Colombia, part 1 - The Farm
We donned our hikers and a raincoat before hitting the hills to visit a small coffee farm in Antioquia.
We started our journey from seed to fruit, discovering how the coffee seeds are planted and then nurtured to seedlings. Like with everything coffee, selection is key and we took turns at checking root systems for defective seedlings. Sadly several would not have passed the test – highlighting just the beginning of the high labour and risk involved in coffee farming.
After a workshop on coffee species and planting techniques, we ventured up the hill to walk through the farm and view those precious coffee cherries. The rain was soon forgotten as we picked fresh mandarins from the orchard and walked up a hill to the most breathtaking view down the valley. The low clouds hovered over the range across the river, and the rain, now a mere drizzle, only added to the serenity of being at the origin of the cup.
We spent time discussing farming techniques, disease control and the challenges of harvest. Our eyes wide with respect at the challenges our farmers face every day. Back down the (now rather slippery!) hill we visited the Beneficio, where the cherries are depulped and then dried to prepare for shipment to the mill. It was humbling to view such primitive equipment so vital to the processing and consequently the quality of the beans.
To download our learnings from the coffee farm would take a novel, so feel free to grab Will or I for a chat (over a coffee of course) anytime! We’re still in admiration of the experience and so honoured to have seen first hand what the coffee farmer goes through to get their cherries to the mill.
Speaking of which, next chapter I'l share our trip to the mill!