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NickScull
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Posted Thu Mar 31, 2005, 1:30pm
Subject: Re: Growing Coffee in Florida
 

This was posted yesterday in the "Growing your own Kona" thread below this one. The author owns a coffee farm in Hawaii.

She says, " Just jumping in to say that a fully mature Kona coffee tree with 4 verticals can produce 30-40 pounds."
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Mr_Bingley
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Mr_Bingley
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Posted Thu Mar 31, 2005, 1:50pm
Subject: Re: Growing Coffee in Florida
 

NickScull Said:

This was posted yesterday in the "Growing your own Kona" thread below this one. The author owns a coffee farm in Hawaii.

She says, " Just jumping in to say that a fully mature Kona coffee tree with 4 verticals can produce 30-40 pounds."

Posted March 31, 2005 link

I'm sorry, but I can't believe that; she either made a typo or is not talking about a single tree or perhaps she means over the course of its life.
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NickScull
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Posted Sat Apr 2, 2005, 8:08am
Subject: Re: Growing Coffee in Florida
 

Or is it possible she was referring to berries, not beans? I do know that some trees grow so large you need ladders to pick from.
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NickScull
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Posted Sun Apr 3, 2005, 6:44am
Subject: Re: Growing Coffee in Florida
 

By way of clarification, she states, " Yes 30-40 pounds of fresh fruit in the 3rd year.  That equals about 5-6 pounds of green."

That's almost a 7:1 ratio. Who said coffee processing isn't hard work? Then you have spread and dry the beans. In some of the countries of origin, green coffee sells for around $1.00 per pound which is a yield of about $5 per tree. Knowing this certainly adds to my appreciation of what it takes to produce the world's favorite brew!
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kopepua
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Posted Thu Apr 7, 2005, 5:10pm
Subject: Re: Growing Coffee in Florida
 

You are correct.  This whole Florida coffee thing is fraught wth issues.  Yes, coffee can not tolerate frost---period.  

And don't get me started on  the "real coffee" idea.  Gads.  

I am usually a pessimist but somehow this scientist sees coffee carts in his future when he has only studied and grown coffee for 2 years.  Theplants are hardly producing at 2 years.  According to a source of mine, FL wanted to coem up with an alternate crop that could handle frost because the citrus could not.  

Oops sorry this is an old post that I am replying to.

aloha from a coffee grower....
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kopepua
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Posted Thu Apr 7, 2005, 5:13pm
Subject: Re: Growing Coffee in Florida
 

oops.  i am usually not a pessimist but always a bad typist...
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Bean_Roaster
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Posted Mon Apr 11, 2005, 12:36pm
Subject: Re: Growing Coffee in Florida
 

I'm with Mr. Bingley.  

I'm skeptical - usually coffee plants won't produce anything worth harvesting until they are mature - 5 years or older.  Second, altitude has EVERYTHING to do with it - so I would imagine what he is producing would be an inferior grade bean comparable to a poor Robusta at best.

Sure, the plants can grow - I live in Georgia and have a half dozen myself.  They are very young sprouts, but looking good.  I have no intention of even trying to harvest - I'm growing them as an office decoration.
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ChicagoSandy
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Posted Mon Apr 11, 2005, 1:05pm
Subject: Re: Growing Coffee in Florida
 

My mom lives in Delray Beach, less than an hour from Davie, so I might head down to his shop/bar and taste for myself (granted, the current stuff carefully tended under controlled home conditions will probably show far better in the cup than will his eventual crop).  I can personally attest to the fact that southeast Fla.  DOES get the occasional frost--twice in the past three years I've visited in Feb. and awakened to frost--not just condensation--that I've had to scrape off my car windows.  But I'm sure he's prepared for that, with smudge pots, insulating sprayers (ice-encased plants can't get colder than 32 degrees F) and nighttime tarps and burlap covers.  It's gonna be so labor-intensive that he may have to set his prices too high to be competitive--and also bear in mind that minimum-wage and benefits laws Stateside will make him pay his pickers and tenders far more than his foreign competitors (probably a major factor in Kona's relatively high price as well).

As to the altitude question, although it is true that the best Arabicas are high-grown, it is also interesting to note that a lowland coffee--grown in the decidedly low-altitude Brazilian state of Bahia--has been chosen by Intelligentsia as one of its "Cup of Excellence" offerings.

 
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
-------------------
Life's too short to drink lousy coffee, play crummy guitars and write with ballpoint pens.
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Mr_Bingley
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Posted Tue Apr 12, 2005, 5:27am
Subject: Re: Growing Coffee in Florida
 

Actually, I've been to Bahia many times, and most of the arabicas are grown west of the Chapada Diamintina (which is a stunningly gorgeous national park) at altitudes greater than 1500 feet or so.

And your point about the insane labor costs this fellow will incur is spot-on.
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