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.
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.
As I have made my way around the coffeelands this year, I have been struck among other things by the vibrant colors I saw in the ripe cherries, brightly-painted infrastructure and hand-lettered signs, among other places. Here are some images of the colores de café in Mesoamerica.
when my photos were made to look very good by the excellent design firm here in Guatemala that created the CAFE Livelihoods 2009-2010 Yearbook, I started feeling pretty good about myself. Then I went to the Inspired by Coffee photo exhibit at Anacafé, and got a big dose of humility.
The coffee harvest is just…irresistible. My eyes (and camera) are invariably drawn to the bright red of the coffee cherries, which make their way in just a few hours’ time from the trees where they are picked to a sticky rest in the fermentation tank — the truimphant conclusion of many months of patient maturation. Here are a few images documenting the last day in the life of some very special coffee cherries from Lake Atitlán in Guatemala.
On my recent visit to Olopa here in Guatemala, I had the pleasure of spending some time with two fantastic people — Don Bernardino and Doña Francisca. During our visit, Don Bernardino was very expressive in conversation, using his hands to emphasize a point, demonstrate the physical quality of his coffee, dig into his worm […]