We now have over 16 commercial farmers with a sum total over 14,000 trees who have joined us in growing coffee in California. In 2002, a dozen chosen and verified varietals were planted in rows as a trial at Good Land Organics. Through our nursery, Diversitree Nursery, we have propagated seed from our original California coffee planting at Good Land Organics. These third generation coffee seeds are also being genetically tested by UC Davis's Coffee Research Center so that all of our future coffee generations can be genetically linked to their origins. Below are glimpses into the future of one of the newest coffee growing regions, one that is "made in the USA".
Planted: May 2015
This is a full sun orchard in a coastal setting with sandy loam soil. Rows of coffee were planted late spring and layered with mulch and weed cloth. The rows are set up with a drip line irrigation system with micro-sprinklers on each tree. This property will be quite well known in the next few years!
This orchard was one of the first planted outside of Good Land Organics. A row of coffee was planted just south and downhill of a row of young avocados. The crop is sloped and south facing. Over the past three - four years these two crops have grown up side by side, providing the coffee trees shade and a natural mulching. The crop load in 2015 was very high in quantity and quality and we are excited to see what's to come next season. This planting has been not only exemplary in it's quality of product produced, but also for its commercially layered agricultural success.
Planted: July 2015
This coffee orchard has been laid out to beautifully line a driveway leading down into the property. The crop is steep and generally southwest facing with an ocean view. Each row is its own variety and they descend into an older avocado orchard below. In this image, the trees are sprayed with a clay based sunscreen to aid its transition to the outdoors from the greenhouse.
First planting: Summer 2002
At the time of this planting, coffee was just an experiment. Mark Gaskell, UC Davis Small Farm Advisor however thought differently, having been the instigator of multiple new crops in CA over his career. A dozen varietals were planted, including high profile: Geisha, Leroy and Pacamara to name a few. Over a decade later, coffee has not only proven itself a successful crop for coastal California, but also a financially attractive layering crop for commercial farmers during this 4 year drought. Coffee and crops like avocados, guavas, passion fruit now are sharing water and land, our two most expensive resources, across our state. This showcase farm has been visited by hundreds of of farmers, baristas, roasters and enthusiasts over the past few years and plans to be the educational grounds for the future of CA Coffee. The quality produced in the last few years has earned these coffees scores in the upper 80s and low 90s. To read more about coffee and it's history, visit: www.goodlandorganics.com.
Second planting: Summer 2014
As part of the expansion of coffee on this farm, rows of each of the 12 successful varietals from the original CA coffee planting were laid out along a hillside that once was just aging avocados. Each row follows the south-facing contour starting in a full sun setting and diving under the canopy of a multi-layered agriculture.. As our experimental coffee orchard this will help us understand the nuances that come out of full sun, partial and shade grown coffee in California. This plot of land is exemplary of how a diversified agricultural system can bring in multiple revenues, as avocado stumps are also home to very prosperous passion fruit and dragon fruit vines.
Morro Bay, CA
Planted: Summer 2014
As our partners in Diversitree Nursery, and kindred tropical souls, Shanley Farms is leading the way with both the largest and most northern coffee planting in California. Their coffee trees lay in rows tightly under fully mature avocados to protect them from the elements. The property is situated on a south sloped at 800 ft in elevation. It has a heavy layer of natural avocado leaf mulching. We expect to have our first small harvest in the next few years and we are looking forward to the rich complexity and depth that this coffee has to offer.
Santa Barbara, CA
Planted: October 2014
These coffee trees are interplanted between rows of 2-3 year old avocados. This property is perhaps the closest to the ocean and has a gentle slope. The soil is made up of highly compressed clay and will one day develop into a partial shade environment as the avocados grow.
Planted: May and September 2015
This property is located inland of Oceanside and has loamy soil. The coffee is in densely planted rows between an older and recently stumped avocado grove. The avocados are spaced 20x15 and coffee trees are spaced 6x8, of which are both certified organic. There is a minimum of 200 trees planted per variety. In this image, each tree is caged and covered in a crop cloth that allows for light penetration. This will protect new plants from the intense 2015 summer sun, wind and potential frost in the upcoming winter.
Planted: August 2015
This farm is perhaps the most tropically interplanted coffee orchard yet of our partnering growers. Two rows of coffee were laid down in this heavy clay soil this summer between fully mature guava trees. These little soldiers are prepared to grow along a trellis system, to be built this winter, similar to that of a small vineyard.
Planted: August 2015
Single rows of coffee are planted between older avocados that were stumped 1 year ago. This property is on a gentle slope along the Gaviota coastline and is very heavily mulched. This orchard will be under a canopy managed program to allow some light through to the growing coffee trees.