About Nectar of Life Organic Coffee Beans
One of the most important point to grow organic coffee beans is using the right fertilizers and compost. Our sourced farm takes a serious note of it; The farmers at our plantation are always on the front line of finding new ways to return soil to its highest productivity level without using chemicals.
It is important to replenish the soil with nutrients. To do this making compost from the waste produced by the farm, kitchen, and cabins is essential. Compost includes coffee pulp, manure from the cows and chickens, organic garbage, algae from the lake, rice husks, vegetation, and old mulch. Every year the estate produces about 600 tons of organic fertilizer. The compost bins are large and capable of holding up to 60 tons each.
Let’s talk about the development of the bean, for those who are unaware about the coffee estates and would like to see the coffee plantation.
April and May is a great time of year to visit the coffee farm. The dry season is ending and tiny blossoms awaken with the falling rain. Coffee fields look dusted with snow. Really, you are seeing are tiny, brilliant white flowers covering the coffee plants. The smell is unbelievable, like oranges and Jasmine. Dense bouquets of flowers are seen over the backdrop of dark shiny leaves. It is stunning. This display is very short, and only lasts a few days. Following this beautiful show, the coffee bushes put all their energy into producing coffee beans.
The Coffee cherries / Beans
In November, the green beans begin to ripen into a bright red cherry. Red signals that the beans are ready to be picked (by hand).
The beans do not ripen all at once. One branch will have beans in various stages of ripeness, red being ready to pick while the green need more time to ripen. That is why hand-picking is so essential. Pickers are careful to pick only the red cherries for the highest quality coffee. There may be four or five rounds of picking before all the beans are harvested. Usually it’s the second round of picking producing the largest harvest of the season.
Harvesting / Picking of the coffee beans
Harvest time is an exciting time. Everything is a buzz from the coffee but it is not from drinking it. It is the anticipation everyone has of producing one of the very best coffees in the world.
There is a lot of work that comes with harvest; seasonal workers are hired to pick the red coffee cherry to catch them at peak of ripeness. Picking is a skilled job. Workers carefully pluck ripe beans leaving the beans that aren’t ripe for the next sweep. They must be careful to prevent damage to all the branches.
Workers eat together
Typically, all the workers will eat together. Often the meal is of the national dishes; Gallo Pinto (rice and beans seasoned with herbs and spices); Salad (shredded cabbage, green peppers, carrots, onions and freshly-squeezed lime juice); corn tortillas; hearty meat and vegetable dishes.
How We measure the harvest at Nectar of Life
Workers are paid on a piece work scale. Each day the worker’s harvest is poured into a wooden barrel with measuring marks inside. The higher the beans measure the more the worker is paid.