Making The Right
High Quality Coffee Orchards
by Les Drent
Land clearing requires
both skill and years of experience. Hano Grace of
South Kona brings both to the job.
George Yasuda has been farming Kona coffee for decades
and he takes as much pride in helping others establish
and maintain successful coffee orchards as he does in
growing his own high quality coffee. Upon getting to
know George one realizes that his expertise come from
decades of experimentation, and hands on learning as
a farmer. Not only has he played an invaluable part
in the growth of many award winning farms in Kona but
his expertise has reached out to aid in the success
of other coffee farms around Hawaii. I can attribute
much of my own success as a coffee farmer to George's
advice and I couldn't be happier with the assistance
he has lent me at Blair Estate Organic coffee farm here
in Kauai. In only my second year of growth my tree heights
range from four to eight feet and while I took in a
hefty load of coffee this year I expect a very bountiful
harvest in 2004! I would personally urge anyone serious
about growing coffee commercially to seek out George's
advice. Besides his wealth of knowledge George brings
the spirit of Aloha to the job as well!
Here are a few of George's key points involved in attaining
a high quality coffee orchard.
1. Acquire the right land
2. Developing the property into a high production, high
quality efficient and aesthetically pleasing farm
3. Proper maintenance of the farm
4. Proper harvesting and processing
5. Marketing your high quality coffee
If planted and cared
for properly a coffee orchard can produce an average
of 21 pounds of coffee cherry per tree after only
2 years of growth! Notice the effect of using proper
fertilizer and the varying look of the landscape
in this picture. The lighter colored monkey pod
tree on the right was the healthiest of the three
before George’s fertilizer program started.
What you need to know about acquiring the right piece
of land: Coffee does best in well drained volcanic soils
with rainfall of about 80 inches primarily in April
to November with supportive rains in December to March.
Kona coffee of course needs to be grown in the districts
of North and South Kona. The optimum elevation is 800
feet to 2,300 feet. Avoid poorly drained soils, extremely
rocky soils or elevations that are over 2,500 feet or
exposed to strong winds. Avoiding flood prone areas
should be considered as well. If you have a certain
subject property in mind and have questions about its
suitability in growing coffee, just give George a call
at 808-324-1495 or email him at email@example.com
Once you acquire a piece of land, next comes the development
stage. Its not just a matter of planting trees in a
row, a lot more is involved in order to achieve a high
production, high quality, efficient and aesthetically
pleasing orchard that bears productively for decades
if not a century.
Besides helping other
farmers achieve success in the coffee industry,
George Yasuda maintains his own high quality farm
and sells his 100% Kona coffee under the Tiare Lani
Preparing the soil with the right amendments and fertilizers,
bulldozing the property properly with soil erosion controls,
using the best coffee stock selection from reputable
nurseries, designing and installing reliable high quality
irrigation systems are just some of the facets to consider.
Tiare Lani Coffee Inc. has been advising farmers and
installing awesome high production orchards for nearly
two and a half decades. Why not get some help from many
years of experience, expertise, and proven techniques.
The pictures that accompany this article portray what
a properly established coffee farm should look like.
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appeared originally in Coffee Times print magazine and
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