A Case for Organic Coffee Farming: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn, Costa Rica

A Case for Organic Coffee Farming: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn, Costa Rica

Organic Coffee Finca Rosa Blanca


By Glenn Jampol, Owner, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn


*This article is an excerpt from "One Costa Rican coffee farmer provides a case for organic coffee"published by Global Coffee Review (March 2012 issue).


Environmental Benefits

An organic coffee field can be distinguished quite easily from a conventional coffee field both visually and topographically.


To begin with, an organic coffee field is almost certainly covered by lush undergrowth in the lanes between the coffee plants, which is a direct result of two practices. First, because an organic coffee farm does not use any kind of toxic herbicides or pesticides, the ground is fertile everywhere throughout the coffee field, not just under the plants’ roots. In addition, due to the fact that a shade grown, organic coffee field depends on the symbiosis between the plants and their neighbouring trees, the falling leaves and other natural organic debris act as an efficient by-product of fertilizer and nitrogen for the ever-demanding coffee plants.


One of the most rewarding treasures in these mountainous areas of Costa Rica can be found in shade grown coffee fields and is the result of lush reserves of endemic plant life inspiring and encouraging the arrival and residence of migratory and perennial birds. In the last few years, we've been spotting woodpeckers, oropendolas, tanagers, parrots, mott-motts and the like.


Organic Coffee Farming Creates a Chain of Life

An organic shade grown coffee plantation is a natural agar dish for a robust ecology where the factors for sustainability are taken into consideration as much as the quality of the product that would result from this kind of farming. Counter-erosion, water protection, reforestation and green technology are all factors that are used and also considered in some degree in almost all the organic and sustainable coffee farms around the world. There is a symbiosis created between the nitrogen rich trees, and the coffee, with its long-standing and friendly allies, Poró, Banana, Plantains, and other native and nitrogen rich trees found in Costa Rica, which allows for a chain of life that surely supplements not only the ecological footprint of the farm but also enriches the aesthetic beauty for the visitor, the labourer and for that matter the owner.


"[A]s an organic farmer, I walk through my coffee fields and feel confident that all the coffee I'm producing has a rhyme and reason. There's a certain joy to knowing that I have been fomenting the balance of the ecology in an area that had previously been developed based on high production, yield oriented agricultural products." - Glenn Jampol

Author Bio: Glenn Jampol

In 1985, Glenn founded and created the first "Boutique" hotel in Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Costa Rica, based on the best sustainable standards of the day, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn, which is now considered one of the best hotels in the world, according the New York Times, Conde Naste Traveler and others. The hotel also has 35 acres of certified shade grown organic coffee which is grown, picked and roasted on premises. Glenn was on of the founding members and team in the development of the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). In 2003, Finca Rosa Blanca became the first and only hotel to earn the highest classification of 5 green leaves in the CST program, and in 2008 received a perfect 100% ranking. Glenn is presently the president of the board of directors of the National Chamber of Ecotourism (CANAECO).

>> See Glenn Jampol's member profile




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