Category: Resilience

Get me SOM

2016-07-07 Comments

Over the past 18 months (and more), we’ve posted often on the critical role of soils in terms of sustainable coffee production and water resources management. With all we’ve written, if I had to choose one recommendation  for improving coffee farm management, it would be this: “Increase Soil Organic Matter” Soil Organic Matter is abbreviated as SOM. […]

Calculating Water Benefits on Coffee Farms

This a guest post by Will Garde, from the Caffeinated Engineer,  who has provided technical support to CRS’ Blue Harvest program this past year. Knowledge-based Coffee Watershed Management We know a lot about sustainable agricultural practices, and the specialty coffee industry has been a pioneer in incentivizing farmers to adapt good practices. But these practices, require time […]

Incentivizing farmer-led renovation in Guatemala

A few months ago, in the offices of Anacafé in Guatemala City, the II Cumbre de la Roya was held, 2 years after the initial meeting.  The objective of the meeting was to take stock of what has happened since the first meeting and to see how the Central American coffee sector was recovering from […]

Caravela Pledges Percentage of Ecuador Coffee Sales for Earthquake Relief

Caravela Coffee, the vertically integrated exporter/importer formerly known as Virmax, has been a key CRS partner in our Borderlands project in Colombia, delivering dozens of single-farm and community lots to Counter Culture and Stumptown over the past three years and delivering quality premiums to hundreds of smallholder growers who had never earned them before.  This […]

Knocking on Coffee’s Door: Cocoa’s Case as a Coffee Farm Alternative

2016-04-22 Comments

In previous Coffeelands posts we have written about the importance of diversifying smallholder coffee farms as a hedge against falling coffee prices, low coffee productivity resulting from disease (such as coffee leaf rust) and other factors. Diversification into other crops such as nuts, plantains and fruit, among others, also helps to ensure that a farmer […]

The SCAA Event: Annual Coffeelands Preview

In less than one month the gavel will sound to open The SCAA Event.  That means it’s time for the annual Coffeelands preview of The Event’s best “origin content.” In my 2012 SCAA preview post, I divided my picks into three “streams of enlightenment”—“downstream” presentations that push knowledge of origin toward the marketplace, “upstream” presentations […]

Natural Coffees – good for water resources

2016-03-08 Comments

Six years ago, James Hoffman started a post on natural coffees saying, “You could say this debate is old news, but somehow it still seems to be rumbling on.” Well, I’m fairly new to specialty coffee, and I’m so green to natural coffees that I was surprised (and delighted) to discover there was a debate.  After studying […]

Analyze This: Getting to Know Soils in the Coffeelands

2016-02-24 Comments

A farmer must know his or her soil. I mean, really know it: what lives in it (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, etc.); what’s decomposing in it and how much (organic matter); how hungry it is (for certain types of nutrients); if it needs a drink or needs to dry out (moisture level); and how it’s feeling […]