What is the ChocoSoil Project?
ChocoSoil is a community-based urban agriculture research project that integrates soil making and rooftop container gardening into our day-to-day operations here at ChocoSol’s bean-to-bar chocolate production facility. The 88 self watering Caja garden containers that sit atop our facility’s 1500 square feet rooftop grow a variety of crops in our custom “ChocoSoil” mix. This soil is the result of our ‘cradle-to-cradle’ approach to food waste, whereby the composted food scraps, coffee grinds and cacao shells are mixed to create a nutrient dense soil mixture for our plants to thrive in.
ChocoSoil is a vehicle that develops urban agriculture and urban composting through observational research and hands-on experience. It is a part of ChocoSol’s commitment to sustainability, best practices and food literacy, and also enables us to practice both soil regeneration and high density urban agriculture - two important practices that connects us to the forest gardens of Mexico and the local agriculture here in Ontario. Since 2015 we have produced over 300 kg of compost and have harvested over 80 kg of produce!
What’s growing at ChocoSoil?
Each year ChocoSol’s rooftop garden is in full bloom with hearty edible weeds such as lamb’s quarters, dandelion, wood sorrel, wild arugula, amaranth, and epazote. Herbs such as chives, basil and cilantro are intercropped with tomatoes, beans, sweet peppers and squash. Flowers such as cosmos, sunflowers, borage, calendula, and marigold welcome local pollinators and butterflies. Sweet grass is the one hearty perennial that grows each year and is used in ceremonial smudging as well as for medicinal tea brewing. The vegetables and greens are harvested each week to be used in our Tortilla Project's delicious tortillas and tamales!