Join us for another weekend of cycling through beautiful Southwest Georgia!
This year we will return to Koinonia Farm and spend an evening at White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Ga.
This is a NOT TO BE MISSED event for food-lovers, organics enthusiasts and people who like exploring the world on bikes.
Check our Facebook page this summer for ticket information.
See pics from last year to convince you that you want to attend this year’s ride
FARM DOCUMENTARY SCREENING AND COMMUNITY GARDEN LAUNCH IN AMERICUS, APRIL 30
AMERICUS, Ga.- Café Campesino joins a series of locations around the world screening the critically acclaimed documentary, “GROW!” that showcases the work and enthusiasm of 20 young farmers across Georgia who are energizing the local food movement. Film-makers Owen Masterson and Christine Anthony will be on-site for the Tuesday, April 30th screening in Americus that will take place in Café Campesino’s newly established community garden- the first of its kind in Sumter County.
The public is encouraged to attend this free event and bring a picnic, blankets and a general curiosity about community gardens, organics and Georgia’s local food movement. Garden gates open at 6:30 p.m. Mingling and information-sharing begins at 7 p.m. and an outdoor screening of “GROW!” will begin at sunset, about 8:15 p.m.
A 60 minute documentary, “GROW!” shares the stories of young people across Georgia who have chosen the unlikely but energizing career paths of becoming small-scale farmers. “GROW!” highlights young farmers living in Atlanta, Blairsville, Chattahoochee Hill Country, Mansfield, Ranger, Savannah, Winterville, Pine Mountain and other locations across the state. Released in 2011, “GROW!” has received worldwide critical acclaim including 2011 Best American Documentary at the Rome International Film Festival, 2011 Official Selection at the Savannah Film Festival, 2012 Best Feature at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival, 2012 Official Selection at the Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival of New Zealand and the 2013 Earth Award of the Cinema Verde Film Festival.
The film screening will be the first held in Café Campesino’s newly established Community Garden that offers 14 raised-bed plots to individuals in Americus who either do not have access to land or sunlight to grow their own food. Though still in its nascent stages, the Café Campesino Community Garden is meant to be a gathering spot for gardeners of all skill-levels and backgrounds who are eager to learn more about organic farming and local food. During Tuesday’s 7-8 p.m. information-sharing hour, local experts on composting, beekeeping, organic gardening, chickens and heritage-breed livestock will be in attendance to answer questions, promote discussion and share their knowledge with the general public.
Join us at 725 Spring Street in Americus, Georgia, on Tuesday, April 30, or call with questions in advance: 229-924-2468. Watch the trailer or learn about “GROW!” at growmovie.net
CONTACT: Nema Etheridge
Roya- or coffee “rust”- is an orange fungus that grows on the leaves of coffee plants, causing them to whither and fall off. It reduces coffee production and eventually causes plants to die, and it is quickly spreading through Central America. We witnessed the effects of roya during our trip to Guatemala in January, and shortly after our return, the Guatemalan government issued a national coffee emergency, anticipating some 70 percent of its 2013 coffee harvest to be affected by the fungus. Bill, who on the trip visited the same small-scale farm of Chel-based Pedro Pacheco Bop that he visited in 2011, saw a drastic change. “I was shocked. It was not the lush green coffee forest that we saw 2 years ago. His farm was noticeably different.” Roya has affected other coffee growing regions in the past, most notably devastating coffee crops of the British Ceylon (or modern-day Sri Lanka) in the 1800s, and later affecting coffee crops in Indonesia and Brazil and some areas of Central America and the Caribbean as recent as 30-40 years ago. Scientists remain undecided on what is causing the outbreak. An increasingly changing climate- where longer periods of wet and warmer temperatures are reaching high-altitude coffeelands- is one culprit. But John Vandermeer, a scientist at the University of Michigan, believes that an ecosystem damaged by the excessive use of pesticides and fungicides is to blame. For example, a white halo fungus, which has helped to keep coffee rust in-check, has been nearly eradicated through chemical applications in Central America that have also killed off the insects that help germinate it. Coffee industry professionals throughout Central America are looking to get the fungus under control, and small-scale farmers like Pacheco Bop will turn to his cooperative, the Asociacion Chajulense, for expertise and technical help on how to deal with roya. Bill sees this as a critically important role that the cooperative plays. “The coop has technical advisers on staff who are working on this right now,” he said. “And this is an example of another moment where being a part of a larger organization and working together and collaborating is the best way for the farmer to get through this,” he said. The effects of a diminished harvest will be especially bitter for the coffee farmer this year, as the price of coffee has dropped from last year’s near 15-year high. “They’re not getting nearly the amount of supply, so they’re getting affected by the negative trend of production and the negative trend of pricing,” he said. “Just when it looks like it is getting good, then watch out… such is the life of the farmer.” Café Campesino will continue to be committed to learning more about roya and responding to the needs of the cooperatives at origin. “The best thing we can do is support whatever decisions they make,” said Bill.
