May Farmer Updates
It’s HOT! and dry in Honduras right now. With coffee harvest over, the farmers are busying themselves with farm maintenance and plant pruning. Lots of time and sweat invested in work that will pay off next harvest. Read the update below that they sent over along with photos to learn more about what the farmers have been up to recently.
Cicadas whine in the intense heat of April. Did I say intense heat? We see the upper nineties only several times in a year at our elevation of three thousand eight hundred feet. Even so, the higher temperatures of dry season combined with the lack of rain have a wilting effect on everything and everyone. Coffee droops. Weeds stop growing. General upkeep on the coffee farm pauses and, while some neighbors clear land for planting other crops, others focus on improving their plantations.
The varieties of coffee we grow here produce small bushes after several years of growth. Tall trees become increasingly difficult to harvest, so the solution is what you can see in the pictures. Out comes the chainsaw and over they go! Coffee bushes are hard to kill. They will sprout prolifically after being pruned this way.
In several months, Filadelfo (right) will have to retrace his steps here, eliminating all but two shoots. These two sprouts on the stump will grow into a coffee bush that will probably flower next dry season and produce another crop within a year and a half. This process can be repeated up to two times before new plants need to be set out.
Another relatively new pruning procedure is to cut off the top of the bush. If the sprouts that emerge are regularly taken off, the bush becomes wider across and stays at the desired height. Because this generates so much work, very few of our growers practice this type of pruning. Stay tuned! May is here and we are getting eager for the rain that seems to be building up. One of these days, rainy season will start.