Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Shade-grown coffee at the famous Los Pinos of Byron Corrales is shown here, just after the harvest. A well-managed coffee farm is actually difficult to see from a distance. The coffee trees (low and dark green) are obscured by the banana (light green near the center) and taller shade trees.
All of these must be in balance for the coffee fruit to develop its fullest flavor. This balanced approach also protects the quality of water and provides habitat for birds and other animals, while providing an extra source of food or income in the form of fruits.
Unfortunately, the bald area in the distance is one of several flower-growing operations in the area that employs exactly the opposite philosophy. Growing flowers and ferns under tarps, short-term income is maximized at the expense of water quality, worker safety, and wildlife.
The choice could not be clearer: Know Your Farmer!