drying process can take up to seven days if the conditions are ideal.


Once they are thoroughly dried, they are packed in burlap bags so they can breathe.        

Bags and bags of beans...


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Women in Action

Pinky crocheting her first bag
out of recycled plastic...

Doris from La Marquis, the village of weavers,
 shaping her pine grass basket.
Pine grass is only worked in this village.

Trish stringing cranes for our L.A. Burdicks holiday fundraiser...

Just learned to crochet...

she is hooked!

These handmade crafts are for sale at L.A. Burdicks in Walpole, NH
contact Dorise 

Proceeds go to support the women of the cocoa farming community,
 as well as the farmers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fashion Show Success

Thanks to Ruggles and Hunt
& Burdicks Restaurant

We raised $1,300 for the cocoa farmers of Grenada!

Thanks to
all the beautiful models,
the waitstaff,
and you, the customers, 
for helping make our fundraiser a success!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Origami Cranes from Grenada

Thousands of origami cranes were folded by hand
in Grenada by women in the fair trade cooperative of CFFI.
 The crane is a symbol of long-life, happiness, good-luck and

Wishing you peace and joy
In this holiday season

Find your string of cranes 
at any L.A. Burdicks
contact Dorise

Cambridge, Mass

Cambridge, Mass

Walpole, NH

Boston, MA

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Don't feel guilty
it's goodness for a good cause...

We can ship or
you can purchase at Burdicks

Contact Dorise

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vacation for a Change

Winter is coming,
days are short.

Why shovel snow,
when you could be picking cocoa?

Work together with the farmers
harvesting their cocoa in the
 paradis de l'ile aux epices! 

You'll learn how to ferment and shuffle cocoa...

Take day trips with CFFI guides to St. George and the beach, or

walk in the rain forest to the water falls...

You can make cocoa balls with Missis Agatha...

or go fishing with the locals...

and enjoy the tastes and sights of island life...

Proposed trip dates 2013

January 20-27
February 17-24 (optional extra week of work & Carnival)
March 10-17

Space is limited to seven guests on each trip.

For more information contact:
Dorise Kowalewski

See to read about our mission.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Gathering and fermenting

Time for harvesting

A good day's work,
empty cocoa pods

This is what cocoa looks like before fermentation

Gelatinous coating tastes sweet and sour

Sorting the beans

Still wet, but fermented

Starting to look like cocoa... 

Sun drying trays are on rails and are pushed like a drawer
into the boucan for the night

The drying trays are as big as your kitchen,
it takes two people to push them

A mountain of dried cocoa beans
ready to...


Sunday, October 28, 2012

While the cocoa pods are growing….

We are organizing our wares for the 
Christmas Market with a Difference

Shake, shake from the Bolly tree…

Vetiver sachet

Bundles of calabash

Cocoa tea anybody?

Cocoa Tea recipe from Diamond Estate Grenada

Cocoa tea is a rich, local breakfast drink. In olden times, tiny flour
dumplings were boiled in the cocoa tea, making the drink a complete
meal -- the cocoa tea being the drink and the dumplings replacing the

1/2 cup grated local cocoa stick or 70%dark chocolate
2 cups water
1 cup milk (cream, 2%coconut milk, or low-fat)
Sugar to sweeten
2 whole cardamon
Bay leaf
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Put water to boil with cinnamon and bay leaf. Boil for about 15
minutes. Grate cocoa stick and add to boiling water; boil for another
10 minutes. Add cream (or evaporated milk, 2%coconut milk, or low-fat
milk to reduce calories). Sweeten to taste. Don't forget the nutmeg Mix
the cornstarch with water and slowly add to the boiling mixture,
stirring all the time.  Strain and serve.

Donkey Eye
A seed from a vine that grows in the lush tropical forest
Used as a good luck charm….

Red Bead Tree
Adenanthera pavonina
Seeds have long been a symbol of love ...

Come join us at the Christmas Market with a Difference
in Hanover, New Hampshire
1st, 2nd, & 3rd of November 2012
Thursday & Friday 10-6 p.m.
Saturday 10-1 p.m.