Santos Barco Muñoz is a young coffee farmer in Suaza, Huila, who runs Finca El Papayo. Unlike most Colombian producers, he doesn’t live on the farm with his family. But only spends days on the farm during the harvest seasons, accompanied by his 2 employees.
Life at Finca El Papayo exists exclusively around harvests, waking up at 5 a.m with a great cup of coffee (tinto negro), collecting, processing the coffee cherries and other plants within the field and managing the other workers on the farm. When it’s off-season, Santos makes sure the farm is cleaned and the plants are safe.
The history of this finca dates back to 3 years ago when Santos bought it from his brother and decided to work in the coffee field because it’s a job he likes.
Finca El Papayo is a small farm, where the only transport used to move around is a motorcycle. On this farm, which sits at an altitude of 1260 m above sea level, he grows different coffee varieties, such as Geisha, Maragogype, Papayo, Tabi. He also has other types of plantations, such as plátano, avocados, cacao, lemons, papaya, which serve as coffee shade.
The fermentation process includes 12hours in cherry and 30-34 hours in tanks. Then, he moves the coffee to dry for 19-23 days on the drying beds, also known as marquesinas.
Santos Barco Muñoz got to know The Coffee Quest thanks to a local coffee grower. 2021 is the first year working with him, but we both are thrilled about future collaborations. He indeed noticed that since the beginning of our collaboration, his life has improved especially thanks to the higher and fair prices we pay to him. Transparency in business is what captured his attention the most.
The small Finca El Papayo takes care of the environment by re-using the by-product from the coffee cherries as organic material, which have been placed into the soil to decompose. Moreover, they collect the residual water after the washing process to avoid any contamination.
Santos Barco tries to use products and techniques as natural as possible, such as using a scythe to manage bushes. As for the control of pests and fungal diseases in crops, for example, the roya, he treats it with ecological control, such as sulfocalcico broth. As for broca disease, he uses natural smokes. For the rest of the bushes, he treats them
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