August and September bring regular, torrential rains to our area. It is during these months that the tender young coffee plants are moved from their sheltered nurseries out into the fields.
The mountainous terrain excludes the possibility of mechanized farming in much of Honduras, and the country people in our area are quite knowledgeable about and experienced with agricultural work. We have no difficulty finding extra laborers when we need them for our busy planting season.
|This is the back of Russell's Land Cruiser, with the seats folded up,|
moving a load of new coffee plants down to the fields for planting
|This hillside has already been planted with coffee plants in straight rows among the existing trees.|
|Workers fertilizing the young plants. The fertilizer is in the baskets strapped to their waists,|
and they use the tool, with a single straight blade on the end of a long handle,
to create a small pocket in the dirt near each plant.
|In areas where there are fewer shade trees available, the men plant plantain or banana|
plants.These fast growing, leafy plants quickly add shade to the fields,
as well as providing us with additional crops of bananas and plantains!
|Workers spraying to prevent bug and fungus damage. Here in the tropics, either of these can |
wipe out a field of plants pretty quickly, so it's a constant battle to keep them under control.
|Russell giving you an idea of the size of the stem |
of a coffee plant which went into the ground last year
We're definitely pleased with how our sustainable ministry project is coming along. So far, there has been a large investment of time and money, and we've made great progress! A harvest is not expected in the first or second year, but in spite of that, it looks like we will be able to collect enough beans this year to fill a couple of large sacks, from the plants which went into the ground last year.