Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Getting out into the coffee
The coffee is pretty much ready for full on picking. Goyo, who works part time on our land (he is a permanent employee of Gabriel who sold us the land and used to own the block beside us), has been picking two days now, and we have been out several afternoons to pick for a few hours. At present we have enough for about 15 kilos of roasted coffee either drying on the roof or "fermenting" prior to cleaning and drying. We will probably have time and energy to produce between 60 and 90 kilos of roasted bean this year. Next week Gabriel will bring a group of 5 or 6 pickers out to go through the land and do the main pick.
We have a deal with our neighbour, who now owns the block that Gabriel played on for a year. We paid Goyo to clear the land in return for the coffee crop. The deal with the pickers is "half and half". They keep half of what they pick and sell it at the markets. We get the other half. Depending on how much that works out to be -- and it should be plenty -- we will either process the lot or will sell some and process as much as we possibly can. Because there is house painting and other routine maintenance to do, plus a bit (the absolute minimum) of academic stuff to stay in touch with, we can't spend as much time on the coffee as it deserves. But we'll be giving it the best shot we can because it is the best harvest we have had since getting the land. The beans look beautiful and we'll have enough for doing roasts of different kinds -- light, medium roast, dark, and points between.
The Flip took a few frames of the approach to our land. We'll have to edit the clip pretty severely to get good quality material for this year's coffee music video, but the "raw" clip on youtube gives a sense of how the approach to our land is looking just now. The entrada clip starts out over the land where the goat farm is and takes a quick sweep across the front part of our place, where you can just pick out the wee workshop/stoolshed/storage room and the white open-sided kitchen. It pans round to where Gabriel has planted a nice little reserve area (where one of the wells is), and then takes a look at the sky and some of the trees on ours and a neighbour's land, and then finishes up back at the buildings. We'll present a few clips of the land over the next few posts, depending on our capacity to get the up on the wire.
Meanwhile, Happy New Year, and let's hope that 2009 is at least a bit easier than 2008 has been,