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  • Growing coffee

    i live in newcastle and have four coffee trees in the front yard.
    theyre 4 years old and are beginning to produce heavily - despite me knowing only the basics of coffee cultivation.
    does anyone else grow their own coffee?

    tony

  • #2
    Re: Growing coffee

    Gday Tony,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs!

    You may find some info on http://www.sweetmarias.com/ but Im not exactly sure where.

    Have you had them for longer then four years? Has it been difficult to grow them? I would love to do that one day.

    Im sure there will be wiser answers soon.

    Chris

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    • #3
      Re: Growing coffee

      Wouldnt be too hard growing Coffee Trees in Newcastle... alot easier than Sydney as youd get next to no frost...

      My Coffee tree (I live north west of sydney - Hills district) is going great guns. Its foliage is awesome. Its about 1 year old and is approx 1.5 foot tall. I use White Oil type spray to kill off the Rust leaf and bugs.. and works great. I have just recently replanted it in a larger self watering pot and with some slow release fertiliser. Only issue I have is Ive had to insert 2 polls each side, using an old stocking to help it stay upright as heavy winds really hit the trunk hard. However a 4 year old tree would be a different story.

      4 trees producing fruit! Nice!!!

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      • #4
        Re: Growing coffee

        Hiya Tony-

        Ive just planted my first tree. I think its about 6 mths old...its about 30cms tall anyway.

        I live in the Yarra Valley in Victoria, great rainfall (...well normally!), great soil, but cold in winter.

        Ive got it on our deck, under UV filtering lazerlight, which duplicates part shade conditons pretty well and will protect it from frosts. Its in a pot so I can move it around in extreme weather...

        So far, so good.

        Im gonna see how this one goes, then all going well, try to strike some new plants from it- which is apparently pretty straight-forward.

        4 trees eh? Should be a decent yield, about a kilo per tree per year I think (not positive though). Im sure a bit of time searching the net will provide some great info re-culitivation.

        Good luck and I would love to be kept up on how it goes...

        Cheers, Anthony

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        • #5
          Re: Growing coffee

          I have one with a stack of cherries...well enough for one cup.... on it now waiting to ripen. Do a search there was a thread a little while back with heaps of info, i think it was from Rolley.

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          • #6
            Re: Growing coffee

            here it is

            http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1171156527/36#36

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            • #7
              Re: Growing coffee

              I think you will find its about 500g per tree per year. (this is what Ive read elsewhere) I too would like to have a tree but I am shocking with plant matter. Luckily all I have to do is roast the beans when they get to me otherwise I would kill them to.

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              • #8
                Re: Growing coffee

                Originally posted by MarcS link=1202128835/0#2 date=1202172661
                Wouldnt be too hard growing Coffee Trees in Newcastle...
                Theyd grow heaps good!

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                • #9
                  Re: Growing coffee

                  well - im surprised ive got any replies. thanks everyone. ill look up the links suggested.

                  i have been getting a crop since the first year but it has been variable. first year was about 1kg from the four trees. this year was about 1.8kg. the past two years were about 500g in total each time.

                  there is info on the net, but it is geared to conditions in other countries and also to big (and often mechanised) producers.

                  my biggest need is to understand pruning (because coffee is such a vigorous tree) and also to get a handle on the seasonal issues - when to water/fertilise, when to prune, when to pick, etc.

                  to be honest ive found it hard to get any coherent info on these fundamental matters.

                  and coffee is a strange beast. it seems to do everything at the same time. branches grow and bear at the same time. blossoms come while some cherries are ready to pick and while others are just pinheads. everything overlaps, so its hard to pick an exact time to do the necessary agricultural things.

                  i once invited a refugee from burundi to my place. he used to have coffee trees on his farm and as soon as he saw mine he walked straight up to them and started tearing branches off them. he said coffee trees like air, but i couldnt pick exactly what kind of branches he was pulling off.

                  after going through enormously tedious processing arrangements for three years i have developed a reasonably painless and efficient system if anyone is interested.

                  whats the coffee like? well, its not the worlds greatest. but its drinkable - and its mine. beats gloria jeans, thats for sure.

                  tony

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                  • #10
                    Re: Growing coffee

                    heres a picture of the cherries from my first crop - 2004. it surprised me that the trees fruited so fast.
                    i think at the end of this year, going by the blossoms and green cherries now, im going to have a whopper.

                    tony  

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                    • #11
                      Re: Growing coffee

                      ok, heres another try at the picture.

                      tony

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                      • #12
                        Re: Growing coffee

                        Cool I want one or 10,000.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Growing coffee

                          awesome to hear! I think there was also another good post on the topic (in addition to the one Sarg linked in), so youll have to have a look around cuz theres some good info there! :-)

                          How about the flowers? I love them - a cross between night jasmin and a frangipani.. such a shame they only last a few days. This summer when they were at their peak their fragrance could be smelt on the breeze all through the yard.. fantastic. I took some photos too cuz I was all excited!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Growing coffee

                            Tony, in the last weeks of winter or at the start of spring id give them a couple of kilos of composted chicken manure and a dose of seasol.

                            Then once you see the flower buds appearing fortnightly doses of Seasol or any seaweed based product as that will boost the flowers and fruit set.

                            You could also give them a monthly hit of a fish emulsion as well once new growth starts.... all organic of course .

                            Andrew

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                            • #15
                              Re: Growing coffee

                              i only found out late last year that the beans grow separate to the cherry. you can have a tree full of lovely plump red cherries with nothing much in them. thats what happened to me this crop. those are the floaters - because theyre hollow.

                              when the cherries are roughly full size, i understand, the beans start to grow to fill up the holes inside them (the integuments) and if they arent suitably watered and fertilised then, all you get is a lot of empty cherries. this year im going to make sure i pay them some attention all through winter.

                              there are five stages of processing:
                              1. picking and squeezing the cherries. you have to do it by hand. i squeeze out the beans while watching tv.
                              2. soaking the beans for a day or three to ferment the sticky coating off them.
                              3. drying them. i leave them on the back deck for a couple of weeks in shallow boxes or pans.
                              4. taking off the parchment, which is a stiff coating on the beans. i used to do it all by hand - what a job! but i found this year that using a blender is great. it gets all the parchment off and doesnt seem to break the beans. I take it all outside and shake it up and down in a flat basket in front of an electric fan that blows all the chaff away. very quick.
                              5. roasting - thats where this site has really helped - i didnt have a clue what i was doing before. pot luck. now i hope ill be able to do justice to the beans and see what the coffee is really like.

                              tony  

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