22 Jalan Kayu Aya
Seminyak, Bali.

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Coffee planting in Bali: a picture story book

Category - Food & Drinks

This is a tale of adventure to the coffee lands in the North of Bali…

Where you swap your sunnies for a sweater, your bathers for a blanket…

Here near the vegetable pastures of Bedugul and the Git Git waterfall they grow something that we hold very dear to our heart…

They grow coffee and have done for a little while.

The conditions and altitude are great for growing coffee, but they currently have a lot of robusta beans planted, where they could be growing the much more profitable arabica. The guys from 5 Senses met one of the farmers son a couple of years back and have been teaching them about production and farming methods since. In June a bunch of 5 Senses roasters and baristas from cafes all around Australia made the trip over to Bali to meet these farmers and help build another nursery to plant new coffee seedlings. But before we got to work we first met the family…

And even sat down for some coffee and breakfast with the head of the village…

During our sit down Putu [pictured below] delivered a speech to the group about his hopes and passion for the future crop and collaboration that had me ‘on the verge’. I don’t even speak fluent Indo, but from the fervour of his vocal expression and the belief in his gestures it was clear that he and his family were full of gratitude and determination for the new venture.

And so, it was time to join forces and get into the groundwork. The boys first showed us how it was done…

Fresh soil was wheeled in by Nyoman

The nurseries where lined by cut up bamboo. Then with another edge of bamboo, lines were made where the seedlings would be planted…

Next everyone took a banana leaf-full of arabica seedlings and started to plant….

Seedlings were planted about 3-4cm from each other. Wanting the little beans to grow up nice and happy we decided to sing some soul songs to them as we went. Bob Marley seemed to be the commonground. ‘No peaberry no cry’.

When all the seeds had been put to bed and sung a lullaby, it was time to tuck them in and cover them over with soil. Next we put a roof and some walls around them. Bamboo branches were chopped and sliced and then bent over to make the roof…

We wrapped plastic over the top and sides to make a nursery and keep the pesky chickens out…

This isn’t part of the story, but can we just take a moment for Nyoman – what a legend – Cowboy.

Anto, our Sea Circus barista champion, is also a complete legend. He came up to help us plant and is pictured here looking pretty happy after the 3 nurseries are finished…

Once the hard work was done we all jumped on the back of the farmers’ bikes and headed up another hill [read mountain] to check on last year’s nursery. The view from the top was all kinds of spectacular…

The seedlings will be moved in about 6 months time up on to the hills. Pretty excited to taste our soul coffee beans. In the meantime we’ll let this gang take care of them.

Category - Food & Drinks