Tag Archives: climate change

Green Water, in Practice

A few years ago, I asked a farmer in the “dry corridor” of eastern El Salvador what he would do to improve water management if he were the donor funding our project. He pointed up at the hills and said, “During the wet season, there are torrents of rain that come down this mountain. The vast […]

The Machete vs the Hoe

2015-06-18 Comments

Blessed is the Machete A machete makes a wonderful wedding gift. After working many years with farmers around the world, I learned to value the multiple functions a machete offers a family: it’s a knife, a lawn mower, vegetable peeler, screwdriver, tree pruner, and so much more. A few years ago, my friends Sara and […]

Coffee hybrids and a frank talk about breeding coffee

  Greek mythology is full of mythical beasts that are created from a fusion of two distinct entities. Some great examples are the centaur, a half-human, half horse warrior and the harpy, a bird of prey with a woman’s face and chest.  These are extreme examples of hybrids – the offspring of two very distinct […]

Bird Friendly Coffee: Good for the farmers?

Dr. Robert Rice is commonly referred to as the coffee industry’s “voice of the birds,” and the certification he represents the gold standard for environmentally friendly coffee. That point is difficult to argue:  The Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center’s Bird Friendly coffee certification requires farmers to be organic certified, possess at least ten different species of trees […]

Some Ethiopian Farmers’ success comes at a steep price for wild coffee (& the future of the sector)

A reaction to: Protecting coffee from intensification – Science Magazine, January 8, 2015. In the highlands of Ethiopia, farmers’ successes are putting in peril one of the most important resources to the global coffee industry in the face of a changing climate:  the wild coffee forests.  Arabica coffee, as you all know, has its origins […]

396. SCAA Expo: The view from the coffeelands

SCAA’s 2014 Expo opens in a little more than a month, which means it’s time for the annual CRS Coffeelands Blog SCAA preview.  After a careful review of the lecture program, I wonder whether this year’s Expo may the best ever for folks like me coming in from the coffeelands.

356. Coffee rust: An inconvenient truth

The application of climate science to coffee has generated an inconvenient truth: the map of the coffeelands in Mesoamerica will be redrawn over the next 40 years, and by 2050 the specialty coffee map will likely be much smaller than it is today.  Against the backdrop of the current coffee rust epidemic in Central America, […]

291. The coffee and water paradox at origin

CRS has worked with smallholder coffee farmers in Central America for 10 years to help expand the market opportunities available to them.  Over the past five years, CRS has also promoted integrated water resource management in coffee-growing communities throughout Central America.  In the process, CRS has identified — and taken initial steps to address — […]

156. General reflections on Symposium

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I participated this year for the first time in the SCAA’s annual Symposium.  I realized what a coffee geek I am when I felt mildly star-struck by my contact with such luminaries as James Hoffman, Peter Giuliano, Geoff Watts, Aida Batlle, and others similarly positioned in the industry’s stratosphere.  […]