Rodolfo Peñalba Honduras MicrolotHigher Grounds Trading
Region: Finca Clave de Sol, Barrio el Rincón,
Marcala, La Paz, Honduras
Flavors: blueberry jam * lush cherry * floral
Elevation: 1250 meters
Best brewing: Chemex
Recommended ratio: 17:1
The COMSA Cooperative
“[I am a] third generation coffee farmer,” says Rodolfo. “My father and grandfather before me grew coffee, I started when I was a child, helping out my father during harvest time. My schooling was in Marcala and we would spend summers at our farm. I enjoyed the fruits and vegetables of our farm as well as observing some of the animals (raccoons, mountain cats, tepezcuintles and sometimes even deer). It was a very pleasant environment although my father was a conventional farmer. I had a dream to become a doctor but my family did not have the resources to put me in medical school, so I studied agronomy thanks to a scholarship. After graduation, I worked as a technical advisor for large farms training producers in the usage of conventional farming chemicals for about 15 years until one day, one of the farm workers nearly died after accidentally ingesting one of the products.
“That episode made me reflect about alternatives for producers and consumers. I then received a workshop training about organic agriculture, and I began to take decisions in my farm, and like most who transition into organics, my yields suffered considerably. It became a challenge, and a moral commitment.
“Harvest is carried out from December to April, starting in the cool December climate, under dark clouds, and under the shade of trees. As the harvest progresses the weather turns nicer, as the days become longer. As April approaches, the dormant vegetation comes to life and by April’s awakening, our farm dresses itself in colour.
“We maintain a genetic diversity in our farm, to offer more opportunities and to overcome the challenges of Roya. Coffee is collected at its peak maturity, al the while subjecting it to varying techniques and experiments for fermentation and drying. We believe in shade, and we keep different types of fruit trees including orange, tangerines, lemons, and bananas, giving the coffee particular characteristics, making it different and unique.
“Our farm management is 100% organic, with responsibility and love, in harmony with humanity, the environment and birds. We are immensely proud of this.”