The mountainous terrain where quality coffee thrives provides welcome cover to revolutionary groups, and invites the presence of the counter-revolutionary forces that stalk them. This dynamic has put coffee communities in the cross-fire from Mexico to Peru since the early 20th century. The cries of innocent victimes continue to echo loudly through the coffeelands.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending a long afternoon with Dean Cycon of Dean’s Beans with no particular agenda other than talking about the coffeelands and drinking some good coffee. Four hours after he welcomed me into his office, I left with an armful of coffee, some great Dean’s Beans swag, […]
I am back in the office today after nearly two weeks in Nicaragua where I participated in the Food Security Solutions event and met with CAFE Livelihoods partner organizations. I will be profiling them and all the project’s partners in the coming months. Meantime, some parting shots from my travels in Nicaragua.
I am 10 days and about 800 long-slog miles into a visit to the coffeelands in Nicaragua that will end tomorrow when I get on a flight home to Guatemala. One of the highlights of the visit so far was having lunch earlier this week with Don Jaime Molina on his Monte Cristo farm. Jaime placed second at the Nicaragua Cup of Excellence competition in April; a few days before our visit, his coffee sold at auction for $12.55 a pound.
The Selva Negra coffee farm and resort — and its gracious owners Mausi and Eddy Kuhl — hosted last week’s Food Security Solutions event. The farm is an extraordinary place that has been recognized for its sustainability practices. It is a very special place that was hard to leave — here are some images to suggest why.
The Food Security Solutions event has ended, but it is my hope and expectation that its impacts will make themselves felt in coffee communities throughout the Americas for years to come.
Today I rejoined the family gardens workshop during the fourth and final day of Food Security Solutions — a hands-on training opportunity during which a small group of coffee farmers and folks like me turned a flat pitch of ground into two vegetable gardens.
Yesterday — day three of Food Security Solutions — we began the day by dividing into groups again to begin another two-day workshop. In the evening, we ended the day by coming together to discuss an issue that affects us all and will shape the food security lanscape for generations to come — climate change. In between, I found time to visit with farmers and staff of CECOCAFEN and spend some time with the very talented photographer Clay Enos.
Yesterday the coffee and mushroom workshop at Food Security Solutions moved from talk to action.
I spent the first day of the Food Security Solutions event here in Nicaragua with a few dozen coffee farmers talking about — and searching for — mushrooms. Today was (mostly) talk. We were sent on a scavenger hunt during the lunch recess, tasked with finding big, beautiful or otherwise notable mushrooms. Here are some samples of the incredible finds that people made.