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Thread: Growing coffee

  1. #51
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    Re: Growing coffee

    just done my second picking - 1540grams and only 20grams of *floaters.

    i will keep the floaters separate to see if they have any special taste. the rest i will wet process to compare with beans that have been dry processed.

    one of my four trees has no fruit at all this year. bummer. maybe i pruned it badly or too hard.

  2. #52
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Good stuff Tony...what was the difference in your wet versus dry processing? They floaters, as far as I know, are just bad beans and are tossed because they will spoil the rest.

  3. #53
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F7376627B776060772224120 link=1202128835/51#51 date=1254045257
    .what was the difference in your wet versus dry processing? They floaters, as far as I know, are just bad beans and are tossed because they will spoil the rest.
    DRY means the beans are put out to dry without soaking the mucous off. last year i did all my beans this way and the coffee turned out mild, chocolatey and fairly full-bodied.

    WET means the beans are soaked for two or three days to get the mucous coating off them. i think this gives a leaner type of coffee.

    there is a halfway procedure i have heard about (mentioned earlier in this thread) that i assume means a kind of mini soak to get some of the mucous off and leave some on. since ive got no idea of the chemistry of all this i am doing it by trial and error, keeping some notes on what happens.

    heres a website that cameron the coffee prince directed me to on this method:
    http://www.gimmecoffee.com/galleries/putting_in_the_honey_at_the_ha/

    i have also read somewhere that some people say floaters have their own delicate flavour, so ill keep my floaters and if there is anything in them worth roasting when the parchment is off, ill see what theyre like.

    last year i had a batch of beans that went mouldy during drying and i thought there might have been some kind of botrytis effect, a la sweet wines. i kept them separate, but in the end there was no difference from the other coffee. at least now i know.

    spurred on by the technological marvel of your cherry processing system (bucket and block of wood) i tried the same today and, yes, it saved me hours of slaving in front of a hot telly.

    dont know why i didnt try it before. i think i may have tried it on some cherries that id left to dry in their skins till they turned black, then put to fester in a bucket of water for weeks. horrible mess. that must have put me off.

    the reason i left the coffee cherries to dry in their skins is that that is how it was done traditionally in some places in ethiopia where coffee comes from. i used to see nomads in northern kenya *who had contacts with ethiopia using coffee in this way. *they just heated the dried cherries in a saucepan with a bit of oil i think and some water. sometimes sugar. it didnt taste very nice. one time someone really stuffed up by making a kind of coffee soup, which included some goat. it was a funeral ceremony in the middle of the desert and everyone was bitching about the coffee.

    tony


  4. #54
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Some interesting and different ideas with the cherries there....glad you like the B & B method. Can be tricky to get the hang of it, but works well ;D

    Ill give it a shot next lot of cherries I get of doing the dry processing, the wet processing seems to be what I read as fermenting the beans to get rid of the mucilage...I wouldnt have thought that you would have a mid point in the fermentation stage...they are either fermented prior to drying, or are not. Found this very good article, which details the three different basic processes ...not sure if I have posted this link before http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_processing


    Please keep us updated on the results mate, if there are significant differences itll be worth playing around with em.

  5. #55
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Been a while,

    Since my last post Ive increased my crop.

    Im about to harvest. Ive got 15000 trees on 45 acres above Byron Bay.

    Il post some vids of the action http://s386.photobucket.com/albums/o...dBeanTrial.flv

  6. #56
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 12302731312D420 link=1202128835/54#54 date=1254297785
    Been a while,

    Since my last post Ive increased my crop.

