Volunteer Experience – week 12 – Rebecca

Personal experience (lasts weeks)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I Rebeca Gaona, I’m doing my internship on the Yantza PermaTree Farm in Ecuador. Now I’m on week 12, almost ending my internship. I had to end my internship on december 20, but I have some health problems, so I’m going to have surgery on Tuesday, december 3, and the weeks between december 3 and december 20 I will work virtually with blogs, publications and information.

Jackfruit seedlings

I’ve been working in different things in the farm and I have learned new things. Some of the activities I have done are for example to plant seedlings from a jackfruit. At first we only used one jackfruit. After 1 and a half month approximately we obtained 102 plants, but 16 died.  Now we are waiting to see the other seedlings of 2 more jackfruits.

We transplanted new plants where some other plants did not survive. We used fruit plants and some native timber plants, and in some places we put some flowers, so the insects/bees and birds will have food and a place to stay. Enhancing biodiversity. 

In this time we harvested some ripe soursop fruits and we have made a lot of soursop-ice-cream. The biggest soursop that I saw, was one of 8 kg and we obtained almost 57 ice creams. 

Here rains a lot, and sometimes we have problems with the water. It can go under the earth and the landscape changes because the water is moving the earth. Erosion. Once we went up the mountain because the rain and mud covered the mouth of the main water tank. Which is used for the house, so we had to clean it and be sure that the water was arriving to the house. 

The farm dogs

I’ve always liked animals, and here on the farm there are four dogs. They are very friendly. The boss is Pulga (Flea), she is not the biggest, but she rules among the dogs. Then Toby goes, he is the biggest, Pica Pica is the youngest and the sister of Pulga (Flea). Mango, it’s a bit awkward, but he loves to receive affection and attention.

Other activity we made is to prune the bamboo, because it gives more strength to the plant and because of that it grows faster. We have to cut the new buds of the plant and the big ones. 

Sometimes we have to work on virtually because there is tropical rainfall. And sometimes we do not work outside because of the sun. Tropical climate.

Another important thing is that, after watching the farm and knowing how it works, the farm obtained the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, given by the Agriculture Ministry. It’s important to say that it’s the very first farm in the Zamora-Chinchipe province that obtained this certification.

With the help of Conservation International, there will be a big conservation area linked with a biological corridor, so the native fauna will recover some of the natural habitat and they can have food and shelter there. Enhancing biodiversity.  

Currently, there is a project of building a small fabric to give local tropical fruits and vegetables added value. For example, the plant will produce dehydrated fruit, some different teas, natural oils and coffee. The coffee shop will be here on the farm and will work as a showroom for the added value products. For this we had to clean all the area where the construction will be, so the architects and the people of the construction could get a better look at the terrain.  

Farm Field Work

I have worked with “Don Ray” and Cunanchi, they are the workers of the farm. I really have fun with them because they are always fighting and saying nicknames between them. I work with them cleaning the perennial peanut (forage) and the soursop plants, reforesting some areas, making some steps on the terraces, relocating some perennial peanut to make soil  cover. 

Sometimes I go to eat with them, because it’s easier to eat there and then keep working than coming here to the main farm house and cook, eat and go down there again. 

I have learned, more than anything, about how life is, how hard things can get in a farm, how to work with other people and to organize my time and the activities that I have to do. This experience opened my mind to new projects and new way to manage a farm. Another important goal for me is that now I have more contact with people that can be helpful in the future, for new projects.

Making Home Made Bread in the Adobe Oven

I learned to make bread too, and I really like it. It’s something that I never thought I will learn but I’m glad i made it.

healthy food

I know to cook healthier things, and I’m reducing the quantity of meat that I eat. This is good because, even though people don’t know that, the meat production and cattle raising are destroying thousands of productive areas and are deforesting a big part of the Amazonian Rain Forest. 

Nature Surrounds the Farm

I think that now, I see more value in the natural resources, like flowers, plant, water, natural coverages and all the animals that complete this system, not only economic value, I mean, the importance that these resources have in our environment and to understand that all these elements work together and create a balance in the nature.

Transplanting more Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is known for its medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties and in cooking as a coloring and flavoring. This plant is a cousin of ginger and is native to Asia. Both are considered superfoods. It has been used for many years, but over time the knowledge and importance of this plant has been lost.

