We came back from a recent coffee trip to Costa Rica where we were impressed by the resourcefulness of the coffee farmers’ practices. One is to plant the small coffee trees, which may take up to four years to start producing, in the shade of their “big brothers.” This way, the smaller plants are protected, and when mature, the “big brothers” are pruned back to give light to their new brethren.
Even bigger big brothers to the coffee trees are the large fruit trees planted above the coffee trees to create a “shade-grown” environment. This accomplishes a few things.
We hope you enjoy your morning cup of coffee and hearing the birds sing outside your window doubly when you know you’re contributing to fewer carbon emissions, providing a habitat for birds and helping farmers earn a decent wage.
For more, listen to this Costa Rican Farmer.
See next post for some ingenious ways they use coffee by-products—from paper, to fertilizer, fuel and more.
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