Our coffee project began in 2007 with the purchase of 400 tareas (62 acres) of land on a mountainside called La Loma de los Rios. The land is remote and difficult to access, which is typical of coffee farms in the Dominican Republic, as the best coffee grows in the mountains. This farm is 25km from home, but takes 2.5 hours to drive in good (dry) conditions. When it rains, the roads become impassible, even with a 4 wheel drive vehicle, and often one is stranded at the farm for a day or two by the rains. The farm had been neglected for several years, but coffee had been planted several years before. With pruning, culling, replanting, and fertilizing, the first year we had a small amount of coffee to sell to the cooperative.
In 2008/2009 an adjacent parcel became available and its 250 tareas was added to the farm, expanding the production modestly. In 2010/2011, a larger farm, La Laguna, with washing and drying facilities for the coffee became available. This farm was farther from home (42km) but slightly easier to access and much larger (2500 tareas). It was the farm which had once produced the coffee supplied to Gevaila when they featured single origin coffee from the Dominican Republic years before.
In 2015, we were able to import coffee here to the United States for the first time. These bags of coffee contained green beans of which our farms produced 25%. The other 75% of this coffee was purchased from the Barahona coffee cooperative, paying those producers $5.65 per pound. As you note, our coffee is not yet single origin, as development of production from the farms takes time and does not yet yield enough to import, but that what we don't produce ourselves is locally sourced and responsibly purchased directly from a local cooperative of small producers. In time, we hope to grow enough coffee to be able to offer two single origin coffees, one from La Loma de los Rios, and another from La Laguna.
As you may follow in our blog, this endeavor is a work in progress. We have added a nursery to grow our own coffee from seeds, allowing experimentation with different varieties to see which is best suited for our little neck of the woods. Thank you for your interest in our coffee and for your support of this project. Please check back to learn a bit about the people who help us grow your coffee.