Curcuma longa at Yantza Farm

Two areas of curcuma have been established in the Yantza – PermaTree. A large 15x30m approximately only turmeric and a small one with 4 terraces of 0.3m x 4 m where it is associated with different types of basil, mint and ginger.

For the large area worked on September 25, 2019, it was weeding and preparing the land. The cut plants were used between the rows to serve as mulching. This serves to decrease weed control. Over time they will decompose and pay for the soil, favoring the closing of cycles. Half of the area was planted on the same day.

The next day, September 26, the other half of the area was sown using the same method. The cut weed was accommodated between the beds, the soil was prepared and the soil was sown approximately 5 cm of curcuma root, at a distance of 40 cm between plant and 1 m between row to 5 cm deep.

In the smaller area it was associated with several crops. The soil in this area was not very good, so it was necessary to add fertilizer. Soil preparation was similar, the same planting distance was used but larger roots were used because the soil is not in the best condition. The curcuma takes approximately 9 months to be ready for harvest. From each plant you can obtain up to 1-2 kg of turmeric. Once you have a considerable amount of curcuma you can start to give it added value by hand, either for natural medicine, food industry or even to make cosmetics of natural origin.

Turmeric properties

In addition to being used in cooking as a seasoning, turmeric has many medicinal uses.

  • Helps reduce the number of cancer cells in the mouth, skin and intestine. It can be used as a complement to chemotherapy. breast cancer is one of the best responds to the effects of turmeric. According to Carlos García Saldaña, member of the Spanish Society of Graduates, Doctors and Graduates in Food Science and Technology, turmeric is good for preventing cancer, induces cell death in the deepest part of individual cells, eliminates the cells responsible for bladder and  lung cancer.
  • Its anti-inflammatory effect makes it comparable to the effect of ibuprofen or phenylbutazone. This is because curcumin acts on inflammation mediators, such as leukotrienes, neutrophils, platelet aggregation and COX enzyme activity. for this, it is a good choice for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Turmeric as a seasoning cannot be said to be fully effective in painful seizures.
  • Because of its anti-inflammatory action, turmeric is also indicated in other processes that affect organs, such as inflammatory bowel disease, inflammation of the eye cornea, pancreatitis or irritable colon.
  • Turmeric facilitates the digestion of fats by improving the quantity, quality and flow of bile. It is recommended when cholesterol is high or in patients with diabetes, and in healthy people it is excellent digestive from high-fat foods, it also helps to burn fat
  • Alzheimer’s is a chronic inflammation of the central nervous system. As we have said before, turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory. This improves the quality of brain tissue and reduces the progression of Alzheimer’s. It may also be helpful in the complementary treatment of other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s.
  • Turmeric may also help against mood disorders. A study of 60 patients with psychotic and suicidal tendencies observed a positive evolution that could be related to the effect of curcumin on monoaminergic nerve pathways, mood determinants, and axis stimulus hypothalamus-adrenal pituitary gland, which controls stress reactions.
  • Eye cells have many pigments, turmeric contains curcumin, which being a pigment is very useful in the face of eye degradation and loss of perception. However, turmeric does not act alone from within the body. It is also able to do it through the skin. It is therefore indicated for the healing of ulcers and wounds, and as a rejuvenating agent. Studies suggest a beneficial action on psoriasis, scleroderma, and premalignant or malignant skin lesions.

Certification of Good Agricultural Practices

Certification of Good Agricultural Practices (BAP by its acronym in Spanish) Yantza Farm – PermaTree

Yantza Farm – PermaTree obtained the Certificate of Good Agricultural Practices (BPA) from the Ministry of Agriculture with the register Nr. EC-Z-05-53-PA-G-2019-067 for the following crops: Soursop (Annona Muricata L), Guineo Ceda, Ilex Guayusa and Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Friday, October 4, 2019.

Good Agricultural Practices or BPAs according to the Ministry of Agriculture “They are a set of principles, standards and technical recommendations applicable to the production, processing and transport of food” with the aim of improving food quality, in order to improve the health of families who consume these foods, take care of the environment and improve the quality of life of workers and their families.

BPAs are important because people are more interested in the traceability and transparency of the origin of their food.

