JANUARY 21. Official first day of 2008 Harvest

February 5, 2008

Harvest is a season and everyone seems to have a different point of view about exactly when this begins as the cycle of growing coffee is exactly that… a cycle.

Although we did start some picking in early January, this year the first day of harvest for us is January 21.

PEPENA is the word in spanish we use for the pre picking which we do to capture early ripes. This also prepares the tree for a more uniform harvesting and allows maximum nutrient to be available to the fruit that is prepared for export.

It is costly to have a separate PRE harvest picking wave, but the cup quality proves this to be well worth it. Traditionally it is common practice to catch the over ripes during the first wave of picking and for quality’s sake sort them out somehow at some point. However the fruit that is reaching “IT’S POINT” ends up competing for nutrient with the fermenting dying coffee that is ahead of the game and now dying on the tree.

We’ve tried to send out a “STATE OF THE HARVEST” newsletter each year to our customers in the past. Instead I’ve thought more about creating a TOP 10 list of reasons why NOT to write it. Of course it would include the fact that we have few customers, no one reads it and if I’m not procrastinating and I get around to writing – my writing gets wordy. The truth is it is hard to write a years happenings concisely and you should just come down and see for yourself. To answer the most common question “How’s the harvest looking?”. It’s looking great. Quantity will be less this year and much less for many of our neighbors. Not so much because of one time weather related events.. rather a cycle of having relatively strong production the last couple years. This is a year that the mountains are taking a breather.(small tip for those working of the C) I will try to post more “happenings at FVH” in the coming weeks.

On that note- a few weeks ago we (Guatemala) lost aproximately 150,000 bags or 20 Million dollars worth of coffee due to high wind. Click here for more info (in Spanish). It was previously expected that the 08 crop would exceed the 07 crop in quantity. No longer the case.

5 Responses to “JANUARY 21. Official first day of 2008 Harvest”

  1. Jim Says:

    This is an amazing post. I am very interested in coffee production and the coffee farmers. So sorry to hear about the loss due to high wind.

  2. Fede Cabrera Says:

    Hola Edwin,

    Lamento que vayan a tener una cosecha reducida, y espero que puedan recuperar las perdidas con un mayor precio.

    Por otro lado, queria preguntarte como le fue a Noe en el campeonato local, y si sabes como se lo puede ubicar (no tuve suerte con su mail).

    Un abrazo,
    Federico

  3. Edwin Says:

    Hola Federico – Noe participo y gano tercer lugar en la nacional y ahora esta en California trabajando con varios tostadores. Su correo electronico es baristanoe@gmail.com

  4. Jason Haeger Says:

    That is incredible to read. I love you guys.

  5. abhishek Says:

    Hi Edwin,
    I have been reading your blog and visiting your website for long now. However I could not stop my self from posting a comment here. Harvest is the epoch of nature’s magic, infusing life and love in its produce.
    We in India celebrate it with great joy and love. Every region from the hills of the north to the beaches and ghats( Where most of our coffee is grown- The much despised Monsoon Malabar is grown here as well) to the plateaus celebrates in its own unique way.
    I belong to the family which has traditionally been growing mangoes and litchis along side the grains and veggies. Our official harvest season started on 14th of January. People in my village roast a part of the first harvest and offer it to the people participating as an offering , after which the celebration begins with songs sung for the bounty of nature and praising it for all that it does for us. Obviously the quintessential Indian food is prepared and served.It is always like that one year we would have a bumper crop and the next year we would not expect it to be the same or the year after. How similar!
    I wish you and your family a great crop.
    Cheers,
    Abhishek


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