Poco Fundo. It’s odd to introduce a farm with a picture of the soil instead of a nice panoramic view, or even a picture of the farm sign. But this is what, I feel, Adauto is most proud of. He explained to me how this was “live” soil. In farms that use pesticides and herbicides, the soil is not viewed as a living element, but rather a container to pour things to produce coffee. When you take away the chemicals, the soil comes alive. And to prove his point, he started digging. And he was right. Not only was the soil a rich fertile black, but it was replete with worms and other forms of life. Adauto also pointed out the diversity of varieties of undergrowth and explained that this diversity is a sign of healthy soil. I remember that Sergio Sanglard from Serra do Bone had said something similar.
There is a forest above his farm is, and this is his source of irrigation. The forest will retain water and release it over time.
Organic farms are unfortunately uncommon in Brazil. One of the main reasons is the thought that organic farming leads to a decrease in production. Most have the image of a frail coffee plant with few cherries and leaves. Adauto’s production last year was 45 bags/hectare; well above the average for the Sul de Minas. This next harvest, as you can tell by the pictures, should be a bumper crop.
This photo shows several things besides the health of the coffee. It shows difference in an organic farm. Organic farms are oftentimes “messier,” with untamed undergrowth and much more non-coffee vegetation. Note the number of trees interspersed in with the coffee.
Coffee Farmer of the Year
Adauto was voted the Brazilian Coffee Farmer of the Year due to his dedication to quality practices and to his work with Coopfam and the Poco Fundo community. If you are making a list of what to do in Brazil, meeting this man would be an invaluable item on that list. He is a tour-de-force in humanity, humbly working to produce great organic coffee in the morning, and working to better his community through his service to the coop in the afternoon. I could go on, but I will just say that he is a great man, and you would do well to meet him.