Welcome to Finca el Suelo
Owned and run by Tim Wendelboe, Finca el Suelo is a 7 hectare farm located in El Vegon, in the municipality of El Pital in Huila, Colombia. It lies on an altitude of 1650 – 1700 MASL next to Finca Tamana.
This is the first time we have farmed coffee, so we consider this a learning project. We work only with nature, focusing on bringing our soil back to life by making our own compost as the main inoculant for increasing beneficial soil microbe populations.
We believe that healthy soils will give us healthy trees and better coffees.
Our goal is to figure out how to raise coffee quality and increase production with regenerative biological farming practices, and hopefully inspire other farmers to do the same.
But we have to succeed first.
How to buy Finca el Suelo coffee
Our Second Harvest
At the moment we have planted around 600 trees on the farm. Most of those coffee trees are Ethiopian landrace cultivars but we also have some Geisha planted and a tiny amount of Caturra. We also have a small Cultivar museum / garden where we keep a few trees of different cultivars to see how they perform and in order to keep a small seed bank of these rare coffee trees.
From August 2021 we started picking small amounts of coffee from our Ethiopian Landrace trees along with a few of the cultivars in our museum / cultivar garden.
In the 2022 main harvest, which at our farm is between May and August, we were able to harvest slightly more coffee than last year. The total yield was just short of 20 kg of green coffee.
After tasting and doing extensive quality control, we have ended up with 12 kg of the best quality from our Ethiopian landrace cultivar. This is the coffee that we will be roasting in December and put out for sale.
Because the lot size is bigger than last year’s harvest, we will be able to roast this coffee on our Loring S35 roaster. Since we only have 12 kilos of the coffee, it means we only have one shot at roasting it, so we will use the time until the final roast date to test different profiles on coffees from Tamana to make sure we also get a good roast profile on the coffee from Finca el Suelo.
Finca El Suelo Timeline
We take ownership of the parcel of land that would be come Finca El Suelo. We begin the process of applying compost tea, planting shade trees and of course, planting coffee.
The farm is not progressing because the soil isn't healthy enough. Most of the trees we planted in 2015 are dead. We start planning for planting new coffee trees in less quantities to focus our attention on smaller areas of the farm.
A total of 600 coffee trees are now growing and they are growing quite well due to the new planting techniques that we learned while visiting in Kenya. Because there are less trees we are able to add loads of wood chips, compost, compost extract and compost tea.
In late 2021 we were able to harvest the first cherries from our farm. The 110 trees we planted in 2019 are growing tall and are producing a good amount of coffee cherries. The volumes are still small but big enough to bring some home to roast and sell.
Learn more about Finca el Suelo
In this video, Tim shares the story and journey he has undertaken at Finca el Suelo.
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