What is Organic Coffee and how is it Grown

Organic is a new word used in the context of coffee, tea, cocoa and other food materials in recent times around local shops and super markets. Every year the word is being used by buying public more than the previous year and its use is growing year after year resulting in higher sale proportion of tea or coffee marked as 100% organically grown.

What is organically grown?

To simply put it, organic farming methods leave least or no harmful impact on the surrounding environment. Organic agricultural production systems are mostly traditional methods evolved through learning from nature. In the organic farming methods no synthetic chemical fertilizer or pesticide is used. So that organic production means natural, pure and healthy.

How coffee grows in nature

The coffee plant does not need much direct sun light and so it grows under the shade of large trees. The ground is never sprayed with any chemical insecticide or fertilizer and so the ground water remains pure and uncontaminated. From the canopy of trees leaves fall steadily and the ground is covered by fallen leaves layer on layer. The layers of fallen leaves work as a blanket and protect the moisture of the ground. The moisture in turn help the process of compost to turn the bottom layers of leaves into natural manure to nourish the land.

The thick foliage of shade trees over the coffee bushes house many varieties of birds and also attracts the migratory birds. The birds live on small insects and pests. So they work as natural pest controllers and keep the coffee plants healthy.

The coffee that grows in the shade of other local trees become original and pure in taste and flavor Organic Coffee.

The proposed plantation site is selected carefully. And if the site was being used to grow some other crop using chemical fertilizer or chemical insecticides, then a minimum period of three years are given as conversion years for the proposed site to get over the effects of the harmful chemicals.

After the conversion years coffee bushes are planted along with local shade trees. Care is given equally to the coffee bushes and shade trees and effort is put in to leave bird population to grow undisturbed.

The fallen leaves are left undisturbed to convert into manure to nourish the land and keep it fertile. The bird population effectively controls the pests and harmful insect and protects the coffee bushes. And finally for decaffeinating, approved processes are employed including the Swiss Water process. The coffee thus produced is organic coffee.

Organic vs. commercial production

Organic production methods along with producing coffee intend to protect environment. In this process of growing coffee, more and more trees are grown due to that local biodiversity is achieved. In this method, soil fertility and nutrients are sustained. No chemical pollution is created to harm the human health.

In contrast in commercial profit oriented method of growing coffee, the trees are felled and the cumulative effect is deforestation. Deforestation leads to soil erosion and severe depletion. The commercial grower cuts trees to allow direct sun light which increases production. As there are no birds to control pests and due to the absence of trees and its natural manure, farmers are forced to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides severely harming the environment.

Organic coffee - lifeline of future

Organic production process is eco friendly and helps to repair the environment spoilt by the greedy profit oriented approach of commercial growers of coffee through growing more and more shade trees.

Protecting environment locally helps to enhance the eco system. Rejuvenation and eco system alone can help the planet from disaster and help to sustain life on this planet.

Organic coffee is our responsibility, almost a human duty and life line to healthy future of mankind.

Copyright (c) 2008 Charles Carter

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About The Author, Charles Carter
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