    Im about to harvest. Ive got 15000 trees on 45 acres above Byron Bay.
    gday cameron, fount of all coffee wisdom. good to hear from you again.
    do you do one harvest a year or several?
    how does one go about pruning 15,000 trees?

    tony



  7. #57
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 11332432322E410 link=1202128835/54#54 date=1254297785
    l post some vids of the action http://s386.photobucket.com/albums/oo302/coffeeprincecoffeeprince/?action=view&c...
    just had a look at your video. gday young luke! good filming.

    you keep your trees higher than what i remember from kenya. there they seem to be kept at head height - i think most of the picking is done by hand - or used to be.

    i didnt realise birds did so much damage. theres got to be some clever way to collect all those dropped beans and clean them up.

    tony

  8. #58
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Hi Tony,
    The harvest is mechanical, a very expensive CORVAN straddles the trees and vibrates the lateral branches.
    The bushes we have top 4m in some spots, they are twice as tall as should be.
    We have two options for pruning: chainsaw and sore elbows or an amazing(expensive) macadamia pruner. This is a purpose built tractor type thing that looks like a transformer: it has a rotating/articulating arm on the back that has three sets of three circular saws(each 80cm in diameter).
    If I can get a great price for the bean from this harvest Ill be calling Mick with his pruner otherwise itll be me and the chainsaw for a week.
    Ill give you a call and you can come and lend a hand!

  9. #59
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 65475046465A350 link=1202128835/57#57 date=1254428818
    Hi Tony,
    The harvest is mechanical, a very expensive CORVAN straddles the trees and vibrates the lateral branches.
    The bushes we have top 4m in some spots, they are twice as tall as should be.
    We have two options for pruning: chainsaw and sore elbows or an amazing(expensive) macadamia pruner. This is a purpose built tractor type thing that looks like a transformer: it has a rotating/articulating arm on the back that has three sets of three circular saws(each 80cm in diameter).
    If I can get a great price for the bean from this harvest Ill be calling Mick with his pruner otherwise itll be me and the chainsaw for a week.
    Ill give you a call and you can come and lend a hand!
    Next time I am down that way.. I will drop in... Be great to see ya trees..

  10. #60
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 1F3D2A3C3C204F0 link=1202128835/57#57 date=1254428818
    If I can get a great price for the bean from this harvest Ill be calling Mick with his pruner otherwise itll be me and the chainsaw for a week.
    Ill give you a call and you can come and lend a hand!
    mmm . . . i cant even keep my four trees properly pruned, although i never thought of trying a chainsaw massacre.
    heres hoping for a rich crop out of lismore this year.

    my sons girlfriend, monica, said she has an uncle with a coffee farm up that way. i think she has some brazilian connections - is that you?

    tony

  11. #61
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Thats a great set up down there CP...didnt realise the birds would havce such an impact on your crop. 15,000 trees eh....glad Im not doing bucket and board for that lot 8-)

  12. #62
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 072532242438570 link=1202128835/57#57 date=1254428818
    Hi Tony,
    The harvest is mechanical, a very expensive CORVAN straddles the trees and vibrates the lateral branches.
    The bushes we have top 4m in some spots, they are twice as tall as should be.
    We have two options for pruning: chainsaw and sore elbows or an amazing(expensive) macadamia pruner. This is a purpose built tractor type thing that looks like a transformer: it has a rotating/articulating arm on the back that has three sets of three circular saws(each 80cm in diameter).
    If I can get a great price for the bean from this harvest Ill be calling Mick with his pruner otherwise itll be me and the chainsaw for a week.
    Ill give you a call and you can come and lend a hand!

    After watching the vid... I recon some CSs would be happy to do a bit of work for some green beans and a place to pitch a tent ;D for the weekend...

    Special edition - Prince BirdSeedRejected ZZ

    Maybe a Weekend gathering of interested persons ?

    AM

  13. #63
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Different. Bit hard for me because I work weekends......otherwise would love to be in on that, what a great idea....very left field. Current events may precipitate some time off work thoughon work cover....will update as things develop.

  14. #64
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    Re: Growing coffee

    just had my second picking - 3.5kg of cherries. only 100gm of floaters. it looks like the third picking will be about the same.

    last year the two main pickings were 6.5kg each. so it looks like the normal two year cycle - one big year with less growth of branches, one lower-yield year with greater branch growth.

    my trees are really messy - branches going in all directions. i am going to prune off all the secondary lateral branches this year and see how it goes next year.

