Yague Jaramillo lives and works at Finca El Manantial, in the southern region of Huila, Colombia. A humble and dedicated man whose love for coffee plants goes beyond their mere cultivation. His coffee beans grow out of a mixture of tenderness and passion. For Yague, cultivating the land is always gratifying, especially the incredible nuances a coffee plant can offer. As you can see the only pictures received where from his land and installations!
Like for most of the Colombian farmers, his typical day starts at 5 a.m. One hour before his employees begin to work on the fields. At Finca El Manantial ten temporary employees work during the main harvest season (cosecha) and only two work during the small one (mitaca). Yague’s family is also very much involved with the crop and running the farm.
The total area of Finca El Manantial is two hectares, where you can find three different varieties; Caturra (with 4.000 trees), Castillo (3.000 trees), and Pink Bourbon (1.000 trees). Despite the small plot, this farm has 30 years of history. To continue the family tradition, Yague’s father gave him the farm.
His main process is the following; dry fermentation in cherry for 12 hours, followed by for 36 hours fermentation in the tank. Afterwards, he leaves the washed beans drying from 18 to 20 days. For the drying process, he also uses a traditional method, the so-called marquesinas (mini greenhouse). The coffee is left to rest 5 – 8 days after the drying.
Yague Jaramillo never took part in our training programs in Pitalito stations, but he showed us great enthusiasm and interest in doing so. He is willing to improve his techniques, especially on fermentation. The stations in Colombia, indeed, are crucial to getting in touch with more and more potential producers like Yague. We got to know him thanks to Campo Elias, a significant element in the complex network of our beloved farmers.
Yague’s attention during the drying process and the harvest is what makes his coffee special and being selected among others. His key to success could sound obvious, but he truly states that he does everything with love, which he considers to be an important ingredient.
Despite the several difficulties of being a coffee farmer, the motivation of Colombian producers, such as Yague, is remarkable. Two of his main challenges are finding fixed prices and hard labour during the harvest.
When speaking with him, he revealed to be happy about our prices, since communication and transparency behind them make him trust us. His goal indeed is to continue to get competitive fixed prices to improve his infrastructures to keep improving his quality.
Yague cares passionately for his coffee plantations and for other crops on the farm, such as bananas, corn, yucca, and arracacha (a typical root vegetable in South America). In order to preserve the life of the farm is most natural state and to reduce the environmental footprint, he recollects the coffee cherries is done manually and uses only organic methods to control the coffee plants’ diseases, such as the pest broca (also known as ‘coffee berry borer’).
The only chemicals he uses against the coffee rust (a spreading fungus, in Spanish known as roya) are sprayed just two times per year. During the washing process, he uses a filter and skimmer system for the residual water to avoid its contamination.
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