Gold Mountain Field Report: Week 4

When I wake up every morning, the first thing I do, even before putting on my glasses, is open the window.  There are shutters that open inwards, so I swing them open.  Often, I’ll find a few moths and other insects, but every few days, there’s a small lizard sunning itself and soaking up the sun’s energy to get ready for the day.  I suppose that’s what I’m doing too.

Just beyond my immediate company there is a fantastic view.  Weather permitting that is.  This past Sunday, my day off, I awoke to a view of the mountains across the valley from me half shrouded with clouds.  It looked as if someone had been gling cotton balls to the window but ran out halfway through the process.  This sight reminded me of just how high up we really are on the plantation.  My room is about 1000m/3300ft, the finca is between 1100-1200m/3600-4000ft, making the clouds eye level.

On the farm this week, I was given the task of weeding the nursery again.  This time though the task was was to weed around the bags of seedlings.  And this time I had a coworker with a machete.  This makes the work go alot faster and with three times the amount of weeds it took only a day and a half.

After finishing the work in the nursery, we continued with removing dried, overripe coffee cherries from the coffee trees.  While making another pass through the trees at the other end of the finca, I noticed this varietal had fewer dried cherries than the Catimor trees.  The Paca and Caturra varietals seem to be more resistant to the coffee borer beetle.  None of us found much evidence of the issue with these trees.  Although it felt weirdly disappointing to come away with a nearly empty bag since this is actually a good thing.

While picking the cherries off the trees, I found a bird’s nest.  It appeared to be unfinished, suggsting to me that the bird who built this benefits from living in coffee tree’s specifically.  My first thoughts were that it feeds on the bugs that live on or near the trees.  For me, this find just adds to the evidence that sustainable, environmentally friendly coffee growing practices benefit both local wildlife and the coffee itself.

I’ve also fascinated by how some branches will have several stages of fruit on them.  Closer to the trunk the cherries are often large  and green just waiting to turn red, while closer to the middle of the branches the cherries are a bit smaller.  Occasionally I’ll find a branch that also has a few bright, white coffee flowers at the end.

Today I’m back at the office to write and take advantage of the wifi.  I’m also taking my first crack at roasting!  There is an air roaster here that is small and much less intimidating than the sample roaster that I placed it next to.  I don’t think I’ll be taking over for Janine anytime soon but I certainly hope this Bourbon I’m testing brews up nicely on the Cafflano brewing system I brought with me.

2017-07-25T12:38:06+00:00

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