The Food of the Gods eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about The Food of the Gods.
“When I was filling baskets all Saturday, in my dull, mulish way, perhaps the slowest worker there, surely the most particular, and the only one that never looked up or knocked off, I could not but think I should have been sent on exhibition as an example to young literary men.  ’Here is how to learn to write’ might be the motto.  You should have seen us; the veranda was like an Irish bog, our hands and faces were bedaubed with soil, and Faauma was supposed to have struck the right note when she remarked (a propos of nothing), ’Too much eleele (soil) for me.’  The cacao, you must understand, has to be planted at first in baskets of plaited cocoa-leaf.[22] From four to ten natives were plaiting these in the wood-shed.  Four boys were digging up soil and bringing it by the boxful to the veranda.  Lloyd and I and Belle, and sometimes S. (who came to bear a hand), were filling the baskets, removing stones and lumps of clay; Austin and Faauma carried them when full to Fanny, who planted a seed in each, and then set them, packed close, in the corners of the veranda.  From 12 on Friday till 5 p.m. on Saturday we planted the first 1,500, and more than 700 of a second lot.  You cannot dream how filthy we were, and we were all properly tired."[23]

[Illustration—­Black and White Plate:  Samoa:  A New Clearing for Cacao.]

Three years later he records: 

“I have been forbidden to work, and have been instead doing my two or three hours in the plantation every morning.  I only wish somebody would pay me L10 a day for taking care of cacao, and I could leave literature to others.”

Cacao cultivation in this island of Upolu has since that date developed wonderfully, and is attracting much attention, the first produce having been sold in Hamburg at a very high price.  The consular report on Samoa published in February, 1903, states that “the mainstay of Samoa is cocoa,” and it will be interesting to follow the progress of an industry of which the versatile Scotchman was an early pioneer.


[20] Florida even boasts a town of the name of Cocoa, but inquiries on the spot have failed to discover that any attempt was ever made to cultivate the plant there.

[21] Two of the coloured plates in this volume are reproductions of pictures by members of one of the oldest French families in the island, painted on their cocoa estate in the beautiful valley of Santa Cruz.

[22] Leaf of the coco-nut palm.

[23] See plates facing pp. 27 and 29.



Most of the operations described are only the performance on a large scale by modern machinery of those employed by the Mexicans, and by those who learned from them, of whom we read: 

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The Food of the Gods from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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