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Thread: Growing coffee

  1. #501
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Anyone else finding their coffee cherries ripening a bit earlier this year than previous years?

    I've had to start picking.

  2. #502
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    Hi Graham,
    Me too,
    I picked my first batch 9 days ago but only about 500 grams of cherries from each of the 2 trees and the beans are now on the drying rack.
    I reckon the tree yield will be similar to last year so I am happy.
    Will do another pick in about a weeks time.
    Cheers ,
    Herbie.
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  3. #503
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    All mine are still very green.

  4. #504
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    I didn't notice the cherries ripening earlier this year really...

    I'm coming into the second half of drying at the moment, most of the coffee we've picked, pulped and dried has the parchment layer already cracked off, and I've got the green beans drying further. We are using the excalibur this year for the first time to help speed up drying, makes a massive difference but it does take a long time. What I'm hoping though is that it leads to a better end result, as here the moisture in the air makes drying inconsistent and problematic (one year my whole batch went mouldy, was just too wet all the time!).

    So anyway, moving forward I'm nearly ready to doing the first roast, and already planning the drinking ceremony. Does anyone make a big deal out of drinking home grown? I like to walk to a mountain top or forest/national park, usually filter the water from a creek, and cook it up in nature It's my 'thing' haha. This year I'm going to the Tableland, we'll be walking to some spring fed waterfalls, grinding and drinking coffee there with the water from the falls. Can't wait!
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  5. #505
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbie View Post
    Hi Graham,
    Me too,
    I picked my first batch 9 days ago but only about 500 grams of cherries from each of the 2 trees and the beans are now on the drying rack.
    I reckon the tree yield will be similar to last year so I am happy.
    Will do another pick in about a weeks time.
    Cheers ,
    Herbie.

    Nice Herbie, that's great! One year I got a kilo from two trees! This year I'll be lucky to get 250g, we have a newborn so its nearly impossible to make time for picking pulping and cracking etc at the moment Do you have any super speed tips!? hahhah.. we use a plastic blade blender to knock off the parchment layer, then sort by hand, and repeat until the parchment is all off..

  6. #506
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    Hi Rolley,
    I am about to wash and put my 4th pick onto drying racks today after 48 hours of fermenting in rain water. 4th pick gave me 2 litres of cherries off each tree.
    1st pick 165 grams dried beans (parchment on)
    2nd pick 375 " " " " "
    3rd pick 180 " " " " "
    To remove flesh from the cherries I use a kitchen hand mincer but only with the auger (nothing on the front) and put them through the mincer 3 times before sorting.
    To remove the parchment from the dried beans I use a Breville Scraper Mixer with the "K" beater and the covers over the bowl held on with masking tape (lots of it).
    I can do about 500 grams at a time and do 2 minutes at full speed then remove and blow out the husks by tipping slowly into a large plastic tub in a good breeze outside. I need to do this 3 times to get most of the husks off.
    I know this is a lot of work but I have been unable to find a plastic blade blender and my home made wooden propeller in the electric drill is nowhere near as good.
    Small commercial processing machines cost lots of money and weigh a lot also.
    Keep persevering and enjoy.
    Herbie.
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  7. #507
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    Angry Arghhhhh

    I just processed this years crop in the food processor with a plastic blade and it did a great job and then separated them by hand in a tub of water. No problem although it took a while probably about an hour with my hands in deep red murky liquid from the cherries. Now I find that its after midnight am I am wide away and have heart burn ( which I get if I drink coffee after about 11 in the morning. I swear that I have absorbed the caffeine through my hands.

  8. #508
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    A question - how do you decide when they are ripe? Is it based on colour only?

    Also, has anyone germinated any of the coffee they have grown? Have a whopping 6 cherries and would like to have a crack at propagation.

  9. #509
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    I pick based generally on colour, and sometimes convenience when "ripe enough"

    I have propagated, but it's been from fruit that has dropped from the tree and sprouted under the tree it dropped from.

