Burundi Gaharo Washed Process Long Miles Project
This is Coffee Labs' fourth year working with The Long Miles Coffee Project in Burundi. Gaharo holds a special place in the heart of Long Miles Coffee. This is not just one of the hills in their story, it is the hill where the journey began. The first washing station built by Long Miles rests at the feet of Gaharo hill, on a piece of land that seemed to be long forgotten by everyone else. Every inch of it was cleared by Gaharo farmers and bricks were made from clay found in the valley below. The same farmers who helped to build Bukeye, another washing station, from scratch now deliver their cherries to it. To Long Miles, Gaharo farmers have become neighbors and co-workers. Long Miles has grown, worked and developed as a community “twese hamwe”, together.
CHALLENGES: The hill grows almost everything its people like to eat but struggles with the high acidity and low fertility of its soils. Generational poverty has lead most people to live from day to day. Because of this and the recurring conflicts in the region, good agricultural knowledge and practices amongst farmers have been lost. Over the years farmers, young and old, have abandoned their fields because they simply cannot afford to invest in them.
THE SCOUTS: Together the six scouts dedicated to working on Gaharo have helped to rejuvenate abandoned farms and give farmers hope for the future of their coffee. Whenever the scouts walk through Gaharo and its rolling sub hills, farmers walk side by side with them out of curiosity. They are interested in learning about how to produce quality coffee, but struggle to put it into practice. The scouts are working hard to teach farmers to plant green manures and make organic fertilizer for their fields to lower the acidity of the soils. Oswald, one of the veteran Gaharo scouts cannot walk past a coffee farm without stopping to scout for antestia bugs, the little critters linked to spreading the potato defect. If he sees one, he’ll be quick to catch it and teach the nearest farmer about the danger it poses to their coffee trees.
AGRONOMY: Gaharo farmers also grow potatoes, maize, beans, cassava and bananas to sustain their families throughout the year. Tea competes with coffee on Gaharo, wrapping the hill in every imaginable shade of green.
FUTURE: Farmers continue to hope for better education for their children and a greater stability for the hill they call home.
Tasting Notes: Dark Chocolate and Cashew, Creamy Full Body, and a Fruity Sweetness