Sunday, June 28, 2009


A healthy coffee bush

Continuing today what has turned out to be a series of posts in vice self-sufficiency. Previously, we had wine and liqueur. Today the subject is coffee.
When we moved here 6 years ago, Action Man happened to meet a man through his work who had a small coffee plantation in our area. Although we didn’t have plans to do so, we decided to plant ten coffee bushes just to see what happened.
Well, it wasn’t an overwhelming success. Of the ten we have planted, despite lots of love and tenderness (ie. mulch, compost and water), three survived. I’m not sure the wind in the area (we are close to the coast) did them a great lot of good. Que sera sera.
Coffee bushes are slow developing. It took four years until we were able to harvest any beans. Over the last two years, we have harvested a small amount of beans, enough for 8 or so pots of coffee. Per year. Sadly, no where near self sufficiency around here.
Coffee bean close-up

This year looks to be the best year yet. Our bushes have loads of beans on them, much more than 8 pots of coffee worth, so our fingers are crossed. We have at least another 5 months to go until I expect the beans to change to a deep red colour which indicates they are ready for picking.


Sincerely, Emily said...

hi - how interesting about your coffee bushes. I love hearing about all the different "things" you have going on around your place - lemons, coffee, pressure cooker, etc. We have a nice fig tree (looks more bushy than tree-like) and it had been neglected for 7 years before we moved in. I really pruned it back and thought I would have to wait a year for fruit again, but it is proving me wrong. I ate 2 figs yesterday and look forward to more. I need to get the netting out to keep the birds out of the fruit. I will try to dehydrate them until I have enough to do something. will research recipes for preserves, etc. Have a good day. Emily

Paola said...

Hi Emily, My favourite fruit in the world is figs, so I am slightly jealous you have fig season in your part of the world. I guess you have a dehydrator to dry the figs. Last year we had a fig glut, and I made jars of fig jam, but dehydrating them would be great to try next year. Have fun with them!

Sincerely, Emily said...

Hi Paola, I just bought a used dehydrator and tried that. I cut them into quarters and it seems to work well. Left it on 25 hours. I only had 7 ripe ones today so will hold off until tomorrow and pick some more and fire up that dehydrator again. It is the only fruit tree we have and I am learning about it. I would like to plant another tree one. maybe you can post your fig jam recipe. That is something I would like to try with them. Enjoy your new lambs. How many sheep and lambs do you have? emily