Among the main problems of not having BPA is that food produced may contain residues of agrochemicals, such as herbicides or insecticides, can carry diseases or pests that have some negative effect on the consumers of these foods Contaminated. Unsure of the provenance of our food, farmers will sell fewer products and their income will be reduced.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, there are 3 fundamental pillars of BPAs:

  1. Food safety: Ensure that food is free from physical, chemical and biological hazards. 
  2. Quality and environmental management: Ensure the care of water, soil, native plant species, beneficial insects and natural sweeps.
  3. Occupational safety: To seek the health of farmers, the proper use of protective tools and equipment, training on the importance of their work in the field.

Why be BPA?

By being BPA certificated we can obtain better quality and healthier products for consumers, it guarantees the health and well-being of workers. Children from working families can go to school, production becomes sustainable over time and you have the opportunity to reach more competitive markets.

You can also have better control over the production of the farms. With better quality food yields are improved, farmers can improve their income, improving their quality of life.

Steps to obtain BPA

  1. History of the agricultural production unit and land selection
  2. Properly prepare the soil to prevent degradation and washing
  3. Plan the planting of crops and establish them
  4. Perform maintenance and care during the production cycle
  5. Fertilization to add nutrients to the soil to improve production
  6. Perform integrated pest management (IPM)
  7. Control the quality of water entering crops
  8. Properly handle products in harvest, transport and post-harvest.
  9. Keep production areas clean and disinfected
  10. Provide well-being and care to workers.
  11. Protecting and maintaining natural resources
  12. Traceability system, documentation and records for transparent processes.

Information obtained from AGROCALIDAD in Ecuador.

BPA at Yantza Farm – PermaTree

It is important to understand that organic production systems are the most natural and sustainable in time, as they are the closest thing to nature. these systems use natural resources and do not use chemicals that affect biodiversity and the balance of productive areas.

The Yantza Farm – PermaTree, is the first farm in the province of Zamora Chinchipe. Being an organic and permaculture farm, it aims to make consumers know what production processes are like. From the selection of plants that are sown, in this case soursop, which is the largest crop, to the process of added value and packaging of the products.

An important part of the estate is also the holistic approach it has. It is understood that the entire system is related and it is important to protect and maintain each of the elements of the system, from the smallest insects and microorganisms in the soil, to the larger animals such as the birds and trees that give shelter to them.

By implementing BPAs, you seek to obtain the best production results, taking care of the plants and giving them the necessary resources naturally for them to produce continuously. However, the most important thing is to get quality products and not necessarily quite poor-quality harvest.

The soil handling is a bit complex, as the area is not completely flat. Erosion is a big problem. With the large amount of rain that this area has, the soil is washed and the productive part is lost. For the management of this have been chosen to make terraces at level, every 5 meters to facilitate the planting and management of crops.

The use of plant toppings is important to reduce the impact of rain on the soil. For this it was chosen to use forage peanuts, as it is an excellent nitrogen fixer, resists trampling and is good at colonizing areas, thus reducing the spread of weeds.

Vetiver has also been planted on the edges of the terraces to prevent them from moving. The roots of the vetiver can grow up to 15 m, and this helps to hold the earth.

Near the productive areas are planted different native plants with flowering that attract insects. This in order to conserve native species, both flora and fauna, since insects help pollination, obtaining better results in production and quality.

For weed control, it is fumigated with urea, which is toxic in large quantities only for grasses. This applies when grasses start to appear again and make it difficult for other plants to grow

In this way, the PermaTree farm implements BPA’s, always taking into account the component, productive, economic and above all, environmental.


craft beer with coffee

Coffee Craft Beer

NATEM and PERMATREE-CAFE-TIPIKAS collaboration

Single Origin micro-lot coffee craft beer – the best of two worlds

We are proud to present a delicious and exclusive COFFEE BEER. SPECIAL EDITION: Natem Beer. Its a Limited Edition brewed with selected coffee from micro-lots single origin coffee from Imbana and Zumba within the territories of southern Ecuador.

History of craft beer

Beer is one of the oldest drinks in civilization. According to historians, it exists since the year 10,000 BC. there were different ways to prepare it. In China, barley, wheat, spelled, millet and rice were used. In the pre-Columbian civilizations of America, corn was used instead of barley. While in ancient Britain, beer was made from wheat before barley was introduced.

