During the summer of 2017, we had teams help us begin to replace the coffee plants that had aged out on our property. That summer, teams help to plant 2,500 new coffee plants. And since that time, they have been watered, fertilized and cared for. And this year, they are bearing fruit.
The boys in our Grace Home got so excited as they begin to see the cherries change from their green color to red. Now, some of the cherries are ready to pick. This past week, the boys asked if they could help pick coffee. We began to talk about the coffee process. Cherries are picked when they are bright red. They are laid out to dry in the sun daily being turned often, then gathered before evening and laid out again the next day on the sun . . . for at least two weeks. Drying the cherries on the bean gives a unique flavor to the coffee bean, an old antique method. Next, the dried cherry is removed from the bean, and the bean is hulled. The final process is roasting before being able to brew and enjoy.
Some of the older boys love to have coffee and milk in the afternoons with “sweet bread,” a very local tradition, so we all thought that it would be a great project for the boys to pick some coffee, dry it, and be able to process it themselves to see that there is work . . . a lot of work . . . behind enjoying a cup of coffee. Today, the boys, along with their house dad, Ceferino, are beginning to pick some cherries that will eventually be coffee. Praise God that He has given us this opportunity for the boys to learn about the value of hard work. No, they won’t be picking all the coffee, but enough that they can have a small part in the process as they learn the value of hard work.