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Nicaragua and El Salvador January 2006 Travelogue

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The cuppers at JASAL: Jorge, Douglas and Mario. Jorge has a lot of experience and has gone through the whole Q Grading program.
Bob and Aida among the wet-milling machines.
I wandered around and got this really nice Praying Mantis photo.
Next day we wet up tothe Cerro Las Ranas area, looking back at where we were the night before (the Santa Ana volcano is shrouded by clouds in the upper left corner.)
The farm name here is San Francisco, and you can see the lined windbreaks towering above the coffee. This region has very high winds, and the coffee must be protected.
Bob on a 4 wheeler. I ride motorcycles and could not figure this out. I kept trying to lean, and to put my foot down. I must have looked pretty lame, but I fgured it out a bit on the way down.
Here are the different tree management styles. El Salvador is amazing because it has traditional Bourbon cultivar on most farms and VERY old trees. This is they typical method when a tree - every 7-10 years you cut the tree and allow it to regrow.
This is a method that improves on the total cut, called the Pelo y Barba (Hair and Beard). Pelo is the tall branch, Barba the short, This allows for more growth and recovery from the cut, which means quicker return to coffee production.
The most interesting method of managing old Bourbon trees is called Algovio. 2 or 3 main upright branches are left on the old trunk. They are bent over, either by tying them down with wire cables, or by literally "massaging" the branch into this position after the rains have come. Off each of these horizontals will come vertical new growth and 2-3 are allowed to remain. So a single trunk ends up with between 4 and 9 main verticals for coffee production.
To do the Algovio method, only 300 trees can be in an area of one manzana (about 2 hectares I believe) whereas there might be 800 to 1000 with usual methods. Here is a trunk that is amazingly broad and old, 80 to 100 years.
At the San Francisco farm they have their own varietal, also called San Francisco. It is green tipped.
San Francisco is a cross between Bourbon and Pacas varietals, and has good production.
Damage from last years eruption of the Santa Ana volcano. Depending on the direction of the farm in relation to the wind, damage to trees was severe in some places. Here is burning from fallen ash. Ash is all over the ground in varying thickness. Many farms lost trees completely, or had subsequent mudslide damage. Some had all the leaves fall off trees, but the cherry remained.
Another image showing the wind break, looking north from Cerro Las Ranas (which means Frog Hill). Las Ranas is 1400 to 1780 meters, and Monteleon (ie the Monte Leon Pulped Natural we had last year) is across the way, ranging from 1450 to 1500 meters.
Who can resist the beauty of topiary? Not I ...
Chicken? Dog? Lama? Who cares, it looks great!
Sorting her coffee after picking at San Francisco estate.
We stopped for lunch at this amazing restaurant named El Jardin de Celeste. They had a couple mid-sized roasters of some age there (not in use),
This one was probably 40-80 years old, hard to say. It probably had a 10 Lb. capacity.
Nice decorative touches at El Jardine de Celeste. The food was great, the deserts even greater. I had Maracuyá pie, that is, Passion Fruit custard. Amazing.
A No. 5 Royal Roaster at Jose Antonio's home near EL Molino de Santa Rita.
And some groovy glass clowns too ...
Of course I climbed it! A manipulated 2 trunk Ficus of some kind. I went about 40 feet up before good sense got the better of me.
Jose Antonio is very proud of his champion Peruvian Paso horses (the same type Irwin has, pictured earlier). This is is current show horse, Senor Desarollo
Senor Desarollo, a bit closer.
Mother and philly; Linda Moreno and little Zora (which means female fox).
Zora on one of her little bursts of speed. She is all legs.
The father of Senor Desarollo, Morenito, who was brought from Peru. This mid-stride photo shows their famous style.
Morenito, retired from showing, but still in great form.

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