In the middle ages, in Belgium, it was the monks who refined and institutionalized the use of hops, an ingredient that gives the characteristic bitter taste and aids in the conservation of the beverage.

In the Nordic countries, such as Germany and England, barley (or other grains) production was better than grape (for wine) production, so they became large beer producing countries.

Differences between craft beer and industrial beer

The differences between craft and industrial beer are in the ingredients, the concentrations and the process. The concentrations of the 4 basic ingredients of beer, barley, water, hops and yeast are higher in the production of craft beer than in the industrial one.

The craft beer uses only natural products, while the industrial uses non-natural preservatives.

The craft beer process is manual, from the grinding of the malt to the packaging. In addition, it does not go through the pasteurization process, which reduces the organoleptic qualities of beer.

How coffee beer is prepared

Most of the coffee that is introduced to beer is through cold extraction. This process consists of letting ground coffee stand in cold water for 24 to 48 hours. Subsequently it is passed through a filter to separate the ground coffee, obtaining a concentrated coffee that is added to the beer before bottling it.

The reasons why this process is used for coffee extraction are:

When the coffee is extracted with hot water it will have more acidity, which is not a good combination with beer.

Oils If there are oils, by adding coffee extracted with hot water, the beer will not preserve the foam.

Another thing to keep in mind is that by adding hops, beer becomes bitter, so you must find a balance between hops bitter and coffee bitter. This can be achieved using less hops to let the coffee taste bitter beer.


Benefits of Craft Beer

  • Being a drink with a lot of water, 90%, it helps to hydrate and reduce the risk of developing kidney stones
  • It has more soluble fiber, which prevents constipation.
  • It has a large amount of minerals, especially silicon, which is an excellent creator and fixative of calcium, thus helping the health of our bones
  • A Harvard University study found that people who consume craft beer moderately reduce the chance of developing heart disease and cardiovascular disease.
  • It contains high amount of antioxidants, which control carcinogens, when consumed in moderate amounts
  • It helps fight stress and improve sleep
  • It prevents formation of blood clots
  • Contains polyphenols that help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and cell aging
  • It does not contain preservatives, which gives it greater body, flavor and aroma
  • It has unlimited flavors that can be combined with any meal.


fectur 2019 zamora permatree cafe tipikas Ecuador

FECTUR 2019 Fair in Zamora

PermaTree-Cafe-Tipikas participated in the first Entrepreneurship, Culture and Tourism Fair in the city Zamora (FECTUR 2019). The event was on Friday, September 27, 2019. It started at 09:00 am at the Central Market Plaza, located on Amazonas street and Heroes del Paquisha avenue, a few steps from the central bus station in Zamora, Zamora-Chinchipe, Ecuador.

From left to right: Danny Carrillo, the barista and Walter Villacis

Next stop with PermaTree-Cafe-Tipikas in mid October 2019 with the TASA DORADA Competition and Festival de Café Cuatro Mundos in Quito.


The FECTUR 2019 event was very successful for us, because we could show to the local people the products and services that we offer at PermaTree Cafe Tipikas coffee shop, since about two months now. Drinking Coffee with different preparations methods, is not yet very popular in this region so its something new for a lot of people.

PermaTree Cafe Tipikas offers a high quality and single origen coffee. Our clients can see the full transparence of the coffee. Chemical-free. Where does it come from. How was it harvested. How was the post harvest, etc.

We offer microlots and single origin coffees from Zamora Chinchipe in Ecuador.

Microlots Coffee

Microlots are the golden child of the specialty industry. For buyers and consumers, they signify exceptional-quality coffees with distinctive flavours and aroma profiles that can be traced back to origin. A microlot is a plot of land, often smaller than their regular production area, which producers dedicate to growing coffee of exceptional quality. Working a smaller area of land allows the farmers to focus their time and attention to developing the coffee’s truly unique and wonderful qualities. The coffees grown there are called microlot coffees.

Single Origin Coffee

Single origin coffees allow roasters to pick varieties with unique character. The differences come from the growing conditions—soil, weather, and cultivation practices, which influence the final flavor. Single origin coffee is like purchasing a specialty wine. It’s a unique taste captured by nature itself, a seasonal event linked to what’s special about a particular region, farm, farmer, part of a farm, and how that differs from area to area, year to year. If you’re very specific about your coffee interests, and like the process of grinding your own using a french press, and savoring every sip, go single origin! It allows you to learn more about the beans and where they come from. Like a wine connoisseur, experiment with different roasts until you find your favorite.

