[Homeroast] GCQRI ???

Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com
Fri Oct 29 21:42:33 CDT 2010


This week was really about the structure of the thing. We had a 
brainstorm session of possible research topics just as a quick straw 
poll type thing, and issues of sustainable agriculture, organic and 
ecology were listed in several categories; agronomy, processing, 
genetics (concern for lack of genetic diversity), even in 
transportation (transport and, with vac pack, packaging materials is 
where most of the energy is consumed  and green house gas produced in 
the entire process to get coffee to market.) In fact many of these 
came from some of the larger companies there, Caribou and Green 
Mountain. But we know small companies will push for this.

>Thanks Tom,
>Was soil health(life in soil not nutrients) discussed at all? This is
>the newest area being explored by the organic small farm movement.
>They're finding that healthy soils create a whole different
>environment and often help with many plant problems. This is also the
>way I see the soils being able to keep up with a higher production
>while keeping the origin character and keeping fertilizers at a
>minimum. Unfortunately research in organic practices is not a big
>money maker so isn't happening that much except between farmers as the
>solutions are not often a patentable product as is the case with
>compost tea brews. I wonder if any coffee growers have experimented
>with compost tea recipes?
>
>On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 9:47 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
><sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com> wrote:
>>  Good points - On nestle: Yes Ed, and if we do nothing, coffee farmers who
>>  currently cultivate with Typica and Bourbon and Caturra will eventually all
>>  have Catimor. Most of the push toward catimor types comes from the
>>  in-country research facilities and agronomists because they are trying to
>>  save coffee farmers from going belly up. It's completly understandable.
>>  Nestle sees themselves as heroes with this plant distribution effort. And
>>  for a farmer at 800 meters or 1000 meters, they should absolutely plant
>>  catimors if their crop is pest and disease ravaged. They will use much less
>>  inputs with the right plant for that altitude and level of coffee quality.
>>  Right now we have a situation where starbucks has jumped the ship on quality
>>  and has moved to vietnam and crap brazil arabicas, and you have their
>>  competitors, Green Mountain, Caribou, those types, trying to stay with
>>  decent quality washed arabicas. In Colombia, much or Huila is just destroyed
>>  by coffee rust fungus, which requires at least 4 fungicide applications to
>>  fight. Most of the 1100-1200 meter farms are wiped out. Farmers push further
>>  and further up into the mountains to avoid rust, and they can for a while,
>>  but eventually it follows. One of the things on the table is to tap the
>>  incredible diversity of native Ethiopia coffee types, which represents
>>  something like 90% of the genetic diversity in coffee (cultivated types are
>>  extremely heterogenous) to find disease resistance in a pure arabica with
>>  cup quality. This would use genetics for identification and rapid
>>  propagation, but not gene splicing manipulations. Hows that for a new answer
>>  to this coffee rust crisis? If you went there and saw how dramatic the
>>  problem is ... its shocking really. One thing with this initiative is to get
>>  a no GMO standard in there (I can't see anyone except the geneticists
>>  advocating for it - its not going to happen). The other thing I really want
>>  to see is a metric to measure potential research that states a project will
>>  "Increase the value of coffee at the Farm Gate." If a project scores well in
>>  that, it means a world of good for the farm: higher incomes, potentially
>>  less competition with food crops, better use of land etc).
>>
>>  One thing that 10 years ago I would not go for, but I do now, is increased
>>  production. Sustainable increase in production from each plant, paired with
>>  an increase in quality. The wine industry proved years ago you can have good
>>  production and improve quality at the same time. Low production = Quality is
>>  a myth. Low production from plants is the bane of the farmers existence,
>>  literally relegating them to a poverty cycle, to overtax their land for
>>  other uses, to overuse fertilizers, or to quit coffee altogether. In Harar I
>>  saw coffee with literally 80 or 100 cherries per tree, and half of those
>>  falling off green due to CBD. In that village I saw incredible poverty,
>>  malnutrition, and coffee interplanted with corn and cabbage (which will rob
>>  both food crops and coffee from nutrients), lack of water (too much given to
>>  crops, their well was nearly dry). So the need is not hypothetical at all.
>>  Besides basic extentsion work by agronomists and financing for their crops
>>  (neither of which this Initiative covers exactly) there ARE research
>>  solutions that result in better coffee for us and better lives for farmers
>>  in situations like this.
>>
>>  Well, that's just a few disorganized thoughts I have on this topic... on the
>>  flight home. Wifi on an airplane, just $5. Kinda odd, but quite useful too!
>>   Thanks for your comments on this. I am glad we all care about these issues
>>  so much. By the way, if you don't mind I might paste this onto the coffeed
>>  thread because it raises good points -Tom
>>
>>
>>
>>>  Nestle's GM coffee plantlets,
>>>  "We will distribute 220 million high-yielding, disease-resistant
>>>  coffee plantlets to farmers by 2020, through partnerships with public
>>>  and private institutions in countries such as Mexico, Thailand,
>>>  Indonesia and the Philippines, where we have already distributed over
>>>  16 million coffee plantlets in the past ten years."
>>>
>>>  On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM, Edward Bourgeois