    Yes I know its all been done before, but not by me. i only realised this year (thanks again coffee prince) that you should prune the sub-lateral branches that grow off the main lateral branches. maybe next year i wont get poked in the eye or scratched so much while harvesting inaccessible cherries.

    i bought some coffee prince coffee recently - tiger and milk-based blends. mmmmm, now thats coffee.

    tony

  15. #65
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 29323324295D0 link=1202128835/59#59 date=1254475458
    my sons girlfriend, monica, said she has an uncle with a coffee farm up that way. i think she has some brazilian connections - is that you?
    Tony,

    There are only a few of us up here, we meet regularly as the Australian SubTropical Coffee Association (quite a mouth full!), I have probably met Monicas Uncle there.

    Id like to meet Monica, Ive read a lot about that style of hair trimming.

    Harvester is booked for next Thursday, pulper is washed and ready. I should be able to take a photo if all goes well.

    We have the "North Coast National" Show up here this weekend so lots of drinking and fighting will be had at the showgrounds, drop in if you fancy your luck on one of the steers in the bull ring.

    Cheers,
    Cameron

  16. #66
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    Re: Growing coffee

    the morning after a weekend of drunken brawls - just what coffee was made for!

    i have to go to a beer festival on nov 7. theyre having a debate on beer vs wine. i am on the beer side. since its being held in a pub ill probably get out in one piece.

  17. #67
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    Re: Growing coffee

    ah yes, monica. the hairdo. how does a hard working coffee grower keep up with sartorial trends like that?

    last night at the bus stop i met a drunk guy and i mentioned a coffee-related drerg. "Gut! he said. He meant "khat". first aussie i ever met who even knew that it existed, let alone that it was related to coffee.
    in some kenyan coffee-growing areas farmers are pulling up their coffee trees and planting khat, because they know they will make more money and get paid regularly, not once a year.

    the sydney botanic gardens had three khat trees, but somali taxi drivers killed one by getting over the fence at night and harvesting it to death. they were sprung by a woman who saw them and rang the guard. "there are natives in your garden!" "yes madam, we have a lot of natives here." "No, theyre in the tree!" THey caught them red handed and moved the other two trees to a secret location. they wouldnt tell me where they were when i inquired. maybe i looked too eager.

  18. #68
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    Re: Growing coffee

    this is a website that has some simple information for those growing a few trees.

    www.fao.org/docrep/008/ae939e/ae939e00.htm#Contents

    its geared to plantations in laos but has a lot of useful info. it helped me to understand how to prune and cut back trees.

    for coffee prince, monicas uncle is andrew ford. he has a plantation somewhere near nimbin.

  19. #69
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Yes,
    I know Andrew.
    He has an ENORMOUS plantation. His brand is Mountain Top.
    He has a huge amount of knowledge, a great asset. He is very welcoming and keen to share his research on everthing from harvesting to transporting beans.

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    Re: Growing coffee

    Heeeeeeelllllllllpppppp!!!!!
    Ok, Ive grown the fruit, Ive harvested the fruit, now Im trying to get the beans out of the cherry. *Tony and madpierre mention the "bucket and block of wood" method but I cant find a description of the process. *Ive spent about 3 hours squishing cherries by hand to get the beans out and, as much as I love my coffee, Im done!! *:)
    I can see the benefit of squishing the cherries with the block of wood but how do you *seperate the seeds out? *If anyone can point me to a thread that describes the process that would be great. *Thanks, *Mark

  21. #71
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 664A5940741F181E2B0 link=1202128835/69#69 date=1256359142
    ony and madpierre mention the "bucket and block of wood" method but I cant find a description of the process. *Ive spent about 3 hours squishing cherries by hand to get the beans out and, as much as I love my coffee, Im done!!
    mark, sorry to say, but squeezing out the beans is the worst part of processing your own coffee. short of devising some kind of mechanical squeeze-and-screen arrangement (which i meant to do but didnt get around to) youre stuck with your fingers and thumb.

