Coffee News from Velasquez Family Coffee.
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This time of year, as those of us in the north prepare for winter, coffee farmers in Honduras prepare for the coffee harvest while they wait for their green coffee berries like those pictured above to turn red. More about the long timeline of the coffee harvest below.

But first, a quick reminder 
that we'll be doing our October coffee deliveries on Friday, October 14. If you live (or work) in Minneapolis or St. Paul and some suburbs, we can add you to our free delivery route. If you don't live in these areas, we're happy to mail coffee to you. Just get your coffee order to us before noon Wednesday, October 14 by contacting us at or ordering through our website. Our next delivery date will be Friday, November 11th.
Waiting for the Harvest
Coffee farmers, even more than most farmers, need a lot of patience as the journey from planting seed to harvesting coffee can take 3-4 years. 

First coffee seeds are planted in small plots. After a few months those seedlings are transplanted into small bags. Six months later, after their root structure has grown, seedlings are planted out in the field where they will spend the rest of their growing life. Over the next 2-3 years, while these small coffee bushes grow, coffee farmers add fertilizer and keep fields clear of weeds. (Our family does this by hand using machetes). The first few years, the bush may produce a few flowers and berries but it isn't until the 3rd year, that a full harvest is produced. Good production can usually continue for another 5 years before the tree needs to be pruned.

Our family members planted new coffee plants with greater resistance to coffee rust several years ago and this year are waiting in anticipation as coffee flowers turn to green berries and ultimately to red in the next few months. While they wait, they are scouting out workers to hire for the harvest, preparing housing for them, and repairing equipment, patios and green houses for processing and drying the coffee. The harvest will finally get underway in December and January, wrapping up in February and March. Because coffee berries don't turn red at the same time, workers visit each field 2-3 times during the harvest season, picking only ripe berries each time they pass through. 

If you'd like to see more photos of this long growing process, we recently put together a new slideshow which you can view HERE.
Coffee Fundraiser
As we slip into fall, we have been hearing from our existing fundraiser partners and several new groups as they launch their fall fundraisers. We are pleased to work with a number of schools, mission projects and nonprofit organizations to raise funds for their work. Let us help you design a coffee fundraiser for your organization.
  • Sell coffee on consignment at an event.
  • Take advance coffee orders.
  • Promote monthly coffee subscriptions to be credited to your group.
We have created several new resources to help support our coffee fundraisers including a new flyer and order form, sample promotional emails and more. Contact us for more information. We'd love to work with you to create a fundraiser that works for your group.
New VFC Shopping Cart - Test Launch
As we mentioned in our newsletter in August, we are working on a long overdue redesign of the Velasquez Family Coffee website using Shopify. We ran into a few challenges getting Shopify to offer free delivery to people in our delivery area. Turns out "there's an app for that" and so our new shopping cart is now finally up and running. We still have lots of work around design and content for the "front end" of our new website and we really need new product photos, but before we move everything over and shut down our old website, we'd like to have a soft launch of the new shopping cart to make sure everything is working well.

If you want to place an order this month - either for mail or home delivery - we encourage you to test the new shopping cart out HERE. If by some chance things don't work as planned, feel free to go back to our old website to place your order as that is still up and running as well.
Climate Action: Before the Flood
Our thoughts are with the people of Florida and other parts of the Atlantic coast in the path of Hurricane Matthew and for the people of the Bahamas and Haiti that have already experienced extensive damage and more than 280 deaths. This dangerous storm passed very close to West Palm Beach, FL last night -- which is where "Cathy met Guillermo" back in 1990 and where Guillermo's aunt still lives, so we are watching closely and hoping for the best.

Hurricanes raise questions of Climate Change and while the relationship is complicated, scientists are trying to explain that relationship as best they can. (See New York Times article, "Hurricane Season Is Heating Up. So Is the Planet. Coincidence?")

"Warmer oceans provide more energy for storms, so storms should get more numerous and mighty. But other factors have complicated the picture, including atmospheric changes that can affect wind shear, a factor that keeps cyclones from forming. The fuzziness about whether hurricane patterns are changing does not undercut the overwhelming scientific consensus about climate change in general, Dr. Vecchi said. “There is no conflict between uncertainty about what global warming is going to do to hurricanes, and the reality of global warming and human activity being one of the drivers of global warming,” he said. “Just because I don’t know what you had for lunch,” he added, “doesn’t mean you don’t eat.” [Gabriel A. Vecchi, a climate researcher at NOAA’s geophysical fluid dynamics laboratory in Princeton.]

With uncanny timing, earlier this week, President Obama, Climate Scientist Katherine Hayhoe, and actor Leonardo DiCaprio sat down to talk about climate change and DiCaprio's new eco-documentary Before the Flood. You can watch the trailer here.
Velasquez Family Coffee
Shade Grown | Hand Picked | Sun Dried | Fair Trade
Directly from our Family to You
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