Patrocinio. Fazenda Botânica, owned by Paulo Almeida, was the first of three visits on this rainy day. Akio of Cerrad coffee was kind enough to arrange the visits and take me to visit the farms. The first two farms we visited belong to the Almeida family. They are located in the “privileged” Chapadao do Ferro region. This region is unique in that it is the only volcano in the Cerrado region and because of this has rich soil and a higher altitude.
Akio explained to me that Fazenda Botânica has a “privileged” location for two main reasons that are both linked to the ancient volcano that it sits on. Not only does it have the increased altitude and soil mineral content that is much higher than normal for the Cerrado, but Botânica’s location on the inside of the western side of the volcano maximizes maximizes morning light. Just like your home garden, the theory is that morning light is better for coffee than a strong afternoon sun. Therefore, farms that are on eastern slopes are generally at an advantage in that they receive a larger portion of morning sun and are more protected from the harsher afternoon sun. (Research is being conducted on this and results should be made available in a few years.)
From this photo you can see on the horizon the other side of the volcano.