New field cleared for planting coffee at Kona Earth

Planting New Kona Coffee Trees: The Future of Our Farm (Phase I)

The arrival of new Kona coffee trees is always an eagerly anticipated event for coffee growers. That's why we are excited to announce that we will be planting a new block of coffee trees this week. Here’s the 411 on this exciting new development at Kona Earth.

Preparing our Field of Dreams

Steve and Ryan Wynn clearing the field at Kona Earth

Farmer Steve Wynn and his son Ryan employed chainsaws to remove old trees 

The process of planting new coffee trees at Kona Earth is a long and involved one. Farmer Steve Wynn, along with his son Ryan, have been working for months to clear the field of old Macadamia nut and avocado trees. 

tractor removing a large tree stump
The tractor removed stumps to make way for the new orchard

Once the land is cleared, the next step is to establish rows. The rows are established at 12 feet apart, leaving ample space for our John Deere tractor to pass comfortably through the orchard. That's important because the tractor is used for ongoing farm management and to care for the coffee trees.

Farmer Steve Wynn preparing his field to plant new coffee trees
Once the lot was cleared, Steve cut the rows

Once the rows are established, a center line is run down each row and the ground is marked with spray paint at every 3 feet to indicate where each tree will be planted.

spray paint marking a field for planting
 Markings are made 3 feet apart to indicate where new trees will be placed
Steve and Joanie Wynn on their farm
 Steve and Joanie Wynn complete the prep for their new field of Kona coffee trees

Make Way for Keiki

Now that phase 1 - the field prep work - is complete, we will install pig fencing to protect the fragile trees from the invasive feral pigs that love to eat the tops off the new plants. Once fenced and secured, the new trees will be planted in our new orchard.

Here in Kona, new coffee trees are called “keiki”, the Hawaiian word for child.  Initially, they will be only about 16 inches in height, but over the next few years, they will grow to their full height of about 10 feet. 

Within three years, these new coffee trees will have reached their optimal yield of about 10 pounds of cherry per tree. More coffee and new opportunities is what it's all about with this new block of trees. With this new planting, we anticipate an increased yield and a new varietal that will offer unique flavor opportunities for our estate-grown coffee.

Steve and Joanie Wynn with their new Kona coffee trees

Steve and Joanie welcome their new Kona coffee trees

Introducing Red Caturra

The varietal chosen for Kona Earth's new block of coffee trees is Red Caturra. A natural mutation of the Red Bourbon variety, Caturra is a dwarf tree with compact branches; its internodes are much closer than a Bourbon, making this variety more productive. The trees are shorter, which makes them easy to pick, work, and manage. It has a strong root system that allows it to absorb more nutrients from the soil.*

Most of the Kona Earth farm is planted with Kona Typica, an Arabica coffee tree, making this new orchard of Caturra a unique and welcome addition to our farm. The Caturra cup is sweet and citrusy and will perfectly complement the chocolate and caramel flavor notes of our Kona Typica coffee. 

Worth the Work, Worth the Wait

Kona Earth is known for producing world-class Hawaiian specialty coffee. Grown on our 26-acre family farm in the heart of Kona’s famed coffee belt, our coffee is nurtured from seed to sip – processed and micro-batch roasted on site, then shipped farm-direct for the freshest cup of Kona coffee you can buy.

We strive to bring our customers the best coffee possible and are always looking for new ways to improve our farm and our product. We've planned to add this new block of Kona coffee trees since taking the reins as new owners of the Kona Earth farms in 2021. It will be the first of what we hope will be many more future opportunities to expand our coffee orchard and improve our products.

*Source of Caturra information: SiCafe, El Salvador

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Appreciated the information in the article. I know very little about the workings of a coffee farm and this is educational. Take care, Joe M

Joe M

Congratulations Joanie, Steve and Ryan! Such an immense effort and great story. I can’t wait to see the orchard and sip the bounty!

Kimi Johnson

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