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A Sustainable Approach to Coffee Farming

21 February 2017
by Cloe
bean member

Arriving on Jesús Maria Pedraza’s farm, La Granada, felt like entering the secret garden. There were flowers of every kind lined up along the driveway and a zoo of baby chickens, goats, ducks, dogs as well as a plethora of native birds providing a harmonious soundtrack. Jesús proudly informed us that his 19.5 Hectare farm was home to a dense forest, which paired with rich volcanic soil has generated its own microclimate.

Jesús spent his life working for SENA, the National Education Institution in Colombia where he developed a specialty coffee school called the Coffee Quality Institute. The program teaches everything from ethical farming, processing, funding, selling and cupping with an overall vision to sustain and improve the Colombian coffee industry by educating a new generation of coffee farmers.

His dream was to one day hang up his teaching hat and put his wealth of knowledge into practice, which is exactly what he’s been doing for the past 5 years at La Granada.

La Granada, located in Pijao Colombia, climbs up to a mighty 2100 ft. above sea level and is home to a handful of varietals including Typica, red and yellow Caturra, Castillo, Bourbon and Gesha.

“We’re all part of the planet and need to learn to coexist”

– Jesús Maria Pedraza when discussing the protection and preservation of all animals on his farm from native birds to snakes, spiders and mice.

One problem this region faces is the wet season coinciding with the harvest season (mid-June – mid-August). A challenge Jesús has tried to overcome by experimenting with drying the coffee earlier. He’s also been experimenting with honey processing as well as naturals and different hybrids.

Jesús is the first to admit however that his passion extends further than growing unique and rare varietals but lies more so in creating a farm that is fully self sufficient and sustainable long term. A farm that he, his family and his seasonal workers can live off completely and that can serve as an example of how the greater agricultural industry should continue to work together and learn from each other moving forward. Having already substituted 60% of all supermarket produce by his diversified farming efforts it seems he’s well on his way to a sustainable paradise!

Thank you Jesús for sharing the joys of your Secret Garden!