Finca el Suelo is a 7 hectare farm located in El Vegon, in the municipality of El Pital in Huila, Colombia. It lies on an altitude of 1650 - 1700 MASL. The farm used to be a part of the farm Finca Tamana, owned by Elias Roa. Tim Wendelboe bought the land from Elias in 2015, and started planting coffee on the land.
Most of our organic agricultural practices has been learnt from Dr. Elaine Ingham. We work only with nature, making our own compost as the only fertilizer. Our soils are continuously checked by using our light microscopes to evaluate what biology our soils have, and what we need to correct by adding more of the organisms our coffee trees need to thrive, and for our soils to be healthy. You might call our farm organic, but we choose not to be certified. Still, we refuse to use chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers, as that will destroy the life in our soils that our plants are so dependant on.
This is the first time we farm coffee, and we certainly haven't farmed anything before, so we consider this a learning project. Our goal is to figure out how to raise coffee quality with sustainable farming practices, and apply different farming techniques based on the knowledge we have gained throughout the years.
We have planted about 2,5 hectares with Typica trees. These trees are planted 2,5 meters apart to ensure they get a lot of space and sunlight.
The Typica was planted in February 2015. This particular Typica has shown great quality in the cup in other areas with higher altitudes, so we are interested to see if we are able to grow coffee of the same quality at our altitude.
We have about 2 hectares with Geisha. These trees are planted 2,5 x 2 meters apart. The Geisha was planted in February 2015.
The reason that we planted Geisha is pretty obvious. It has shown to be one of the best cultivars around when it comes to flavor. Geisha also has some resistance to leaf rust.
We planted about 1500 Caturra trees in January 2016. These trees are planted 2 meters apart. The seeds were obtained from Finca Tamana. The reason for planting Caturra is that we want to measure if we are able to raise the coffee quality with our organic/biological practices, as compared to the conventional mineral fertilizers applied at our neighbouring farm, Finca Tamana.
In our tiny variety carden, we have the following cultivars:
Considered to be the parent plant (Coffea Canephora being the other) of Coffea Arabica.
A tall coffee tree.
Another tall and slender coffee tree that looks like a column.
A coffee tree that can have from 5-8 coffee seeds in one cherry.