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Plants in the garden of Tom and Nahier Bachmaier at Rancho Allegre in Chacalapa

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'Chocolate tree'. The coco bean pod is seen protruding from the trunk of the tree. The pod has a thick soft skin enclosing several large coco beans clustered in the center. The pods are about 8" long and grow from the limbs and truck of the tree. The seeds have a soft white outer coating that has a sweet taste when sucked on. Chocolate is made from the roasted seeds. See Food of the Gods.

Unripened coffee berries. Each berry contains two beans. Chacalapa is on the lower fringe of the coffee growing region. Although the Bachmaier's have 60 of these bushes, it is not enough to keep up with their demand for coffee.

Bamboo. Tom uses this supply to make the beads for his jewelry.

Bird of paradise bloom.


Water hyacinth growing in stream.

Bananas with bloom.


King's Sceptor.



Called a stone tree because of its hard wood, this tree is the tallest in the area. We are looking up into the tree. More than one type of philodendron is growing on the trunk. Unfortunately, this tree fell during Hurricane Pauline.

Sapote. The fruit is about 5" long and contains one large seed and a soft, sweet, orange pulp which can be scooped out and chilled or frozen and eaten like ice cream. These sell for $4 U.S. each in our grocery store in Austin but were littering the road on our visit to Chacalapa. Although they are tasty, one tires of them easily and our hostess described them as burro food. The sapotes were falling from tall trees in July. The blow can be fatal.

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