The Whole Farm Has Met the Ax

We’ve reached an important milestone for our farm — as of mid-January, the whole farm has now been stumped. It’s a harsh pruning method, but now that we know that the trees recover, it is also a good way to tame a “feral” coffee farm.

Yay! Celebrate!

We’ve reclaimed the coffee farm. The days of a jungle coffee farm are behind us!

See (1) my very first post and (2) this post from last year for more background on pruning. Because of our terrain, it didn’t make sense to stump by rows, but by blocks. When we started in 2018, it was the plan to stump a block a year, meaning 1/3 of our farm is growing leaves and not producing fruit every year. No fruit means no housing for coffee borer beetles.

The Stump Class of 2020

As of a few weeks ago, with this block, all of our coffee trees have now been stumped.

The Stump Class of 2019

This block did not contribute any fruit to the past season’s coffee harvest. They got to concentrate on growing, without having to produce fruit.

This part of Block 2, stumped in January 2019, is doing well.
The trees circled in orange were stumped at the same time. Some recovered fine; some didn’t fare so well. The larger trees between the foreground and banana trees, circled in purple, were stumped in 2018.

This blog post is from about a year ago:

This article looked at those 2019 stumps a few months later, in June:

The Stump Class of 2018

The trees in the first block to be stumped in 2018 have mostly survived. Yet it’s very interesting how some trees have thrived (they’re currently 9′-12′ tall), and some are only 3′ tall. It’s probably not the pruning, though. Some trees have very small trunks — they weren’t big to start with. Maybe the nutrients or water flow away there, or the roots have hit bedrock, whereas other trees’ roots have tapped into the good stuff.

This blog post was written five months after stumping Block 1, class of 2018:

There are always more problems to solve and more to be done, and it sometimes weighs heavily on me. But we do have to try and reflect upon and linger on what we have accomplished. For my own encouragement, this is a meatier post I’ll have to refer back to every once in a while.

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