    as for the bucket and block of wood, this is how it works:
    put cherries in bucket.
    smash the hell out of them with block of wood
    keep going until you think most of them are squashed
    take unspeakable mess and sit on tarp in front of the telly
    fish out the squashed cherries, leaving beans behind.
    take unsquashed beans and block-of-wood them again.

    its not enjoyable and takes more than three hours if you have more than three kilos.

    dry them on shallow trays for a few weeks.

    when the beans are dry enough, hull them with a food blender a bit at a time, then take them outside with a fan and shallow tray and carefully blow the husks away. its all a bit low-tech, but it does produce roastable coffee beans.

    good luck and dont give up the fight.

  22. #72
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Noooooooo!!!! *Ive got about a quarter of a 45litre esky of coffee beans still to go *:( *I will just have to tough it out. *Thanks for the reply Tony, I can tell from your instructions you have "bean" there (sorry, couldnt resist *;D) and done that. Ill have to take up the motto "Never, ever, give in!" *Onwards with the block of wood!

    Thanks,

    Mark

  23. #73
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    Re: Growing coffee

    i just picked another 2.5kg and am off to pound them, then watch a video while i separate the beans.

    i saw there was a lot of blossom just starting to grow, so i watered and fertilised the trees to speed them up a bit. time for some heavy watering. the trees look droopy and drab because its been pretty dry and i havent watered them for a while to prevent the blossoms starting - but you cant stop them forever i suppose. there still look to be about half the cherries not yet ripe. i wish theyd hurry up, so i can prune the trees properly, now that i have a better idea how to do it.

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    Re: Growing coffee

    Well, Im a broken man. *I couldnt do it *:(. *I ended up getting my yabby sieve and putting the cherries in that and crushing the seeds out against the grill. It sped up the process a fair bit and you could simply push about 1 cup of beans straight into the bucket. *But after another couple of hours processing the rest of them are now garden mulch! *
    Ive got the beans Ive done so far sitting on towels on top of a nally bin lid and drying out. *I had them on the plastic lids in the sun today but the moisture didnt look as though it was escaping near the plastic. *

    Ive learnt heaps so far. Like dont pick so many beans in one hit! But still a steap learning curve ahead.

    I gather that I should let them dry for a week and then???? *All advice greatly apreciated.

    Thanks for the help so far,

    Mark

  25. #75
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    Re: Growing coffee

    i usually use any big trays there are in the kitchen and spread them fairly thinly, not more than three deep. unless the weather is wet they dry out well enough. i bring them in at night.

    this last lot, which i did yesterday after pounding them thoroughly (ill post some pictures in separate postings), i stirred around for an hour in my wifes mixer, which seemed to get a lot of mucous off.
    [img]/Users/tonytroughear/Desktop/tony/coffee/DSCN2236.JPG[/img]

  26. #76
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    Re: Growing coffee

    nope, that didnt work.

  27. #77
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    Re: Growing coffee

    the raw material


  28. #78
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    Re: Growing coffee

    i dont know what the optimum colour is. towards the end of my harvesting the cherries tend to be more crimson, but i cant taste any difference in the end result.


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    Re: Growing coffee

    the engine room. in practice, theres a hand attached to the end of the wood.


  30. #80
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    Re: Growing coffee

    after a few minutes robust pounding.


  31. #81
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    Re: Growing coffee

    after a few more minutes robust pounding.


  32. #82
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    Re: Growing coffee

    the resulting unspeakable mess.


  33. #83
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    Re: Growing coffee

    even more unspeakably messy. this lot was about 2.5kg of cherries. there were some that didnt get squashed, which i set aside as i was cleaning it all up while watch a video. then i pounded them again. thatll teach em.


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    Re: Growing coffee

    i have to give full credit for this technological breakthrough to madpierre. i have cunningly tweaked it by using a bigger bit of wood.

  35. #85
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Great pics of the pick.

    I would leave mine on the tree until they look between these two colours.

