2012

Sustainable Organic Coffee
Farming and Coffee Tour

[iconbox title=”Contact Name: Glenn Jampol” icon=”adress_book.png”]
Website: www.fincarosablanca.com/?page=coffee/coffee&language=eng
Location: Costa Rica
Email Address: info@FincaRosaBlanca.com
Phone Number: +506-2269-9392[/iconbox]

Project Description

AFinca Rosa Blanca has 30 acres of hard bean coffee which is certified organic by the BCS OKO Garantie, an international organic agriculture certification and is certified sustainable by Rain Forest Alliance and ICAFE, the Costa Rican National Organization for Coffee.

The Coffee Plantations: We have planted over 5,000 native trees on our coffee plantations with the help of the environmental protection agency (MINAET) and local school children. These native trees produce shade and nitrogen for our organic coffee and have created biological corridors for the birds and animals of the area. The coffee is planted following the natural topography of the farm to avoid erosion and water waste and is protected by living fences planted with native shrubs and trees.

We use no agrochemicals, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides on the farm preferring to apply the rich compost from our vermiculture (worm beds) and from the composting of organic refuse at the hotel and we apply only natural remedies for the fungus and pests which often plague coffee.

The Coffee Tour: The guests learn how the experts discern and rate gourmet coffee by participating in a “coffee cupping” (catación) session with our knowledgeable Barista and Coffee Tour Guide. Sit out on the spacious deck and enjoy the views of the volcanoes above and coffee fields below while sipping your cappuccino, enjoying fresh Rosa Blanca pastries and learning more about the benefits to the environment and the community of an organic sustainable coffee farm. This tour plus the cupping session lasts 2 hours.

We encourage our guests to join us on a tour of our plantation where they will learn how organic coffee is grown, harvested, dried and processed. In addition to roasting and packing their own coffee, our guests participate in a “catación” or a coffee tasting, learning how the professionals determine quality and taste including participating in the picking of coffee during our harvest Season (Oct- Jan.) We then take the client through the processing of coffee, including cleaning the berries and drying them, ending with roasting your own coffee in our roasting and packing house.

Vital Habitat for Migrants
About 200 different species of birds are known as neo tropical migrants, breeding in the habitat and backyards of North America and migrating south to Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean islands for the winter. There, the multi-layered vegetation of shade-grown coffee plantations provides abundant food and cover. In many areas, coffee farms offer the only good habitat amid deforested pastures and stark monocultures.

The migrants pack into the farms every fall, feasting on insects and fruits and often changing their feeding and flocking behavior considerably from that familiar to birders in the north. Some of them stop and stay put, often on the same farm as the year before; others linger and then move on, farther south. Both songbirds and birds of prey make the twice-yearly migration; some arrive after journeys of thousands of miles and open-ocean flights.

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Who Benefits From This Project?

How can we coffee lovers know if the beans we drink come from farms that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible? How can we reward farmers that are trying to grow a great tasting coffee while protecting wildlife and the environment? Credible labels such as Rainforest Alliance Certified, guarantee that farms are on the path toward true sustainability, and qualified organic labels guarantee that farms are not using harmful pesticides and fertilizers.

Many, perhaps most, smallholders are organic farmers by tradition, in part because they could never afford to purchase agrochemicals. With the downturn of prices paid to farmers in recent years, pesticides and fertilizers are out of their reach. With organic farming techniques – some learned from their grandparents and some from modern agronomy – coffee producers can maintain production and conserve healthy soils, which are their primary inheritance and asset. A sustainable farm management system is based on a holistic view of agriculture that includes conservation of natural resources, rights and benefits for farm workers, equitable trading, and the farm’s relationship with nearby natural and human communities.

Savoring a cup of certified sustainable coffee can improve livelihoods for farm families and conserve wildlife and tropical ecosystems – a rare “win-win” opportunity. So the next time you see a Baltimore Oriole, Sharp-shinned Hawk or other Neotropic migrant, raise a mug of shade-grown joe and celebrate the at-home contribution you’ve made to their survival.

How Can I Help?

Finca Rosa Blanca donates 5% of its net income from the bar and restaurant to use as sources of funding for projects in the community; These projects are based on the need of the community, efforts in conservation and water protection, a soup kitchen for the schoolchildren whose parents do not have the financial means to provide them with a healthy lunch, school programs on recycling, organic gardening, and being a good citizen. All of these projects are important to the positive evolution of the local community in which we are located. Any contributions of cash will be used to further enhance these already functioning programs and to create some new ones, like a community recycling center, purchasing land for a sustainable meeting hall and reforestation of decimated areas or open fields.

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