Kona’s dry season starts in November, and it has been dry. All the rain we received and the bluer, vog-less sky, however, is probably why our yield was about doubled this year. Last year (the big eruption year) was a low-yield for most farmers, and it was odd because picking was over before Thanksgiving, when it usually extends into December, possibly January.
This was an unusual year, too. There was a lot of coffee, with some large harvests, but we will be done with all picking before Thanksgiving for a second year. We will be strip picking the rest of the few beans on the trees as part of our farm hygiene; these beans, mostly off-grade, don’t go into our estate coffee we sell.
Since we have more coffee and we’re heading towards the potential yield of this farm, we can be more selective. This year we’re excluding the Prime grade (lowest quality) from our estate coffee. (See this blog post for more info on grading).
Prime grade green beans are in the hand at top. Our estate coffee is in the hands below. It’s not a striking difference. Prime is still considered Kona coffee. It might be slightly smaller, has a few more defects, and the color isn’t quite as uniform. It does not have any undesirable flavor or aroma when brewed.
If the rains allow, we’re going to stump the last block on our farm in December rather than wait for January. I’m looking forward to this last one. The areas are the most jungly and unwieldy. Rain makes coffee grow, but a lot of other things grow, too! We haven’t been spending a lot of time cleaning up here since the big ax job will happen with the stumping.
This farm is truly a work in progress. It wasn’t that long ago that we had to bushwhack to see the outer edges of our property.
Although it has been dry, last weekend and Monday or Tuesday there was a flash flood advisory, for the entire state and specific areas, like Kona, at times. I didn’t pay close attention. Already Saturday night we watched at least an hour of lightning flashes over the ocean. It reminds me of looking for shooting stars. You just stare out, and occasionally you see something. It’s weird to see the pitch black expanse suddenly light up, revealing the horizon line and the heavy clouds and sky pattern, but just for a split second. I like that you experience it, and you don’t worry about trying to capture it in a photo.
Sunday it was the same thing — heavy humidity, hot, electric flashes, but still no rain or storm. Early Monday morning, it finally arrived. The storm came and went. A few hours later, the heaviness to the air was lifted, there were blue sky, light clouds, and occasionally some puddles to be seen.