    This is quite common, and one of my first batch of trees was getting them from beneath trees in a plantation. However it will take a while before they will be ready to plant, and a few years for them to start producing.

    The following shows a bunch I currently have in pots. I recently planted a number of them in the garden.

    Mr Jack, if you are Brisbane based I think I have a few under one of my trees now you are welcome to "save" and take for potting.

    GrahamK
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by GrahamK; 26th October 2016 at 01:42 PM.
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  10. #510
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    Coffee tree dilemma

    My two 5 feet tall Rojo dwarf 4 year old trees have just had their 13th pick for this year (not many cherries this pick) and there are still some green cherries left - but!! trees have been flowering for 3 weeks:-
    So here is my dilemma ..I cannot prune the trees (never been pruned) so the foliage is very dense due to the overlapping of ripening and flowering.
    Does anyone else this problem and can you solve it?
    I have 3 potted seedlings taken from under the coffee trees (self sown) and they are 150 mm tall growing well.
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  11. #511
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    I have a similar problem. They should be pruned quite brutely every so often, but when you only have a few trees it's difficult. This year I did a little pruning, removing some of the spears of a 2nd trunk that have got quit large and invasive. Technically I believe you should prune the older trunks and allow newer ones to take over etc.. Read that somewhere..

    I like your wide spacing between trees. Mine are quite jungle like now.

    GrahamK
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  12. #512
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbie View Post
    My two 5 feet tall Rojo dwarf 4 year old trees have just had their 13th pick for this year (not many cherries this pick) and there are still some green cherries left - but!! trees have been flowering for 3 weeks:-
    So here is my dilemma ..I cannot prune the trees (never been pruned) so the foliage is very dense due to the overlapping of ripening and flowering.
    Does anyone else this problem and can you solve it?
    I have 3 potted seedlings taken from under the coffee trees (self sown) and they are 150 mm tall growing well.
    hi herbie,

    i have agonised over pruning for years and picked my fair share of cherries with spiky branches sticking in my eyes from every direction. i planted four trees in 2004 and by 2010 they began dying off. after four trees died in successive years (all in full fruit) i realised they had probably come to their unpruned-use-by date. i planted seedlings to replace them, but have since realised that many plantations don't do it that way - they cut the old trees at the stump and leave one of the risers (the vertically growing branches) to develop into a new stem with new, open branches. that way you get the benefit of an already-established root system.
    this year i decided to stump all my (now) six trees except for one seedling. all but one had a riser growing and the one that doesn't will probably grow some soon - all but one i'll pull off. i'll miss a crop next year but the years to follow could be very good.
    i know how you feel pruning branches full of blossom, but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
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  13. #513
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    Hi All,
    I am growing around 20 plants i a greenhouse in Melbourne. This year i think will be my first year with fruit on my 4 older plants.
    WP_20161120_18_02_26_Pro.jpg
    They are 4years old but were indoors for a while which is why they didn't fruit last year.
    Shane
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  14. #514
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    always good to see blossoms growing.
    early in this thread presso told me that if you want your trees to blossom more or less together you can deny them water while the cherries are fully ripening and then hit them with a lot of sustained watering when you're ready.
    i found it works - flowers spring out like magic.

  15. #515
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    in november 2016 i cut 5 of my six trees at the stump so as to get a new tree growing from each stump.
    here are pix of the six trees then and now.
    note that tree no4 (from the left) was the only one not pruned, because it was a seedling. it still is. the other five trees, using their already established root systems have shot up, leaving lil ole seedling way behind.

  16. #516
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    mmm . . . looks like no pix. i'll have to muck around a bit and see why.

  17. #517
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    hard pruning pays off

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    in november 2016 i cut 5 of my six trees at the stump so as to get a new tree growing from each stump.
    here are pix of the six trees then and now.
    note that tree no4 (from the left) was the only one not pruned, because it was a seedling. it still is. the other five trees, using their already established root systems have shot up, leaving lil ole seedling way behind.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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