|Farm||Smallholder Farmers from La Cooperativa San Pedrana|
|Proc. Method||Fully Washed, Dry Fermentation, 15+ European Prep.|
We are happy to continue our relationship with Ryan Chipman from Yepocapa Coffee. He is connecting us with these awesome Guatemala coffee producers and the San Pedrana mill!
We’re really excited to share about this lot. Since obtaining their export license, La San Pedrana has been able to work with more coffee farmers giving them an opportunity to obtain better prices for their quality coffee.
Don Ramiro de La Roca Roca (cool name!) has entered his coffees into La San Pedrana for 2 years now mainly through the Farmers Select Lot. This year, we wanted to separate out his coffees from the region of Watasha, Quisaché as a way to give him some special honor. (His catimor varietals is what was used in our Natural Anaerobic lot too!)
What gets us most excited about Don Ramiro is his story and what he’s doing about it. In the 90’s, Don Ramiro planted only Caturra and Bourbon plants; primarily for their reputation for quality. Sadly, between the 2001 price drop crisis and the leaf rust epidemic that hit hard in 2012, Don Ramiro found his farming costs increasing while his production level decreasing. These varietals are super susceptible to leaf rust which made it more costly to maintain their plant health meanwhile facing lower production numbers. It made it really difficult for Don Ramiro to continue farming this way so he needed to do something differently.
Avocados! Don Ramiro spent a couple of years visiting other lands and asking farmers what worked for them. After a couple of years of doing his research, making mistakes, experimenting, learning from others, and talking with local agronomists, he decided on a farm designed around three main concepts.
Biodiversity, crop rotation, and climate-conscious varietals.
Don Ramiro’s farm now consists of Hass Avocados, Coffee Plants, and Black Beans and he rotates every other row of black beans with another seasonal crop as well.
Avocados: Every three rows, Don Ramiro has Hass Avocado trees planted. These trees provide a great source of shade for his coffee plants but more importantly, they’re currently a great sustainable source of income for his farm. (More profitable than coffee actually…)
Coffee Plants: Don Ramiro decided on planting Anacafe-14 varietals spaced 3 feet apart for a couple of reasons. Anacafe-14 is a cross between a Catimor and a Pacamara. It gives the disease resistance and production levels of the catimor while offering the bean size and cupping profile of the pacamara assuming it’s given sufficient nutrients. The extra space between the plants enable these plants to grow sufficiently in size without depleting the soil of its nutrients. Additionally, it enables Don Ramiro the option of planting new plants in between these rows before having to uproot plants that hit 10 years of age. This helps to soften the hit of naturally expected low production years.
Black Beans: Beans give an amazing source of nitrogen to the soil which is a huge component of what coffee plants need to thrive. Planting Black Beans between the plants not only gives the plants what they need but it’s a way to more efficiently use his land considering plant health/biodiversity, space management, and profitability.
We love meeting farmers like Don Ramiro that have placed a high value on education. The next generation of farming is going to take hard working, innovative, and creative individuals like Don Ramiro de La Roca Roca to effectively grow coffee with profitability and sustainable soil health management in mind. And we love getting to support people like him buy buying his coffee that also happens to be super tasty!