It’s May and in Peru it is the beginning of the coffee harvest season. Soon, we’ll be heading to Lima and from there to the eastern Andes & the rainforests of Chanchamayo. It’s exhilarating and exciting, yet fraught with uncertainties and that uncomfortable background feeling that one gets when faced with the unknown.
We’re still uncertain how many of the small communities of growers were affected by the massive flooding this year & how the coffee quality will be this year. (see Torrential Rains & Mudslides Continue to Plague Peru.)
For our part, the focus is on getting solar drying tents onto as many farms as possible. It’s much easier to dry properly & avoid contaminants if the coffee is dried above ground. The common way is to spread the coffee on a tarp and rake often to ensure consistent drying of the beans. While this method is quite functional, it’s also easy to get dirt mixed in, or the family dog may find the tarps a warmer place to rest which is not the most desirable for coffee flavor.
Along with our efforts to improve quality, we’ll be trying to get a better look into the needs of these small farmers & see what we can do to improve their overall profitability & productivity. For that we’ll have the assistance of several good agricultural engineers who will be consulting with us and the farmers regarding harvest methods, fertilization etc. We have our first workshop scheduled for May 23rd with David Bisetti of Lima (for more information on David see Real People, Really Good Coffee – David Torres Bisetti)
We may try to hire a video crew in order to capture the building of one of these solar drying tents. Meanwhile, I’m hoping to get my Peruvian drivers license so that we can actually purchase a vehicle and have a little more control over our transportation. It’s easy enough o get around to the bigger cities, but when we need to get to the smaller villages, we’ve had to rely on others to take us there. This year, I’m going to boldly drive us instead.
We’re more than just a little anxious to get to Peru & get started. All of the many things we needed to do before leaving appear to be done, and someone will watch over our house & solar system while we’re gone. Wish us well, and stay tuned for updates as we are able…
© 2015 Ben Gangloff
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