"Hacienda La Papaya: the farm and guest houses owned and operated by Juan Pena. Don Juan (which is a very fitting descriptor, especially if you catch the ray of sunshine in his wide smile) is a multi-generation farmer, but he's very new to coffee: A former long-stem-rose producer, he started experimenting with coffee plants 5 years ago, when disastrous weather struck and wiped out his flower fields. Turning entirely to coffee, he has worked to develop as healthy, hardy, and horticulturally intentional a farm as possible, with a very well-nurtured plant nursery and a "garden of inputs" on the property. (The "inputs garden" is something new on me: He has coffee trees planted several yards apart and labeled with the fertilizer inputs they're given, to track the impact of the nutrients on growth and cherry development. You might not find it surprising to hear that the most purely chemical of the fertilizers had created the weakest and saddest looking tree...)"
— Meister (for Meister's full blog on Ecuador surrounding this exerpt on Juan Pena, click here)
For more information about coffee production in Ecuador, visit our Ecuador origin page.