El Mesón, Pitalito Huila, Colombia
Notes: Floral, Plum, Mandarin, Delicate
Mach to June
12% Tax Included
Luz Divia “Sandy” Fierro and to Elpidio “Pillo” Carrillo represent a young generation of coffee growers in southern Huila who are dedicated to producing high quality coffee. They understand the importance of polyculture. In addition to coffee, Pillo and Sandy grow plantains, yucca and sugar cane, which they use to feed their workers and themselves. They also raise four cows for milk.
The family employs five workers to carry out non-harvesting tasks, such as weeding and fertilising, the latter being done three times a year with chemical and organic fertilisers.
During the harvest season, they employ up to 15 pickers from the departments of Cauca and Tolima, as well as a few locals, to carry out the careful, manual selection of the Pink Bourbon cherry.
Pillo believes it is very important that their workers are well paid during the harvest and feel comfortable during their stay at the farm. They pay the pickers per kilo harvested and pay a daily wage to the off-season workers.
After the cherries are harvested, Pillo does the post-harvest processing itself. The crop is placed in large containers filled with water to ‘float’ the coffee and remove any debris or damaged and/or green beans. The cherry then remains intact for 24 hours. The next day, Pillo pulps and ferments the Pink Bourbon beans for another 38 hours in tanks. He then washes the coffee once and dries it on his roof top dryer for 19 days. To deliver his family’s coffee to Cadefihuila’s point of sale and warehouse in Pitalito, he hires a transporter or sometimes asks his father to help.
Polyculture coffee production
THE STORY OF THE PRODUCER
Luz Divia Fierro and her husband Elpidio are commonly known as Sandy to Luz and Pillo to Elpidio. Originally from Acevedo, Pillo grew up on another of his family’s coffee farms, learning all he could from Don Angel. Sandy is from the nearby village of Pitalito.
The couple inherited the farm from Angel, Pillo’s father, who is also a coffee farmer. The couple moved to the property where they now live and work just over three years ago. They built a house and started working the land, planting 20,000 Pink Bourbon trees on pastureland that had never been cultivated before, since El Meson was once a cattle farm. They have two young daughters – Laura Camila is nine and Salomé is three – and are expecting their third child, a boy they will call Angel Martin, after his grandfather. These young producers are committed to honouring the important legacy of their parents and grandparents.