jesús blandon - la sorpresa

Field report

Jesús Blandon started out cultivating coffee fifteen years ago with a plot of 0.3 hectares which he dubbed 'La sopresa' - the surprise, in reference to his unexpectedly born daughter. Slowly but steadily the farm has grown in size, providing Jesús' family with everything they need. ''My house, my car, my family, I owe it all to coffee''. This quote emphasizes the opportunities small scale farming provide in this rural area. Nevertheless, he is also aware of the risks coffee pose, volatile markets and vulnerable crops have threatened his income before.  Hence, he has also been cultivating flowers and vegetables which provide more security. 

Traditionally Jesús was part of a cooperative, just like the rest of the community. For eight years he worked with this group to produce and sell his coffee. Most important in this system is the pre-financing the cooperative offers, the down side, however, is the price paid for coffee. Jesús would get exactly the same price as his neighbors, four years ago he was offered to sell his coffee based on quality, an opportunity he gladly accepted.

Making the switch to quality-focused production was quite controversial in this largely traditional community, only four other producers were producing specialty coffee at the time. Nowadays his neighbors still question his practices, unlike the popular catimor, the cultivars used by Jesús are prone to 'La Roya'. However, he does not fear, he knows that with proper agricultural practices he can protect his farm and live up to his quality potential. Furthermore, he aims to maintain his quality by consistently renovating his farm, stumping trees and proper selection are his key to a healthy farm. 

farm facts

Location

Aranjuez, Jinotega

Altitude

1380 meters above sea level

cultivars

Catuaí, caturra & maragogype

age

15 years

Size

5 hectares