Look who came out to play

Last Wednesday May 17th was our first day back picking coffee this year at the Tambo Quinde nature reserve, not a full pick, just a scan, a run-through to get the handful of first-ripe beans and begin prepping for the real deal that´s on the way soon. We were joined by a little dipsas, snail-eating snake and an anolis lizard both common where we are and very welcome members of of our pest-control team. You can see them in full attack mode in the picture above. If you take a close look at this caturra variety coffee bush taken Friday at Tambo Quinde, you can see that we have harvesting ahead of us, tons of green beans to pick, depulp, ferment, wash and dry. Fun fact: for every pound of roast coffee you enjoy, someone, somewhere picked and processed between five and six pounds of coffee fruits or cherries. Heavy lifting for sure! This year we´ll be taking all the cherries downhill to the Alambi Reserve where we´re been building the new harvest center or beneficio where the depulping to drying stages will take place. That work is coming together and will be the subject of our next blog.

Sneak-peak: The new kitchen/coffee bar and bathrooms are just now having the walls covered in boards from a couple “Uva” or jungle-grape trees that were blown down in a storm at Mindo Cloudforest Foundation´s Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary. These are pioneering, fast-growing trees with pretty light and soft wood, but just fine for walls that will be protected from the rain. We like that we were able to put this good wood to a good use, considering that the downed trees were blocking trails through the reserve and otherwise may have been left to rot. The rest of the construction news is coming soon for sure!
Meanwhile, you may have seen on the news that Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have had a pretty rough winter, tons of rain, landslides, washed out roads and worse, some very serious damage like to the Colombian town of Mocoa where hundreds lost their lives. Our region has been hit too, but frankly it hasn´t seemed that much different from an average year. Lots of rain with some sunny mornings and some big storms. Logically we do get rain, it´s cloud forest after all, perhaps easier to think of as rainforest above a thousand feet elevation, and in our case near six thousand feet up the slopes of the Andes mountains. Of course there was some damage, there always is, and we should always thank the courageous and kind road workers from the Provincial Government who keep us connected and who lost a young companion when his front-loader went over the edge and got partially buried while trying to clear the Tandayapa – Bellavista road last month. Horrible and tragic news. RIP.