    Rather than fouling your relationship/mixer, you could try bakers yeast sprinkled in a bucket of the muscilage covered bean and water for a couple of hours.



  36. #86
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 51736472726E010 link=1202128835/84#84 date=1256587450
    try bakers yeast sprinkled in a bucket of the muscilage covered bean and water *for a couple of hours.
    ok, i will try that out and see what happens. i assume this will make the coffee thinner, but more potent, maybe more acidic and bitter. i tend to like coffee that is full and creamy, so i have liked the dry-processed beans i did last year. i always make my coffee in a plunger, i dont like espresso coffee much at all. sometimes it even makes me feel sick. but i dont mind turkish or arabic style coffee or even short black coffee.

    thanks for telling me about the colour - i have had the general idea that most coffee is picked a scarlet colour. even scarlet/yellow.

  37. #87
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    Re: Growing coffee

    The bakers yeast just de natures the sticky mucilage.

    The cherry on the right is called(by the astca-australian subtropical coffee association) a raisin.

    I thought I might offer raisins to CSers who are keen to germinate and grow.

    Much higher germination rates from the raisin than the green bean.


    Perhaps a token donation to the "Fair Crack" fund in exchange for a handful of raisins.

    Wonder what the mods think?

  38. #88
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 664453454559360 link=1202128835/86#86 date=1256712051
    I thought I might offer raisins to CSers who are keen to germinate and grow.

    Much higher germination rates from the raisin than the green bean.


    Perhaps a token donation to the "Fair Crack" fund in exchange for a handful of raisins.
    Hi Cameron

    I dont know about the mods but I would be interested in having a go with some raisins and would be happy to make a contribution to FC.

    Depending on how token we may have to do it in conjunction with a purchase to make it reasonable for Andy to process the transaction.
    The other question is sending them - if you get a few takers will it cause you a problem?



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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 243F3E2924500 link=1202128835/83#83 date=1256551199
    i have to give full credit for this technological breakthrough to madpierre. i have cunningly tweaked it by using a bigger bit of wood.
    We could start a whole new thread if we go into the effectiveness of a heavier piece of timber with spread out surface area, as against a narrower piece which is lighter thuss necessitating (or not) greater down force. Does the greater spread reduce the effective pressure against individual beans as part of the whole mass?

    Regards seperating the beans, I still dump the whole lot in a bigger bucker of water, it makes it eeasier (for me anyways) to seperate out the pulp and find infividual beans which havent been crushed properly to that point.

    Some nice piccies there tony.

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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F3336223B372020376264520 link=1202128835/88#88 date=1256775874
    Quote Originally Posted by 243F3E2924500 link=1202128835/83#83 date=1256551199
    i have to give full credit for this technological breakthrough to madpierre. i have cunningly tweaked it by using a bigger bit of wood. *
    We could start a whole new thread if we go into the effectiveness of a heavier piece of timber with spread out surface area, as against a narrower piece which is lighter thuss necessitating (or not) greater down force. Does the greater spread reduce the effective pressure against individual beans as part of the whole mass?

    Regards seperating the beans, I still dump the whole lot in a bigger bucker of water, it makes it eeasier (for me anyways) to seperate out the pulp and find infividual beans which havent been crushed properly to that point.

    Some nice piccies there tony.
    I think the issue of a Mortise and Pestle style approch is how many have does it all over many years..

    What ya need is a big one ;D , like they use for maise and other crops in Africa...

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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 22202727242E2D410 link=1202128835/87#87 date=1256765647
    Quote Originally Posted by 664453454559360 link=1202128835/86#86 date=1256712051
    I thought I might offer raisins to CSers who are keen to germinate and grow.

    Much higher germination rates from the raisin than the green bean.


    Perhaps a token donation to the "Fair Crack" fund in exchange for a handful of raisins.
    Hi Cameron

    I dont know about the mods but I would be interested in having a go with some raisins and would be happy to make a contribution to FC.

    Depending on how token we may have to do it in conjunction with a purchase to make it reasonable for Andy to process the transaction.
    The other question is sending them - if you get a few takers will it cause you a problem?