The whole team of PERMATREE CAFE TIPIKAS

During the fair, the coffee with the Italian espresso method was the most popular between the options of the micro lots and unique origin coffee from Zamora-Chinchipe.

A key element of PERMATREE CAFE TIPIKAS quality are our producing farm families in the territory of Zamora-Chinchipe in Ecuador:

  • Vitaliano Merino, Imbana, Zamora-Ch, 1750 m.o.s.l.
  • Esperanza Villacis, El Chorro
  • Segundo Minga Chapinza, Yacuambi

All of them come from different places, but with the same thinking, to produce healthy food and in the highest quality.

A special greeting to MAG from Zamora, for the invitation and the recognition.

Always identified from the south of the Ecuadorian Amazon, where the Shuar ethnic group identifies with their costume and culture, which highlights the energy of feeling pioneers of flora and fauna.

470 years city of Zamora event main street – 2019

Volunteer Experience – First 3 weeks

My name is Rebeca Gaona, I’m from the south of Ecuador, a city called Loja. Almost three years ago I was accepted at EARTH University, in Costa Rica for studying agronomy. There I have learned many things, not only about agronomy, I have learned about different cultures. Different ways to think of the seeing things. Therefor I’m more tolerant with people who think different than me. EARTH University has a different way to see the education. We see and learn in the fields first and then we have the theory. So it’s much easier to understand. I have learned that all the things are related and there is a balance that we need to keep up, and if we don’t, there will not be an efficient system for the nature of for our farmers.

Currently I’m in the third year of the study and I’m back in Ecuador, doing my pre professional internship in an organic farm in Zamora-Chinchipe. Permatree is a farm located in the south of the ecuadorian amazon region. Like the name suggests, it is an organic farm based on tropical permaculture, which means a permanent agricultural system, respecting the native species and the balance of the land, recovering the damaged ecosystems. For example to reduce the erosion of the soils they use vetiver grass, which has very long roots to activates the microorganisms and also helps to fight soil erosion. 

Here are many crops like cacao, guayusa, tumeric and bamboo, but the biggest crop is soursop. It is not sold as raw fruit but its transformed into an added value process to obtain fruit-pulp and something like raw-ice cream. 

I started my internship on september 9, 2019 and it ends on december 20, 2019. Now I’m ending my third week, and everything has gone well. When I started talking to my host, he gave me some information about the work in the farm. My expectations about the farm and what I was going to learn and to do in here are not so different from reality. I knew that some things were going to be hard at first, like food, climate and waking up early. Getting used to the food here was hard, because I’ve been living two and a half years in Costa Rica, and there the food is different – rice and beans. Here we care about the traceability of our food. If we don’t know where the food comes from, we don’t consume it. The climate is similar to Costa Rica, humid tropical forest, the difference is that here the temperature changes fast between day and night. And finally waking up early was a little bit hard because before starting my internship I was on vacation so I woke up late for almost three weeks. Now, those things are just part of my daily routine. I like the focus of the farm because it’s sustainable and efficient, and that’s how all farms should be.

Some of the things I’m working are: My personal project about the Black Soldier Fly. This fly is used in the larva stage to feed animals like chickens and fish. We are just starting with the fly-trap and trying different food-wastes and excrement to see which one is better to attract the flies. In a few weeks we will have results and we can teach this to the local community, so they have a much better organic way to feed their animals with proteins.

I’m not only working in the fields, I’m working in the added value process of soursop, as fruit and with the leafs for tea. Also guayusa tea leafs, and with experimenting with dehydrated bananas. We try different ways to dehydrate the leafs 1.) using an artisanal adobe oven 2.) with an electric dehydrator 3.)  with the sunlight and wind under a roof. 

I worked with “Don Rey”, the man who works in the fields. We started a new orchard of turmeric. Forgetting all the work, we talk about many things like the situation of the community and how was that he came from Colombia to Ecuador. I think that talking with the people who live in the community and know the issues of the local community is the best way to know how we can help.

