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Making History in Singapore As We Plant Cocoa Tree Islandwide With Janice Wong

A name that everyone would probably be familiar with, especially in the culinary industry, Singapore’s multi-award-winning chef — Janice Wong, who is well known for representing Singapore in countless global television food shows, events, and competitions has recently embarked on a quest. For the first time ever, Singapore will be home to a true tree-to-bar chocolate experience — an initiative spearheaded by Janice Wong and her team, who aim to plant 1,000 trees across the island.

Potted Cocoa Trees
Photo by Insect Feed Technologies

In collaboration with Janice Wong and The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the team at Insect Feed Technologies is honoured to be part of this project where we are able to contribute our very own Black Soldier Fly Organic Fertiliser (Frass) to the growth of cocoa trees.

Planting Cocoa Trees

Preparation for cocoa tree planting by insect feed technologies
Photo by Insect Feed Technologies

When we first arrived at the campus, safety briefings were held for the volunteers and the students before we headed to the field. We were tasked to group ourselves in a team of five to plant as many trees as we possibly could in the grass field. Everyone on the team would then head to collect their selection of cocoa trees and proceed to the grass field.

Photo by Insect Feed Technologies

The holes in the grass field were kindly dug by the students a few days back before the planting of cocoa trees. Before we get into the dirty work, everyone has gathered around and once again briefed on the steps and points that we should take note of while replanting the cocoa trees. We were told to take note of the depth level of planting the cocoa trees and make sure that we do not plant them too deep into the ground to avoid them not being able to get enough of their natural sources such as soil nutrients, sun, and more.

Planting of cocoa trees by insect feed technologies
Photo by Insect Feed Technologies

After the briefing, we proceed to our very own groups to start with the planting of cocoa trees and the very first step to start it off is to fill the dug holes with potting soil at least a half-filled level.

Sean Tan of insect feed technologies planting cocoa trees
Photo by Insect Feed Technologies

We make sure to mix well the potting soil to ensure that are no clumps in it and proceed to place the cocoa tree in a good position in the dug hole. Before that, we have to ensure that we remove the plastic wrapped around the cocoa trees as the plastic is not biodegradable. If we were to plant them in with plastic, the cocoa tree will not be able to absorb the nutrients that are needed from the soil and the fertiliser in it. This would also happen to any plants that you might possibly buy home from any of the local nurseries.

Photo by Insect Feed Technologies

We are almost there! The last step would have to be continuing to fill up the cocoa tree around with the given potting soil. Make sure that the roots of the cocoa trees are well covered with sufficient soil and that it is well compressed and compact around them.

Planted cocoa tree
Photo by Insect Feed Technologies

In order to make sure that the cocoa trees will well flourish in the coming time, we have scattered a handful of our Black Soldier Fly Organic Fertiliser also known as Frass to each of our planted cocoa trees above its compressed potting soil that helps to improve its soil texture and nutrient content — that contains a dense blend of N-P-K 3:3:5 and minerals.

Photo by Insect Feed Technologies

With that, together with the other volunteers including Edible Garden City, we have successfully planted 78 cocoa trees at the Temasek Polytechnic Campus! Last weekend, it has been nothing but fruitful to be part of this cocoa tree planting session and we are excited for a country that is land-scarce; with Janice Wong's goal to transform Singapore into a county known for artisanal chocolate.

All soil and fertilisers used in the planting are locally made and we are grateful to have sponsored 60 kilograms worth of our Black Soldier Fly Organic Fertiliser (Frass) for such a historical moment.

To shop our Black Soldier Fly Organic Fertiliser (Frass), you may do so here.

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