I'll be the first one to admit I've been bad a keeping the blog updated. We still send out our monthly newsletters, which if you are not on that email list and would like to be, please email us here. Here's a quick recap of the past few months:
- Lots of construction on the coffee mill: During the spring, which is dry season, we were able to get a lot accomplished on our wet-mill in the village. We now have electricity in the mill, were able to dig a water well, and have everything plumbed to where we need it. We've also been doing lots of land and fence work. The village cows have learned how to jump our fence, so we're currently fixing that problem.
- Coffee planting was a success! We planted another acre+ of coffee in June. This was our second year to plant coffee on our farm, and it went so much smoother than last year. I believe that most of this is due to our local farm manager and his willingness to learn the process and help train other workers in the village. This past year we've started to introduce new coffee varietals to our farm that we cannot find locally. The plan is to use these new varieties for growing coffee seed, which we will then distribute to farmers in the village. They will then give us back seedlings when their coffee starts to produce in a few years (which we'll then give to other farmers and start the process over again). By doing this, we're helping create diversity in the coffee economy here and hopefully giving farmers new ways to approach a changing marketplace. Plus it makes it easier for us to find and buy great coffee to send to America.
- We've also hired on a new assistant farm manager. One of our good friends in the village has worked with us on and off for over a year now. The plan has always been to bring him on to our team once the time was right. This past month we were able to hire him on part-time to help our farm manager with all the work. The goal is that we'll bring him on full-time this next year and hopefully he'll be a big part of what we're trying to do there in the village. I'm looking forward to sharing more about his story in the future.
Currently here we're in the middle of rainy season, which means we've all be able to take a bit of a break. Once the rains stop in another month, we'll start moving forward on more construction on our mill and planning out what harvest looks like this fall. We're also hoping to start construction on an office/training center in the village. I'm sure there will be a lot more updates on all this in the future, and I'll make sure to blog about it a little more often.