The farm is very holistic, so “Tipikas” Coffee Shop is part of PermaTree project. Here they sell their products like guayusa and soursop leaf teas, the pulp and the ice cream and the main product is the coffee. The coffee is produced in the community  with the unique origin system and it’s organic, and it’s prepared in different ways, so people can learn more about the importance of coffee and can taste a coffee of high quality.

Until now I have learnt a lot not only about the career. I have seen how do the farms work in a holistic way and how this can be helpful for the farmers and for the environment surrounding the farm and increasing the quality of the crops.

dehydrated bananas permatree Ecuador

Dehidrated Bananas

We have been experimenting dehydrating our sweetest bananas – guineo ceda. Dried fruit is fruit from which the majority of the original water content has been removed through the use of our electrical dehydrator. Dried fruit has a long tradition of use dating back to the fourth millennium BC in Mesopotamia, and is prized because of its sweet taste, nutritive value, and long shelf life. Dried fruits retain most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits.

Here are some of our tests and learnings:

6 Bananas per tray. 12 Bananas go into 2 trays. Temperature for the dehydrator is 80 degrees Celsius during 7 to max 8 hours depending on the thickness of the banana pieces. Output is with 12 bananas about 1.2lb/0.6kg

We started using silicone pads so that the banana pieces do not stick so much on the stainless steel. The high amount of natural fruit sugar of our bananas (120 calories and 17 grams of sugars) does not help there either. We will test the cooking-papers too as alternative to the silicone pads which most likely contain hormones IMHO.

Sugar

Regarding the topic of sugar in fruits. Did you know that fruit contain natural sugars, which are a mix of sucrose, fructose and glucose? Fructose is only harmful in excess amounts, and not when it comes from fruit. Fruits are an excellent source of fibre. An average banana will provide 20-25% (6g) of your recommended daily fibre intake. Getting enough fibre in the diet is important for protecting against bowel cancer. Fruit is also a good source of other nutrients such as potassium, which can help lower blood pressure, and flavonoids, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.

Conclusion

Fruits are the real HEALTHY-FAST-FOODS for you between the meals. And dehydrated fruits are a healthy and practical option because it retains most of the nutritional value of fresh fruits. Fructose (sugar) from fruit is not harmful.

Dehydrated Organic Bananas At PermaTree in Ecuador

Coffee harvesting at Don Vitaliano Merino

Saturday Minga August 24, 2019

The goal of our minga last Saturday, was to harvest 1 quintal (45kg) of coffee cherries. In Sangre de toro (Red, ripe). To prepare a micro-batch of special coffee, double fermentation, of unique origin. There where a total 9 people helping with the collection of ripe cherries. Later on those same coffee beans will be transformed into coffee and sold at Tipikas Coffee in Zamora.

The climate change of the last 12 months is visible. There was a lot of winter, too much rainfall, compared to the previous years. That impacted the production volume in negative. And it also delayed the harvest. There is a visible presence in the leaves of iron excess (orange leaves) and nitrogen (fallen leaves). Well, we had a presence of rain during the whole coffee cherry picking activity.

While we harvested the ripe coffee cherries from the selected pink bourbon plot, we figured that it works to have good communication in each group of coffee pickers. So that small and very important details can be improved which help gain more value in a single-origin coffee. For example not having the stem in the cherry, overripe grains, with good cherries, leaves either, green grains, yellow-red varieties cannot be mixed and the plant or branch cannot be broken either.

Basic Farm Information:

Finca la Victoria, Inbana, Production Family: Don Vitaliano Merino

  • Location: 3 hours from the city of Loja in Zamora-Chinchipe
  • Climate: Humid tropical montane forest, 1750 m.s.n.m
  • Coffee: 8 hectares, 20’000 plants, coffee varieties: Pink Bourbon, Osidra, Tipica, Caturra, Catuai
  • African bees: Active honey production
  • Other fruit and crops: sugar cane, Lemon, Mandarin, Granadilla, Raspberry, Pineapple, Quince, Blackberry, Morera, Aracacha and vegetables in the garden. Like laurel, Chinese potato, sango, potatoes and sweet potato.
  • Flowering trees: Avocado, Soursop, Arayan, Guabo, Sungana, Guayacan, Raft, Lumas and Peaks.

