Goal: Help Jhon build a secure beneficio on his farm. Add any dollar amount to your cart and we will send the funds directly to him for this project. Updates to follow!
One of the many highlights from our trip to Colombia included visiting Jhon Jairo Gomez. It was an exciting visit, having driven up to El Rosario, Jhon’s town, high on a mountainside of San Agustin. Jhon greeted us at his home with trays of incredible native fruits including the most delicious passion fruit we’d ever had. He then took our group on a tour of his farm. His farm was quite a distance away from his house and once we arrived we were all in shock of just how steep it was.
His farm sits at extremely high elevations of 2,200 meters above sea level. His trees are quite literally planted on the side of a mountain. We carefully traveled down to his beneficio where he develops his coffee. He explained his processing technique, and then proceeded to tell us how each day he carries his depulper up and down the mountain as he is afraid if he leaves it at his beneficio, it would be stolen. We were in shock. His depulper, made of steel, easily weighs 150lbs.
Jhon has a very small farm, with 2,300 Tabi trees. Each tree produces roughly 400 grams of cherry, and he is left with about 20% of that in parchment. He is a very small producer, but is also one of the most excited and eager people we have met. He is excited and optimistic about what a life producing coffee has given him and he is eager to grow and continue to improve.
It became abundantly clear upon our visit that he needs a more permanent structure at his beneficio so that he can lock up/secure his depulper. He already contends with incredibly challenging conditions. The high altitude he is positioned at is amazing and helps produce the incredible flavor development we see in his Tabi. However, the extreme elevation also results in very low production; add that to the steep, challenging landscape he is working with, and you have a recipe for a very difficult situation. And this is all on top of carrying a 150lb, awkward machine made of hard steel up and down a steep mountainside every day.
With this said however, it is important to express that Jhon showed us his farm with such pride and excitement. To us, the difficult conditions he contends with each and every day seemed insurmountable, but for Jhon he works with these challenges without a second thought. Growing coffee is his livelihood and these conditions don’t stop him. He showed us the depulper and his carrying harness as a way to explain his process, not to ask for help. However, we are so grateful for his dedication and hard work that we’d like to do a small part in making it just a bit easier for him.
With the release of his coffee, we will donate $1 per retail bag sold directly to Jhon to help fund this project.
It won't take much, and any amount will go a long way to help an incredible person!