Fat Neighbors

Some people have more money, resources, good looks, connections, and formative educational training than others. That’s life. In the case of coffee, life’s inherent unfairness doesn’t have to be a bad thing and it doesn’t take a mammoth international organization like Fairtrade to help restore some balance to life’s inherently imbalanced scales; it just takes … Continue reading Fat Neighbors

Soundbytes from When Coffee Speaks

“When I was twelve my family had come here [to Cedral] to pick coffee on a man’s farm. I dreamed—we came up here to pick coffee, and I could hear the cows and the calves and everything, because there used to be more dairies. And I dreamed of one day coming back, to be able to hear the cows, to come back here to live. I wanted to live here. I prayed to God that I could live here!

Destroyed but Not Defeated

A few weeks ago I started a graduate program in English Literature, which admittedly has nothing to do with coffee and everything to do with being allowed to continue to teach in a public school (trying to be a writer and trying not to be homeless is complicated). I wasn’t planning to see any overlap … Continue reading Destroyed but Not Defeated

Otro Año Despues

Al finales de octubre 2013 yo auto publiqué 400 copias de “When Coffee Speaks,” (“Cuando el Café Habla”) como la culminación de un año de viajes investigatores, cuatro meses de traducir/transcribir/recopilar, y una exitosa campaña en Kickstarter. Tan pronto como los libros fueron imprimidos (literalmente salieron calientitos de la prensa), me devolví (con 68 kilos … Continue reading Otro Año Despues

Another Year Later

At the end of October 2013 I self published 400 copies of "When Coffee Speaks: Stories from and of Latin American Coffeepeople" as the culmination of a year of research travel, four months of nonstop translating/transcribing/compilation, and a successful Kickstarter campaign. As soon as the books were printed (literally hot off the press; freshly bound … Continue reading Another Year Later

To Better Understand

Often, questions like, “what’s it like to be an agricultural producer?” are met with descriptive answers, but whose descriptions are rather glossy. When we want to know what it’s like to be the newest edge of an industry very much defined by its traditions, we need more than the superficial to be able to really … Continue reading To Better Understand

Para Entender Mejor

  Preguntas como, “como es ser agricultor?” suelen se encuentran con respuestas descriptivas, pero cuyos descripciones son muy someras. Cuando quisieramos saber como es ser la borde mas nueva de una industria muy marcada por sus tradiciones, necesitamos algo mas que lo superficial. Esta historia de Lukas, uno de mis mejores amigos en Colombia, empieza … Continue reading Para Entender Mejor

Seeds on Fire

I had the pleasure of spending last week in Antioquia, Colombia with 1,000 of the country's next generation of coffee producers. The week was a testament to the powerful catalysts that education and agriculture can be to one another other; academic theory means nothing if it doesn't get turned into application, and growing things is … Continue reading Seeds on Fire

Young Colombian Coffee Growers

I have the privilege of spending this week among 1000 young Colombian coffee growers in San Geronimo, Antioquia, as they participate in a camp dedicated to stepping up their coffee game. The week of workshops is a prime example of how education and agriculture can be mutually supportive, with participants scheduled to attend sessions about … Continue reading Young Colombian Coffee Growers

Mutually Supportive

In the previous post in Spanish, I tell the story of arriving on my friend's family farm in the mountains of Antioquia, Colombia and participating in a sort of spontaneous coffee ceremony around using an electric coffee grinder for the first time. In traditional Colombian farming households, coffee growing families would roast leftover coffee (that … Continue reading Mutually Supportive