Antioxidants

Did you know that one of the benefits of coffee beans is that they contain an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid (CGA) in addition to other antioxidants?

Raw beans contain roughly 9% CGA by weight, which can help with weight loss and is a neuroprotectant. Coffee beans also help reduce inflammation, which is associated with a number of health concerns. In addition, the caffeine in coffee beans provides benefits such as reducing headaches.

Understanding these health benefits can help coffee-drinkers appreciate more than just the taste of their next cup of java.

Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

By drinking caffeinated coffee, without sweetener, on a regular basis, one can potentially reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The reduced risk is associated with drinking multiple cups, as many as six a day. It is believed that the antioxidants, such as CGA, found in coffee beans are at least partially responsible for these lower rates. According to some studies, CGA may even help keep insulin levels even.

Whole Coffee Process

The entire coffee production will be explained in another future blog article. In the meantime you can have a look at this infographic which does the job pretty well too IMHO.

Infographic: Journey of the bean
soursop full process

Soursop full process: From harvest to pulp

Happy to share with you a full transparent process of harvesting the Soursop Fruit (Annona muricata L) to the final frozen pulp. This short article and video will help you to understand the Artisanal Processing of Soursop Pulp. Obviously without the use of ANY additional ingredients, at all. The goal is the keep all of the natural health benefits of the soursop fruit.

As you may know in Ecuador the Soursop is called Guanábana. Our guanábanas grow here at the edge of the amazon basin in Ecuador, where the tropical climate with lots of rain and sun rays produce some of the best, most flavorful soursop fruits in the world! We have been told nothing less by all of the people trying our pulp for the first time. Once you see our entire artisan process you will understand why it has such a delicious taste.

Most of the industrial processing of pulp fruits consists changing the flavor, color, and aroma of the fruits. Logically this removes a lot of the nutrients and health benefits from them. You have to know that within the industrial-pulp-production – it is normally the not so perfect fruit which cannot be sold any more. This is what gets processed into pulp and thus not high quality fruit.

Below you will see a micro video which helps to visualize the different steps on how to make organic soursop pulp.

SOURSOP PHOTOS

Soursop (Annona muricata) tropical fruit juice permatree ecuador
Fresh Soursop Pulp Drink

Soursop Processing

Growing Bamboo From Seed

To grow bamboo from seed, start by soaking the seeds in bowl of water for 12 to 24 hours to help them germinate.

Planted fresh bamboo seeds the 31.01.2019. After letting the seeds in a bowl of water for 24 hours, to soak it up. To help germinate. During the first 8 weeks we kept the the soil moist.

31.01.2019 – planting bamboo seeds

14 Feb 2019 – first germination

All-ready 14 days after planting the seeds. Keep in mind we might be in a ideal climate for this. Very high humidity and lots of natural light. Other people around the world have reported it can take longer. Depending on the local climate environment. The first germination was well visible on the cotton method. Most likely the seeds in the soil did germinate too but we where not able to see it because they where in the soil.

17 Feb 2019 – more changes visible

18 Feb 2019 – germination status

18 days germination. First miniature green leafs popping up.

20 Feb 2019 – germination

28 Feb 2019 – bamboo germination status

All-ready 28 days after planting the seeds. As you can see we have tested different methods for the seed germination. From cotton to special germination molds to bucket-taps and tomatoes plastic packaging. All of the method has worked. But the cotton method was not ideal for extraction. The roots of the seedling where very difficult to remove from the cotton and replant into another soil pot. So we do not recommend working with that method should you be interested in germinating bamboo seeds. The best option was with the special germination mold where each seed is place into one of the spaces. Later it can be extracted much easier.

23 days after planting

10th March 2019 – bamboo seeds

40 days germination and this is how it looks. As you can see the germination of the seeds worked for about 25% to 35% of all the seeds. We even had a issue with a night rodent maybe a rat who ate some of the seeds. So the seeds need to be in a space with light and far from the reach of any hungry insects or animals.

Transplanting Germinated Bamboo

So we decided it was time to transplanted the germinated bamboo seeds into pots today.

Video Transplanting Germinated Bamboo

Photos

Update 9th April 2019

So after transplanting the tiny bamboo seedling into some smaller pots this is how it looks right now. It sees that the bamboo plants need some time to adapt to the new soil.