Roberto’s unique approach to coffee production sparked our interest from the get go.
With a Masters in Agricultural Production Systems and a PhD in Agronomy (Horticulture), Roberto Luiz Queiroz is a highly qualified man, deeply devoted to agroecology and biodynamic agriculture [What is Agroecology? – Biodynamic agriculture?].
Roberto manages Fazenda Jardim Agroecológico, a Brazilian farm whose philosophy revolves around a deep respect for the environment. What makes him stand out is his ambition: he wants to challenge the conventional perceptions of coffee production- considered as poisonous for the system – by introducing new methods (through organic production) in order to motivate people to do the same.
“We begin our day thanking God for the opportunity to offer us food without agro-chemicals and we pursue this ethics with excellent techniques” – R.L. Queiroz
At his Fazenda he has only 1 fixed employee, who is crucial to the smooth running of the farm. He’s the one who plants, harvests and handles the crop related activity. When they need an extra pair of hands, his family is always there to help him out. Precision and daily care is what characterizes Roberto. He takes care of the garden everyday, visiting the farm, observing and analyzing each process and cultivation to find out what is not working. Only by doing this, together with his employees, is he able to assess the necessary daily practices and find new strategies to implement. The farm is home not only to coffee plants, but also to more than 30 species of vegetables and fruit, which require more work and effort.
Unlike many coffee farmers, Roberto spent his life studying agronomy at several universities, since he had no family background in farming. Through the years, he’s developed his agricultural skills to apply them to coffee production in addition to his regular crops. In his 5 hectares of a property which he acquired and had been uncultivated for 20 years, he started out producing vegetables and then became interested in coffee plants.
This coffee from Fazenda Jardim Agroecológico is remarkable not only for its cup profile, but for the technique behind it. According to Roberto, what makes it special is the combination of biodynamic techniques adopted. They harvest only during high moons (waxing and full moon) and apply homeopathy practices (measured by radionics and radiesthesia).
Radionics: It is the science which studies the radioactive and the energetic properties of the waveforms through an electronic or radionic scanner.
Radiesthesia: the study for the detection of waves and vibrations issued by any element.
The main challenges for Roberto are the technical difficulties of agriculture and without funded technical assistance from the Government (which should focus on organic agriculture) it is even harder. However, these challenges don’t deter him from following his ambitions.. His main aim is to convert the traditional archaic “poisoned” production practices into more organic ones. His objective is to open a new market for agroecological coffee, since he is an expert in this field. We collaborate with our partner Coffee Leaf to provide Roberto and all our clients transparent prices and quality assurance.
The philosophy behind Jardim Agroecológico is in line with complete sustainability and any type of agrochemical is considered taboo. Their production system is fully organic, using biological methods (for example, fungi and bacteria for plant diseases) when homeopathy does not work.
From the coffee lots to the vegetable and fruit plantations, they use eco-friendly methods to reduce the need for water (natural mulching for the vegetable systems and a combination of eucalyptus, papayas and avocados for the coffee system).
From speaking to Roberto, it’s clear that the environment is the central focus in their production system. Creating an agroecological garden which mimics nature’s processes is a way of healing the planet.
Discover other stories from Brazil ...
Fazenda Nakamura is located in José Gonçalves, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and is managed by Cláudio Fujio Nakamura, a 68-year-old, first-generation coffee grower. The farm consists of 250 hectares of land, with 60 hectares dedicated to growing coffee. It sits at an elevation of 1,050 m.a.s.l, and with around 80,000 coffee trees in production of the Red and Yellow Catuaí, Arara, and IPR 100 varieties.
Fazenda Santa Monica is located in Cássia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and is managed by Jean Vilhena Faleiros, a 35-year-old, third-generation coffee grower. The farm consists of 84 hectares dedicated to growing coffee. sitting at an elevation of 1,200 m.a.s.l, with around 100,000 coffee trees in production (One of the biggest farms we have ever worked with!). The grow the typical Red and Yellow Catuaí, Arara, and IPR 100 varieties.
Fazenda Alvorada is located in Aricanduva, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and is managed by Raquel Meirelles, a 30-year-old, fourth-generation coffee grower. The farm consists of 233 hectares of land dedicated to growing coffee. It sits at an elevation of 1,100 m.a.s.l, and boast over 25 coffee tree varieties such as Red and Yellow Catuaí, Geisha, Maragogype, Paraíso, Sarchimor, and other amazing local varieties.