Saturday, September 14, 2013

Microorganismo de Montana: The Movie

    Oh, we talk a lot about the importance of organic agriculture back home, but would we climb up a 75-degree slope into a beautiful but buggy mountain forest and dig around in the dead leaves for a couple of hours looking for flecks of white fungus?
    That's how a couple of my favourite Copan coffee producers passed a big part of their day last week, collecting the microorganismo de montana that is used by organic growers in Honduras to make a special fertilizer known for helping plants of all kinds arm themselves against diseases and infestations.
    The fruits of the men's labour are now tucked away tightly in a 45-gallon barrel. The microorganisms will be dining on molasses and rice semolina for the next 15 days, and multiplying like crazy in an anaerobic environment.
    When the mix is uncapped later this month, the result will be a barrelful of natural microorganisms ready to enrich the soil around the producers' coffee plants. That kind of preventive care is always important, but it's critical right now as the producers head into the second of three tough years of losses due to a persistent coffee fungus (the infected plants are either having to be cut back almost to the soil or torn out and the land replanted, either of which results in three years without a coffee crop as the fincas are rebuilt.
    Here's my video of that day that explains how it's done. I've made versions in English and Spanish - clic aqui para la version espanol.

No comments: