E-mails are regularly sent to our contacts. We give below links to these messages which give the main news about us for the month of April 2020. The texts are in French, sorry for this inconvenience.
Flowering and transition to organic farming (22 avril 2020)
Out of stock and waiting for a good rain (6 avril 2020)
News in brief (1er avril 2020)
If you wish to receive future E-mail, dites-le nous via notre page contact
It never rains in January February, except ...
Last year it rained in late February, which was already very unusual. But this year it was at the end of January that we had a very heavy rain. We first thought, as we just finished harvesting, that it would not be enough to make the coffee bloom. We had to quickly become disillusioned: partial flowering is taking place, which implies a start to harvest already in September and uneven ripening which will lengthen the harvest time.
Fortunately, this does not affect the quality of the coffee and does not prevent us from appreciating the beauty of these flowers, the work of the bees and the unusual simultaneity of the white flowers of the coffee with the orange flowers of the Poro Gigante, a tree which, apart from shade, has the particularity of providing nitrogen to our coffee plants.
Due to unusual weather in 2018 (see below the news of flowering), the harvest was long (almost 3 months), but less abundant, especially for the new Obata variety whose growth is slower than planned.
The harvest was further complicated by the fact that I blocked my back on December 17 and, after 3 weeks of almost total immobility, I am in a slow recovery phase. I had to give the instructions from my bed and count on Viviane to go get the coffee sacks with the pick-up, help the employees for humidity measurements, pay them etc. She therefore deserves to appear with our employees and pickers in the photo below. The team is not complete because, given the circumstances, the end of harvest aperitif was improvised at the last minute.
As I have not been able to go to the plantations for more than a month, this will be the only illustration of this message. More info when I can go back to the coffee trees.
Taking advantage of a forced period of rest and the opening of an account in France, an accessory site was created to allow purchases directly in euros (click here)
Some precisions :
We are in full harvest and the quality is there.
We pass several times to harvest only the ripe grains and will not finish the harvest before mid-January, if not at the end of January. As shown in the photos below, the ripening is very variable from one coffee tree to another and it is not easy to select only the very ripe beans.
Transition to organic farming delayed by a few months
Last year, we had already noticed dark spots on some coffee trees, a sign of the presence of a fungal disease, anthracnose. This year, a very virulent form of this disease has taken hold and we have decided to postpone the 3-year transition period by 6 months which will allow us to obtain organic farming certification. The disease being well established, and affecting moreover our new vanilla plantations, it seemed to us prudent to envisage one, perhaps two conventional treatments in alternation with the treatments recognized by organic farming that we have already started to use .
This disease does not affect the quality of the coffee in any way but could greatly reduce the yield either directly or indirectly by the size of the affected branches or the elimination of coffee trees too affected to avoid the spread of spores.
With the 2,500 plants planted in 2019, OBATA is the majority in the plantation. The resistance to "rust" of this variety makes it possible to envisage a reconversion in organic culture, all the more necessary given the diversification in progress. We hope to be able to move in this direction from 2020.
History: coffee farmer ... by chance
The purchase of the 5-hectare property in 2012 was intended to build a small second home on land and also test the possibility of growing vines in the tropics. The land was already planted with coffee on about 4 hectares, but the sellers had assured us that we would have no obligation to take care of it, one of their employees taking care of everything in exchange for the money from the sale to the local cooperative. The employee in question having been dismissed shortly after on justified grounds, we found ourselves alone and without agricultural knowledge at the head of 4 hectares of coffee. So we looked for one employee, then two, and asked for support from the cooperative's agricultural engineers. Gradually more comfortable, we bought the machines to produce our own coffee and decided to export it to Switzerland where we continue to spend 6 months a year. As for the secondary residence, it became the main residence during the 6 months that we spend in Costa Rica.