AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Chocolate Endorphines DATE: 10/01/2009 04:36:00 PM ----- BODY:
My regular running route takes me past the NECCO Candy factory and the aromas of Canada Mints and Necco Wafers fill the air. A few blocks down the road, I pass the Chocolate Factory... a condo-building aptly named because it used to be… a chocolate factory. When the streets closer to my house began to waft chocolate scents, I didn’t really think much of it, other than, “mmmm, heavenly aromas…. Much…. Better… than…. Mint……” It really made sense to me.

As it turns out, the chocolate scents were coming from my neighbor’s yard – in the form of Cocoa Shell Mulch. Essentially, expired cocoa bean shells are repackaged and sold as mulch. Brilliant, if you ask me! But I wonder, if the whole neighborhood used cocoa mulch… what would happen to all the neighborhood dogs?

And thinking to next year....


----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:10/01/2009 05:10:00 PM Here in Oregon, hazelnut country, they use the shells of the hazelnuts as mulch. It actually looks beautiful! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Karen DATE:10/01/2009 08:27:00 PM I love the aroma of freshly-spread cocoa mulch! Surprisingly, my dogs leave it alone - I've never seen them take a nibble. Buckwheat hulls make really pretty mulch, too but are too expensive for me.

We have the aroma of coffee wafting down our street, from the New England Coffee Company. I like it but it does get a bit strong at times. When we first moved it, it took us a few weeks to figure out what that smell was... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous jo DATE:10/01/2009 09:18:00 PM I too used it in my garden until I realised the pooper was starting to eat it. Amazingly though one year it grew a cacao plant. I assure you! I brought it in to have it verified. sadly though, I hate chocolate. SHHHHHHHH don't tell anyone.
i eventually switched to buckwheat hull and then I grew the perennial beds thick enough that mulch was no longer required. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:10/02/2009 09:25:00 PM I used the cocoa shells one year, but switched first to buckwheat hulls, and then to our own compost as mulch. I do miss the aroma, though. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Mini Baker DATE:10/03/2009 12:45:00 AM IM SOOO JEALOUS! I would LOVE to see the Necco factory one day! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types DATE:10/04/2009 01:01:00 PM I would never leave the yard ... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:10/04/2009 01:15:00 PM noble pig -- do the shells smell like hazelnuts?

Karen -- I didn't like the buckwheat hulls because they were too light and blew all over the place.

jo -- that's so cool that you got a cocoa plant!

Lydia -- why did you switch away from the cocoa?

Mini Baker -- it's not as impressive now that Novartis moved into the neighborhood and painted the old landmark to look like DNA strands.

T.W. -- it certainly perks me up at the end of the run. ----- --------