Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday on the plantation

Today we went into San Miguel and met with the Coffee farmers. We started in the town square where school was in session and listened to some history of the volcano where the coffee plantation is. The volcano had flooded the town once upon a time and a Spanish man came and helped rebuild the town, this is why it's called San Miguel.
After our history we walked up the streets, up onto the volcano into the coffee fields. We learned of different crops grown on the fields to make them more profitable. They grow trees to shade the plants like banana trees, avocado or macademia plants. These plants provide another resource while fertilizing the soil and providing other products.
Once we got to the plants we were able to do picking of the coffee fruits. This was a wonderful experience to work among the field workers and imagine the life of a woman in Guatemala walking miles up the volcano to work, probably pregnant and with toddler in tow. This give us new admiration for the women in this culture.
After we picked our bean fruits we took them to the processing to take the beans out of the fruit part. This is done by a bicycle attached to the husking machine.
We learned the process of fermenting, drying and roasting coffee. We had lunch in a home of one of the farmers. This was exciting for us to sit with a family for a traditional meal. We were able to roast some coffee and have a sample of the coffee. There is nothing like fresh Guatemalan coffee. We went down to the town and discussed economics of coffee farmers in Guatemala.
Today was a fantastic day to be in the sun, working together and learning the culture and structure of Guatemalan coffee production.
Here is a link to the website of the company we worked with today and how you can buy amazing coffee directly from the farms.

1 comment:

  1. Not THIS is a useful education! Many thanks.