    I did pick up some seedlings, but am also trying the seed = germination route using beans which have been seperated from the cherry.....how successful is this method?

  42. #92
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    Re: Growing coffee

    I have tens of thousands of seedlings under the canopy that have been formed from the Raisin.

    If you have a truck and a shovel, you are welcome to as many as you can carry.
    Quote Originally Posted by 787A7D7D7E74771B0 link=1202128835/87#87 date=1256765647
    The other question is sending them - if you get a few takers will it cause you a problem?
    I would jam them into a small ziplock coffee bag and pop a stamp on the outside. Total cost to me would be around a dollar. I cant imagine wed get that many CSers taking advantage of the offer.

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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 577562747468070 link=1202128835/86#86 date=1256712051
    Perhaps a token donation to the "Fair Crack" fund in exchange for a handful of raisins.

    Wonder what the mods think?
    what is the fair crack fund?
    and what is a mod? didnt they die out in the 60s?

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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 3E2524333E4A0 link=1202128835/92#92 date=1257149283
    Quote Originally Posted by 577562747468070 link=1202128835/86#86 date=1256712051
    Perhaps a token donation to the "Fair Crack" fund in exchange for a handful of raisins.

    Wonder what the mods think?
    what is the fair crack fund?
    and what is a mod? didnt they die out in the 60s?
    Fair Crack.. http://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/ViewProduct.aspx/115-faircrack-direct It is abut giving somthing back and supporting the frontline producers...

    Mods are Admins and Moderators of the WEB site..

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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 08272E2C3B042827282E2C242C273D490 link=1202128835/93#93 date=1257149737
    Fair Crack..http://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/ViewProduct.aspx/115-faircrack-directIt is abut giving somthing back and supporting the frontline producers...

    producers from third world countries at the moment although Im keen for a new huller if Andy wants to list coffeeprince as a beneficiary!

  46. #96
    A_M
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by 163423353529460 link=1202128835/94#94 date=1257152117
    Quote Originally Posted by 08272E2C3B042827282E2C242C273D490 link=1202128835/93#93 date=1257149737
    Fair Crack..http://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/ViewProduct.aspx/115-faircrack-directIt is abut giving somthing back and supporting the frontline producers...

    producers from third world countries at the moment
    although Im keen for a new huller if Andy wants to list coffeeprince as a beneficiary!

    Lismore .... Errr one could argue that it is a ... NO ... do not start what ya can not finish ;)

    As to a new huller; whats wrong with training the partner... A big heavy lump of hardwood and an old cement tub and them in a lap lap... A few hrs in the sun would do them good ;D

    Ya just need to make sure it is long enough and be nice... Get one with a bulbe on the end...


    Or better still what we did many years ago... Get an old wrinnger washing machine and mod the way you load the rollers.... It works well...

    The trick is if you want them to load and have the rollors driven by power... Get them to load with one hand and wind with the other... This is prefired as it costs less and you can always crack a whip if they start to slow down...

  47. #97
    Senior Member caffeol's Avatar
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Which is why AM always refers to his current wife not his final wife or words to that effect. Mind you Im not sure I would be handing my partner any lump of hardwood if I had your charm AM.

    Cameron I have made a donation to FC and will send you a pm with my details.

  48. #98
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    Re: Growing coffee

    right - that seems cover it! thanks for all the info.
    i see mods can be a bit fierce when roused.
    but so could a partner with a block of wood after a day in the sun.
    ill have a look at the fair crack site.

  49. #99
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Robert has beaten you to it.

    The first handful of FREE raisins has left the building on its way to sunny QLD.

    Robert dropped $10 on faircrack and that seemed more than fair.

    We would love to see photos of the little seedlings!

    Cheers,

  50. #100
    Senior Member caffeol's Avatar
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    Re: Growing coffee

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Raisins have arrived - thanks again. Will definitely post photos of the seedlings.

    I guess from your previous posts that they are the K7 variety. Are your 15000 trees all K7?

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