Friday, August 25, 2006

Learning from the Masters: Farmers teach us how to make and mix suelo

The pictures below illustrate the process of mixing soil practiced by many local farmers. This soil recipe has traditionally been used for small coffee trees. This specific method was tought to us by our neighbor, Harold. This is what we use for our seedlings.

Step 1
Start with a base of 1 part topsoil from the farm, then from into a flat-top mound

Step 2
Add a thin layer of cascara de arroz (rice husks)untill it totally covers the topsoil

Step 3
Add a thin layter of Cal (Calcium) in the same manor as step 2

Step 4
Add 1 part brosa de café (composted coffee husks), and crumble by hand

Step 5
Repeat step 2 and 3

Step 6
Mix, making sure the moist brosa de cafe is fully broken down

Step 7
Fill the bags, give it the ol´ pound and shake to ensure a well-filled bag

Step 8
Transplant the seedling

This method has been practiced for generations and has ensured the health and nutrient demands of millions of coffee seedlings, (while they wait in the shade to be planted).

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