Farm: Finca El Boton
Altitude: 1,400 meters above sea level
Owner: Ariel Montoya Herran
Town / City: Ciudad Bolivar
Overall: Dark chocolate, pomegranate, raspberry
El Boton - Colombia
Purchased by Jose Maria Herran in 1930, El Boton has grown Maragogipe for nearly three generations in the lush Antioquia region of Colombia. This region is known as the birthplace of Colombian coffee and is the leading producing region thanks to its rich volcanic soil and high elevations. Today, El Boton is owned and managed by Ariel Montoya Herran.
The sloping lands and rich forests provide nutrients and the ideal climate for coffee production. It is also common for producers in this region to raise cattle and intercrop lemons and avocados with their coffee.
It is vital to monitor the health of the coffee trees at El Boton. To do so, every three years, farmworkers prune the tops of each coffee tree to 80cm. This forces the tree to put more energy towards growing cherries versus growing more leaves and branches.
Once harvest season arrives at El Boton, pickers graze the fields and select only the perfectly ripe cherries. After each cherry is handpicked and carried to the mill – the coffee is sorted to remove any over-and under-ripe cherries. The next step involves a carefully supervised drying process that takes roughly one week. As soon as the coffee has completely dried – it must be loaded and trucked to the dry mill, 100km from the farm.
Sustainability is important at Finca El Boton, with goals to reduce degradation and harm to the surrounding ecosystems. In order to reduce negative impacts to the environment, farmworkers ensure that all wastewater generated is properly treated and cleaned to maintain the pure natural waterways. Additionally, there are continuous goals to plant more trees in the area to improve biodiversity.
At El Boton, the livelihoods of the workers are also highly valued. They receive higher wages and comfortable accommodation, which differs from other farms in the region. There are future goals to improve housing and education for the community, as well.
Due to an increase in rains and alterations in climate – yields are being impacted and adjustments must be made. El Boton is constantly looking to the future and hopes to maintain yields despite the climatic changes.