S6 W4 Review – Cocoa Diseases & Pests


Vascular-streak dieback (VSD)

  • caused by the fungus known as Oncobasidium theobroma
  • distinguished in the 1960s
  • caused heavy losses of trees in mature plantations
  • chlorosis of one leaf on the second or third flush behind the tip
  • restrict transport

Witches´ Broom


  • attacks only actively growing tissue
  • sensitive to light and drying


  • Moniliophthora perniciosa
  • disease in the region of Bahia caused a decrease in production of almost 70%



  • major insects that affect cocoa worldwide
  • recognized as a serious pest since 1908
  • Distantiella theobroma and Sahlbergella singularis, Helopeltis spp, Monalonion
  • can reduce yields by as much as 75%.
  • clones with low water content in their stems are unattractive to mirids

Cocoa pod borer (CPB)

  • Conopomorpha cramerella
  • noted in 1841 as a serious threat
  • developing genotypes with harder walls in their pods

S6 L46 – The Health Benefits of Chocolate

          In today’s lesson I learned about the cocoa plant, from which the actually very healthy chocolate is made.  Oh, and I’m not taking about the regular everyday milk chocolate – I’m talking about dark chocolate, unprocessed pure dark chocolate.  This stuff may be a bit bitter but you get used to it after a while.  Anyways, this drug can apparently decrease risk of heart and brain problems, protect the brain from strokes, and relieve anxiety, and none of this would have been found had the ancient Aztecs invented the first chocolate – Xocolatl.  When you pronounce it right it sounds something like chocolate. 

          The powerful properties contained by the chocolate can be received by eating about 7 grams of chocolate a day for two weeks.  The first of the properties is the decreasing of risk of heart disease or brain problems.  This is activated by the proteins and good acid in the chocolate, eating the bad stuff.  The second is the protection of the brain.  The chemicals in the chocolate are many, but one of them, called epicatechin, simulates a neurological pathway in your brain, which the brain sees as a signal to get ready for some type of attack on the brain, and therefore saving a lot of sadness on the part of the victim’s family. And no one really knows how chocolate relieves stress.

          But that’s the three powerful health benefits of eating dark chocolate. See you in the next post!

S6 L45­ – Greens Salad

            All you need is a can of spinach, a small box of cherry tomatoes, and two fistfuls of baby greens (your choice of greens), a cutting knife (I used a 5” Santoku), a cutting board, and four bowls to feed four people with this delicious recipe. First, take handfuls of the spinach and cut in strips one way, then turn it perpendicular to the first cuts and cut strips that way.  This will give you small squares of spinach.  Then take the tomatoes and slice them each in half parallel with the top and bottom.  Then, with the baby greens, cut perpendicular to the direction they’re arranged, in my case it was left-right so I cut front-back.  Now you’ll have little cuttings of baby greens.  After that take even scoops of each ingredient and evenly disperse them throughout the four bowls and mix.  The salad is done & I hope you enjoy it!

S6 L34 – Photosynthesis

          Photosynthesis is a complex food-making plant process that only uses CO2, sunlight, and some nutrients.  This process is so complex that scientists still haven’t figured out the whole process.  All we know is that when clorophyll panels absorb sunlight, they vibrate rapidly, spouting charged electrons, which are carried along and compressed into little batteries by proteins.  These batteries are then sent off a “carbon-stitching machine” which pulls carbon out of the air and turns them into sugar and starch, which are used to grow.  These processes give off water vapor and oxygen, which we breathe.  Breathing this out again as CO2 restarts the whole process.  The plant is constantly doing this and so produces a small flow of air.

S6 L41 – Plant Identification & Green Onion Find

I went outside to do my assignment for today’s lesson, identifying a plant, and found a certain plant called chives out in our unused garden.  This is what I carelessly identified, turning and pointing at random, and I landed on the green onions.  Then I noticed what they were, and dared my brother to eat them, which he did willingly, thus proving me right.  I then took some inside and bagged them and stuck ‘em in the fridge to use later.  These little tubular plants have no leaves, and a botanical name of Allium schoenoprasum and that means their relatives are garlic, Chinese onions, leeks, scallions and shallots.

This also means that they have a very pungent taste, like their cousins, and their major distinctive quality is that they have no leaves.  Of all the plants in our backyard, I happened to stumble upon the coolest and edible plant.

S6 L15 – Google Earth and TopoView Maps

For today’s lesson I was supposed to go to google earth and inlay the GEOPDF and .kmz map I downloaded yesterday, but I can’t really do this because of four reasons:

  1. ) I can’t use Chrome, so I can’t go to Google Earth
  2. ) My computer can’t read .kmz files so it doesn’t save them
  3. ) I need to watch a video on how to inlay maps on Earth but Youtube’s blocked so I can’t watch the vid
  4. )  I can’t find the GEOPDF file I downloaded

So I really can’t do today’s project, but I can show what I was supposed to do:

“Using the maps, answer these questions:

  1. What is the map quadrangle called? (top right margin of map)
  2. What is the contour internal on the map? (bottom margin)
  3. Can you find the elevation of your neighborhood?
  4. Look at the surrounding contours, what is the topography like around your area?”

So that’s really all for today.