Our group on their first day in Guatemala. Included in this picture are Faith Fuller of Desktop Documentaries; Ronnie from the Sentient Bean; Richard Haas from Earth Natural Foods in Norman, OK; Bill Harris of Cafe Campesino, Sweetwater Organic Coffee and Cooperative Coffees; David Minich and Sissy Ledbetter of Americus, Georgia; Miguel Mateo of Manos Campesinas; Mike Weaver of Sweetwater Organic Coffee and Dave Campbell of Cafe Campesino. More to come!
This little guy is called the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Every spring, he flies 500 or more miles non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico to spend his summer in the Eastern U.S. & Canada. He is commonly found in Georgia and throughout the Southeast, which serve as his breeding grounds during the summer months. When he leaves in the fall, he travels to ecologically diverse forests in Mexico, Central America and South America where he can find food and habitat to spend the winter. Shade-grown coffee farms provide some of this habitat. Increasingly in the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s, ecologically diverse forests throughout Central and South America have been clear-cut, often to grow large fields of one crop that is meant to be produced in large volumes. Some coffee is grown this way. This type of farming destroys the ecological diversity of an area, attracts pests and requires high-inputs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to keep crops alive. Shade-grown coffee is the opposite of that type of agriculture. It preserves ecologically diverse woodlands that provide habitat for hummingbirds (and other neo-tropical migratory birds), keeps chemicals out of coffee fields and away from farmers and local residents. It also allows the farmer to grow other trees & plants that can be revenue-generating, such as lime , cocoa, and avocado trees, or in the case of Guatemala, cardamom plants. All of the coffees used at Sweetwater and Cafe Campesino are shade-grown. Cafe Campesino is proud to have partnered with the Atlanta Audubon Society to help raise awareness about the role that shade grown coffee plays in preserving habitat for neo-tropical migratory birds. Look for the Atlanta Audubon Society‘s special blend of coffee at AAS events, or purchase it online. Cafe Campesino gives 10% off all sales of this coffee to the Atlanta Audubon Society. Join the Atlanta Audubon Society or your local Audubon group on Field Trips to learn more about birds in your area.
Madeline Burdine loves Café Campesino. And we love Madeline Burdine. She’s not only one of the best jewelry makers in Atlanta (and potentially the world), she also met her fiancé in our sweet little Sweet Auburn coffeeshop.
The two of them consummated their love (for us) when they made the scenic rural drive southward to visit our roastery and our fair town (Americus) a few months ago. We raise our mugs to Madeline Burdine and her fiancée, Bob Smiles (think Field of Greens) and to finding true love in a coffee shop.
AND, we extend to all-a-y’all Madeline’s discount on her exceptional “grass-fed,” earth-inspired, hand-made jewelry that incorporates recycled silver, reclaimed copper, and bones from South Georgia’s own White Oak Pasture cows. Visit her Esty shop and get a 14% discount until Feb. 15th. Use coupon code: CAFECAMPESINO at check out.
The politics of Fair Trade certification have hit the news. Have you been keeping up? A few links that are worth checking out: Dan Jaffee and Philip Howard’s “Visualizing Fair Trade” project (not a news article but very timely graphs that compare companies’ commitments to sourcing Fair Trade Certified coffee). Other full-length articles addressing the Fair Trade Certified debate have recently appeared in The New York Times, Mother Jones and Grist. National Public Radio covered the story both on radio and on their food blog, The Salt. Read up. Let us know your thoughts. Read our Nov. 18 post or the statement from our co-op (Cooperative Coffees) to know ours!