Harvest time is upon us! With spring warmth and dry days, the coffee fruit is ripening fast. Read on to learn more about our upcoming Australian Coffee Harvest 2023.
Dubbed ‘ripe cherry’ due to its deep scarlet colour, there’s plenty of ripe red fruit now on the coffee trees. Let’s get this harvest season started! 🌱🌳🍒☕️😁
Farm preparations – leading into harvest.
Nige has been getting the harvester primed and processing shed set up; trailer in place ready for the coffee fruit skins that will go off to be composted, checking equipment that has had 11 months dormancy since last use.
Dan’s been out clearing the coffee rows, getting rid of any old wood that might get caught up in the harvestor spindles.
The last rounds of fish and seaweed hydrolosates have been applied as foliar spray, before the harvest season begins. Such bio stimulants are like an immunity boost, and help with microbial transfer of nutrients. As you know, we want healthful trees and healthy soil life. That’s biological farming with nature’s health in mind.
Seasonal challenges of springtime : Hot and windy days – and bush turkey nests.
The resident male bush turkeys are now stealing all our aged leaf matter and compost from under the trees to to build their enormous mounds for the egg laying season. I know they are native, and protected .. but their habit of scratching up everything – even moving the top layer of soil from under the trees, to mound up in the middle of the rows, is not welcome. It denudes our soil life of cooling, water retaining, nutrient rich cover. The coffee trees will suffer, the microbial life, bugs, tiny critters robbed of their habitat. It’s like stealing the soil creatures’ roof and insulation, food source and moisture layer all in one evening. Which goes against the first rule of soil care – do not leave it bare! So the bush turkey action is not welcome in our coffee rows. We can’t pass by on bike or mower, let alone the harvestor. The mounds built in the rainforest gullies and by the creekline are tolerated – that’s their native habitat. Even then, they steal from our coffee rows and kick the leaf matter and compost down the hill to their rainforest -creekline mounds.
The ibis on the other hand, are rather welcome! Surprising to hear, I know. No bin chicken action here. They swoop in on our compost for a quiet sit and show particular keenness for the macadamia husk piles when they arrive from nearby maca farm processing. I reckon they can smell macadamia kernels and dig deep to eat them. They do no damage that I can see, and our compost piles gain a bit of extra nutrient too. So ibis welcome, bush turkeys not so.
Now when I started this blog last week, it was all sunshine and spring winds ☀️💨. After the big wet of 2022, this year has been downright dry El Nino conditions. We’ve been waiting for good rain 🌤️ 🤷🏻♀️- just to relax the trees so to speak, before John sets off down the rows on the harvester. But with all the red fruit ripening, we jumped in and fired up the harvestor on Monday the 25th Sept – rather early start for the season. Can’t wait for rain. But then it came – Thursday downpour most welcome! That will relax the trees nicely for next week’s harvest action.
John travels ever so slowly, less than 1km per hour, with the spindle rods spinning through the trees, like car wash brushes, knocking off the softer, juicier fruit onto the fish plates-style platform floor, and then up the travellator to the side bin.
At harvest time we want the trees to easily release their ripe fruit and hold on to their less ripe or green fruit until a second pass might occur later this spring harvest season.
The most important time of the year is upon us! I’ll cover more of the harvest and processing action next blog. Written by Rebecca Z : She who is most keen to get our coffee off the trees, processed well and stored finally ready for stocking up our Roastery!
Thanks for reading about our Australian Coffee Harvest Spring 2023.