>>>  <edbourgeois at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>   Yes, I'm skeptical of the intentions of some of the players. Once
>>>>   bitten twice shy.  Unless something has changed in the past couple
>>>>   years the Dr. N. Borlaug institute has not been a haven for organic
>>>>   researchers. Norman was not a believer of organic production. Nor did
>>>>   he believe many of the concerns having to do with industrial
>>>>   ag.production or GM plants. I think it is as important for the group
>>>>   to determine  what directions they won't go as it is what research
>>>>   they will start to explore.
>>>>
>>>>   On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 10:37 AM, Edward Bourgeois
>>>>   <edbourgeois at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>   Ray
>>>>>   As far as I can tell, musac has not been taken off the list of
>>>>>  possibilities.
>>>>>
>>>>>   On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 1:49 AM,  <raymanowen at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   Monsanto Chair- Is it a heavy ceramic thing with a lever? Even with
>>>>>>  all
>>>>>>   membrane technology, it will still be * * * *.
>>>>>>   The Nobel Prize is being obscured as the most prestigious award in its
>>>>>>   field. Can you see the Nobel Prize for the Most Engineered Stable
>>>>>>  Coffee
>>>>>>   Origins, or Roundup fertilizer, "When Performance Counts."
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   When Elvis and the Beatles were "It," I preferred the crunch of coffee
>>>>>>  beans
>>>>>>   in the mouth to the vacuum-brewed coffee I brewed for my folks.
>>>>>>  (Wonder why
>>>>>>   they both liked cream- from a cream separator- and sugar?)
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   My record collection included "Jailhouse Rock" on a 78, "the
>>>>>>  Nut-Cracker"
>>>>>>   suite on some 45 rpm EP's, Khachaturian's piano concerto and several
>>>>>>   different performances of Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite on 33-1/3 rpm
>>>>>>  LP's. Not
>>>>>>   PC. No prize, but I like it.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   Cheers, Mabuhay, Iechyd da -RayO, aka Opa!
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   On Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 11:01 PM, Edward Bourgeois
>>>>>>  <edbourgeois at gmail.com>wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>>   The Borlaug Institute
>>>>>>>   Monsanto has donated $2.5 million to Texas A&M University to fund the
>>>>>>>   Borlaug-Monsanto Chair for Plant Breeding and International Crop
>>>>>>>   Improvement. The chair is named in honor of Norman Borlaug who won
>>>>>>>  the
>>>>>>>   1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in plant breeding.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>   On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 12:57 AM, Edward Bourgeois
>>>>>>>   <edbourgeois at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>   > So they're genome mapping coffee. They're wondering why some
>>>>>>>  varietals
>>>>>>>   > have good results in many areas. No mention of soil health. Sounds
>>>>>>>   > like the start of a outside inputs based and controlled system.
>>>>>>>  Farmer
>>>>>>>   > must be under contract and are forced to plant certain (gm?) seeds,
>>>>>>>   > use certain fertilizers/supplements/pest controllers etc. Quality
>>>>>>>  and
>>>>>>>   > consistency will improve, sort of. You may be able to grow Kenyan
>>>>>>>  and
>>>>>>>   > Colombian on the same farm in Florida if they take it far enough.
>>>>>>>  Oh
>>>>>>>   > happy day.
>>>>>>>   > So what if there's nothing from a blueberry in a Krispy kreme
>>>>>>>   > blueberry doughnut.
>>>>>>>   > --
>>>>>>>   > Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>>>>>>>   > Amherst MA.
>>>>>>>   > http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>>>>>>>   >
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>   --
>>>>>>>   Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>>>>>>>   Amherst MA.
>>>>>>>   http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> 
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>>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   --
>>>>>>   Persist in old ways; expect new results - suborn Insanity...
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>>>>>>
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>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>   --
>>>>>   Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>>>>>   Amherst MA.
>>>>>   http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>   --
>>>>   Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>>>>   Amherst MA.
>>>>   http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>  --
>>>  Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>>>  Amherst MA.
>>>  http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>>>
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>>
>>  --
>>  -Tom
>>
>>  ____________________________________________________________________________
>>  "Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee
>>  Roasting
>>               Thompson & Maria - http://www.sweetmarias.com
>>  ____________________________________________________________________________
>>     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
>>             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
>>
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>> 
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>
>
>
>--
>Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>Amherst MA.
>http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>
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-- 
-Tom

____________________________________________________________________________
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria - http://www.sweetmarias.com
____________________________________________________________________________
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com



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