Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Russell's Life Cycle of Coffee

There’s almost something poetic about one of the busiest, most high-energy people I know growing coffee. Thinking about Russell’s life is sort of like imagining the life cycle of caffeine. Drink coffee. → Accomplish a bunch of stuff. → Harvest the coffee. → Drink more coffee. → Accomplish more stuff. You get the idea. It’s also a little like thinking about the age old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Except this would be, “Which came first, the coffee or the crazy-busy Russell we all know and love?”

Russell and his crew just finished harvesting the first precocious fruits of the 2018 coffee harvest season. That early harvest is sort of like nature’s trial run for things to come. It's so small the harvesters are paid by the day, rather than by the bucket of picked fruit. Russell said that this year, the baby harvest yielded around 2000 lbs. He said it wasn’t much, but, I think it sounds like a ton! (Hehehe. Get it? 2000 lbs. A ton. Hehehe. It’s punny.) With that preliminary harvest done, they now have less than three weeks until the first REAL harvest for the year.

Depulping station under construction
Building the tanks at the depulping station

The upcoming REAL harvest will hopefully yield about twice as much as last year. He was hesitant to give a prediction in pounds, but it should be big. It’s big enough to make completing a new depulping station a necessity. The depulping machine was donated last year. The station will increase efficiency. Russell described the depulping station as a place that will have big holding basins for the coffee that comes in. It will be up in the air and the fruit will be poured in through the depulper. The fruit will come out one side. There will be concrete slabs where the pulp will be dried for use as fertilizer. The beans will come out the other side. They will remain there for eighteen hours, before being heated up and washed to remove the sticky residue. Then the beans will be dried and stored, for use as, well, coffee.

Interior door being stained

Simultaneously, the work on the house is continuing. Iris’s father just brought the interior doors for the house, and the work crew started installing and staining them. And, because he didn’t have enough going on… Russell is assisting another missionary who is opening a coffee shop. Russell is helping with the construction for a couple of hours each afternoon.

Pastors at the evangelism event
It’s also the final week of Pastors Training School. Unrelated to the upcoming graduation, an event was held in the central park on the evening of Oct. 23. The pastors wanted the opportunity to see what a planned, urban evangelism event might look like. The 23rd was also the day Kelsea’s family returned home from their visit. Kelsea and Russell were busy from 4:00 AM until 11:00 PM. When I suggested that maybe his day wouldn’t be so busy on the 24th (the morning we spoke), Russell sounded slightly appalled. He politely reminded me that’s what coffee is for! Drink coffee. → Accomplish a bunch of stuff. → Etc…

 - posted by Christi

1 comment:

Marci said...

Are there any plans to sell the coffee? I think it would be wonderful to buy some! In the meantime, now I’m craving coffee....thanks a lot, Russell... ☕️