Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Growth

There are some buds forming on the main plant. So far it looks like there are more than last year, but still no great amount. The plant is growing pretty fast and I wonder if the less mature branches aren't able to bud.

I picked cherries from the trees in a guys house that lives near by a couple months ago. I crammed some of them in the soil of another houseplant. Low and behold, two sprouts popped up. They are so close together I can only assume they are from one cherry. I didn't remove the skin before putting them in the soil. The plant they popped up from is on a table in the living room away from any windows. The area is bright during the day, but gets no direct sunlight. I have another couple pots all crammed with cherries that I have been keeping in the sun. Needless to say I moved them over near the plant with the sprouts.

So this has nothing to do with growing coffee, but I saw this neon sign in Manhattan a couple weeks ago. I love shit like this, it cracks me up.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Let It Rain!

Spring is in the air, the sun is shining warmly, and the rains they are a coming. Well not in drought ridden North Carolina, but the wet season has begun at Finca Nueva Berlin. After several months of very limited watering I have begun a new regimen.

I began watering the plants much more often, and more water each time. A spray bottle for misting also appeared on the windowsill. I figure it is pretty humid in the jungle, so a quick spraying of the leaves a few times a day is now the norm.
Organic bone meal in a nice heavy dose, along with some compost, were mixed into the soil to promote flowering. The plants are all looking as beautiful as I can remember. The leaves are a deep green and lustrous. New leaves are popping up constantly and in places on the existing branches where I have never seen them grow before.

Just so happens there are a few other trees in my neighborhood. Unknown to me a guy a couple miles away has a half dozen mature trees he brought back from Venezuela about ten years ago. They produce fruit on occasion, and he allowed me and a friend to come pick the cherries. The plants are big, but don't look especially healthy. He also uses miracle grow regularly, so I still lay claim to Durham, NC's only organic coffee farm. I took about 30 cherries and buried them a couple inches down in a pot of nice rich soil. Don't know if anything will sprout, but what the hey. Last year the same guy mentioned above gave away small plants from his sprouts at a local store. A couple of them made it to Counter Culture, but they got left out in the cold. I took them home and tried to revive them. One survived, and with a new neighbor in the pot. It would seem a tomato seed from my compost decided the pot would make a good home. Can you say poly culture?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Finally, A New Post!

Okay, so I dropped the ball. I don't know why really, I just stopped posting and got lazy about it. Sorry.

So, last spring I received a handful of beans straight from some friends in El Salvador. 100% bourbon, they sat in moist starter soil doing nothing for close to a month. Just before I was ready to toss them in the trash, I decided instead to put them under my deck outside and ignore them. I honestly forgot they were there. One day while mowing the lawn I saw the tray sitting there and noticed something. Three little sprouts!

So, the three sprouts proved to be one male and two female. The first leaves that emerge from the seed show that. I coffee talk at CCC led by the Caballero family of El Puente fame taught me how to tell the difference. Three leaves emerging mean the plant is a "macho", and two means they are an "empressa". Fast forward to present day and I am happy to say the three are doing great. After about sixty days I carefully transferred each sprout to a small pot with an organic soil mix that is high in nitrogen and my own compost mixture.

So, how is my old friend you ask? Well the separation to three plants proved to be a good thing. All three are thriving in their indiviual (much larger) pots. I have been watering them much less through the winter, imitating the dry season. There has been quite a bit of leaf loss, but I have learned over the years that is natural and not to be worried. They are hearty and happy, and when spring comes I will begin the rainy season. Lots of water, and misting the leaves regularly. I heavy dose of bone meal to encourage flowering, and fingers crossed for a new crop of Finca Nueva Berlin. Rest assured it would be a Microlot!

There ya go, a new post. I want to apologize to all my fans (both of them) for the long gap in between. I am going to make a concerted effort again to keep this thing going. I mean, I am paying 30 bucks a year for the friggin URL!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Still Growing

Spring has been a good season. The re-potted plants continue their journey outward and upward. The big plant has proven to be a real fast mover. It reminds me of a conversation with Aida Battle of Finca Mauritania fame that occurred last fall. She had done a significant pruning at her farms that year and was very pleased with how fast the trees had been growing since.
I am also happy, but cautious, to report that the one newly sprouted seed that resulted from my germination attempt is still around. The way you see it in the picture is how it has been for a couple weeks now. The seed has not fallen off and there are no leaves yet, but it seems to be growing a bit and maintaining its strength. I continue to be amazed by coffees patient nature. Just when I have started to think things would never happen (flowers, cherries, sprouted seed) is when they do.