28 January 2007
From looking at recent posts, it may appear that growing Kona
coffee consists primarily of goofing off and taking vacations.
The problem is that the harvest season isn't really all that exciting
to hear about. If you really want to hear more about harvesting
Kona coffee, there have been plenty of past posts on the topic.
For us, it's the days off between harvesting that are much more
interesting. Towards the end of the coffee growing season, when
we're finally seeing the returns from a year's worth of work, it's very
tempting to take some free time to go play.
On a spur of the moment decision I recently flew out to Colorado to
spend a few days playing in the snow. My sister and her husband
had just moved there and my brother and his wife were flying out
too. Valerie and the girls had school and work so they agreed to
stay here to take care of the farm and the animals while I was gone.
Many people prefer to fly some place warm for the winter. Living
in Hawaii all year, flying to the snow for a few days sounded like
fun. During my visit the weather was perfect. The first day
was bright and sunny while the next day we saw nine inches of fresh
snow. Then it got bright and sunny again for the remainder of the
trip. As long as you have the correct clothing, hiking in the
snow can be a great experience. I have plenty of good winter
clothes so I could keep my fingers and toes nice and warm.
Before leaving, I was trying to describe to my Mexican coffee pickers
where I was going. Most of them have never seen the snow
before. None of them have ever hiked in the mountains while it
was snowing. When I told them it's colder outside in the snow
than it is inside the freezer, they weren't sure if they believed
me. After some quick Fahrenheit to Celsius conversions, I managed
to convince them that I wasn't exaggerating. Then I told them
how, if you're really quiet, you can hear little thump, thump, thump
noises as the falling snow hits the ground. They decided that was
probably a bit far fetched.
We do occasionally get snow up on the mountain here in Hawaii.
Next time it snows up there I plan to take a shovel and fill the back
of my pickup truck with snow. I'm sure it won't last long but it
should at least survive the trip from the mountain top back down to the
farm. Coffee trees don't like snow but the kids might find it fun
to play in.