No, this is not the cacao tree of the naval officer. But his eight cacao trees were just as fruitful. In his “farm” no fallen leaves could be seen because he collected them every day.
One day in 1993, an avid reader of our articles called us because he wanted to show us his little farm in a posh subdivision in Makati. It is actually about 20 square meters in the corner of his lot which he had planted to exactly eight cacao trees. They were about the most beautiful cacao trees we ever saw because they were so full of red pods and the place was spic and span. There were no fallen leaves littering the ground.
The officer who was then more than 80 told us that his “farm” gives him the necessary exercise. He himself picked up the fallen leaves every morning. He had specifically instructed the maids not to do the picking so he would have something to do. Aside from picking the leaves, he also inspected the branches and leaves to find out if there were any pests attacking them. He also diligently fertilized his trees with fish washings which was probably why they were so fruitful when we paid our visit.
Well, one does not really have to have a big farm out there in the bundocks. What’s great about having a farm right where one lives is that one does not have to travel far. One can be with his favorite plants first in the morning every day!