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Fixing things and finishing projects.
18 January 2010

Bags The holiday season is always a busy time of year for us.  We often have house guests, it's the middle of the harvest season and it's the busiest time of year for coffee sales.  So that's my excuse for not making any posts over the past month.  To catch up, I want to brag about a couple things I did manage to get done recently.

The new coffee storage room is complete and has already proven itself to be very effective and useful.  It's main purpose is to store coffee in a controlled environment where the humidity and temperature are held constant at exactly the desired conditions.  Being stored in such prime conditions, our coffee stays nice and fresh.

Chute Very few farms have such nice storage facilities.  Most Kona coffee farms are too small to justify a special storage room.  They either rely on large plastic bags or they simply put the coffee in a garage or closet and hope for the best.  The large mills process so much coffee that they need giant warehouses.  Cooling and dehumidifying such large warehouses is not practical so the mills often ship their coffee to the mainland for storage.  That means it is stored as green beans rather than parchment which is less than ideal.

Our coffee storage room also has a special coffee chute.  The top deck of the barn is used for drying the coffee while the basement room is for storage.  When the coffee is dry it is raked into a hatch which leads down to the storage room.  Using the chute is much, much easier than scooping up the coffee and carrying the heavy bags down the stairs.

Scooping Dumping

In addition to finishing the storage room, I've also managed to get my tractor and manure spreader working again.  That is good because with them both broken, the pulped coffee skins were piling up fast.  Fixing the manure spreader required some parts fabrication so I fixed the tractor first.  Once the tractor was running, I could use it to scoop up all the rotting cherry skins and carry them out to the field.  It still required some shoveling but not nearly as bad as it would have been if the tractor was broken.

I eventually managed to get the manure spread back together too.  I might have gone slightly overboard with it.  I spent so much time cleaning and repainting everything, getting it all nice and shiny, that once it was done I didn't want to fill it with messy coffee skins.  It had to be done though.  After all, it is a manure spreader.  They work better when they're slimy and stinky and dripping with ooze.

Clean Dirty

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