Dragon Fruit & Coffee

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What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday we had a few people come over to visit and  pick some fruit in the farm.  While there were certainly dragonfruit available for them to pick, it did NOT look like this yesterday.  We’re in the process of picking and will be selling to one of the CSA’s we work with in Hilo.

The dragon fruit on the lower limbs gets eaten by the chickens.  As you can see from the picture, some of them are just the right height for them.  Needless to say they love it too.

We also picked some coffee today.  Not a lot, but more than last week.  It never fails in the beginning of the season, I’m super into the picking process.  It’s exciting, I know that we’ll have a lot of our own coffee, and it’s a walking or rather “picking” meditation in a way.  I really get into it.  Sadly, I now this feeling will change.  Picking coffee for a half hour is different than picking coffee all morning.  My husband and I will pick about a 5 gallon bucket each time we pick during season.  Today we picked about a quarter bucket together.  We also roasted 4 pounds of coffee in our new roaster today.  The beans aren’t from our farm, it’s what we’ve been using to help season the roaster.  I LOVE the machine.  I know it’s just a roaster, but this is going to serve us quite well.

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The finished product.  It’s been a busy weekend on the farm.

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Coffee time!

Berries are starting to turn red.  Last week, I picked some of my sister in laws beans, and this week, I picked a few of ours as well.  Good news is that while there appears to be some coffee borer beetles in our beans, it is very minimal.  This last batch had only 2 beans with the beetle.  I’m so relieved, but still cautiously optimistic.  We’re going to be treating monthly to help insure the level of infestation stays really low.

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We recently made a big decision regarding our coffee processing.  We decided to purchase a motor for our cherry huller, a larger home roaster, and a parchment husker.  We currently have a cherry huller, that takes the red coating off the bean (see pictures above).   As you can see from the above picture, there is a hand crank.  It works well, and is a work out in some respect, but with the amount of beans we produce, hand cranking just isn’t sustainable.  This new motor will make this process substantially quicker. For large yields, we typically sent our beans off to a local coffee producer  who would take the parchment off the bean and then roast the coffee.  These recent purchases will allow us to do this all by ourselves.  The roaster that we had (and still have) roasts about 1/2 pound of coffee.  The new roaster will roast about 5 pounds of coffee at a time.  I’m excited to take this big step.  It was a large investment financially, but in time in will easily pay for itself.  Best of all, it looks like the family will be getting some special estate coffee for Christmas!!