We have our little pulper working hard; the wheel barrows full of coffee, the greenhouse stacked with drying racks. It is now peak harvest here on this little farm.
Woopsy daisy my charming neighbor has accidentally planted all his coffee seedlings, including ones he promised me.......and I am scrambling to find coffee plants. One of the workers has been despatched to scour nurseries in town.
When my neighbor kindly offered me as many coffee plants as I wanted as long as I had the holes ready and dug.....certainly it was a generous gesture, but was it to turn out to be an act of kindness or a strategic curse?
If I put all the time effort and expense into digging and preparing holes with fertilizer and fumigating with biological fungicide and was successful in doing this; Then, I also need to trust that the plants will arrive or else I have wasted a lot of time and committed myself to still more trouble and greater expense of trying to find other plants with no lead time and when good ones are more money and scarce.
Despite efforts to manage risks, I am the looser. Predictable possibly, but living life optimistically is so much more fun than the alternative and whilst higher risk, sometimes higher reward. I am still here after all and smiling most of the time.
Not blindly optimistic, basic due diligence was done..... verified situation and plant availability immediately in advance of digging, decided on a conservative number of holes, and managed the entire process much more closely than anyone would want to...... Yes, digging these holes was 3x harder than digging the holes for plants that were already on site because, workers do not easily dig holes for invisible plants, instinctively skeptical.
I find myself now sending a worker around town looking for other plants to fill holes. I am sure it was exactly as explained by my embarrassed and charming neighbor, an innocent and unfortunate mistake. Much worse things and more dangerous errors have happened around here, to me, or at sea..... no big deal.
Delivering what you say you will deliver is not as easy as it sounds up here in the hills. It usually requires getting other people to do what you tell them and that in and of itself is damn hard.
Here the consequences and hence accountability is less and the challenge to deliver is greater. In this growth economy there sure is opportunity for folks who can deliver.
In fact, basically, trying to do what I say I will do is what I fill my days with; Despite on paper anyway, not having an awful lot to do.
My house is a humming bird trap. Over the months, I have devised some ways to minimize the harm like not putting flowers on my coffee table that lure them inside or remembering in the morning light not to leave the porch doors open.
The good news is that I almost always manage to rescue them and re-patriate to the forest outside. This is a baby rufus tailed humming bird. The locals call them Lucifers - they are like little devils dashing and darting noisily around the place.
Sadly, we found this corpse when we were planting baby coffee. This looks like a 9 ringer. Probably the victim of a neighbors dog. We have a lot of armadillos on the farm. They burrow beneath the rocks and are hard to find. As I am usually only out and about with workers or a 5 yr old I have only rarely seen them. Others who go quietly around the farm have more luck.
As we finish off digging holes and planting coffee for the next couple of weeks, I am going to post pictures from around the farm. As the rains are arriving so the fruit trees are setting fruit.
This is my first set of pictures: These are passion fruit flowers. They turn into oval green fruits that when they are ripe are wrinkled on the outside. The flesh around the seeds and juice is orange. Tart and delicious.
There is a great discussion going on @ CoffeeGeek about my latest article and controversy and opinions about coffee certifications http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/articles/columns/580186#580186
This is truly exciting to me. These are people on the cutting edge of coffee and research and if anyone can change the coffee world they can. Everything starts somewhere and in conversations like these great progress can be made.
Meanwhile, back on the farm, the little horse went back to his previous owner the local petting zoo. We hope they manage OK going forward. On the farm, the guys have planted Caturra around the rose garden and more oranges as a hedge between the main part of the farm and my bee colonies.
The little rescue horse that arrived on Sunday is improving fast. Already he looks vastly different from three days ago http://www.boquetecoffee.com/1/post/2012/05/sunday-reflection-blessings-in-rescuing-and-being-rescued1.html.
We now know his name is Dorado and this is a picture of him this morning. We are using temporary electric fencing to clear areas of grass land before planting coffee. Little Dorado is getting to do the job. Sometimes life is a beautiful thing. Joy the rescue dog likes to hang out with Dorado. Two happy campers enjoying a sunny morning in the long grass.
Horses loose condition very fast. Fortunately they can also put on weight quickly especially if tempted with nice green grass and have their sweet food amended with oil and other goodies. It will take longer for the food to work its way from the tummy to covering those skinny ribs but in a couple of weeks he should be unrecognizable. It will take more time to get the luster back on the coat and his hooves may show the stress for a bit. It may even be possible that he goes through a growth spurt over the coming months. He looks stunted to me. Given size of his head and height of rump he should be taller.
God bless little Dorado, I will keep posting updates.
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We are planting just 500 Caturra babies on the farm. Should be able to get these holes dug and in the ground easily over the next two days. Today, we just have a very few bushes scattered across the farm. Caturra is a shorter stockier plant than most coffee varietals. It is very pretty and perfect hedging material. As this entire farm is a coffee garden we are going to plant a Caturra border hedge around some of the rose garden.