El Peten coffee goes to Belgium – 06/08


After transport strikes and in the midst of the first ever Pacific hurricane, I watched as our coffee was sorted by a room full of Nica women and loaded into a container to be shipped off to Belgium. Lucky them! They paid good money for it. We hope to find a buyer with similar social and organic ideals for this next years coffee.

We have saved some green beans here in Nicaragua for sale to those who are looking for quality. Contact us for details.


We are begining construction of our new beneficio. It includes the coffee depulping area, the worm culture building, the gallera where the cows deposit the manure that we mix with the pulp to feed the worms, and the workers quarters and their dining room. We are employing an integrated approach to purifying the water used to wash the coffee that consists of sequential treatment ponds with charcoal, gravel and aquatic plants. Growing coffee on the edge of the lake requires extra care with regard to protecting the environment. We are dedicated to constructing systems that insure a clean and sustainable process.

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Finca Java Goes to SCAA Conference – 05/08

Finca Java socios KB, Patty, Byron and I all piled into KBs magic bus this week to go to the SCAA annual conference in Minnesota.


Spirits were high as we drove thru the Grand Tetons, the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, and the Badlands, touring Byron thru the sites.

The show was amazing. The theme this year was sustainable. We met all the major players and made many friends and contacts.


Paul Katzeff with Thanksgiving coffee who has worked years with Byron in organic coffee and started the SCAA, was honored with a life time achievement award. He is the one who started all the cupping labs in Nicaragua with a grant from USAID.

We had a great time with the Nicaragua contingent from Nicacafe including Nick Hopkins who works with them out of Esteli. We really came into this conference at the very top end as Byron is so connected with all the major players. The industry as a whole seems to embrace the principles of fair trade sustainable and in some cases organic. Surprising for a trade organization. There is still much debate as to all the different certifications and their viability vis-a-vis the cost vs. benefit to the producer. Organic is even more up in the air as it requires a major change in the producers methods. They do not want to give up their chemicals until they have proven models of organic profitability. Current organic prices do not support that.


As the future of the planet, clean air and water, depend on the biological regeneration of the soil, we must continue to insist, promote, and convince our fellow producers world wide to follow this model. Byron has the answers. We were very proud that his presentation at the conference was the most useful of all that we attended. We will provide a venue at Finca El Peten for him to pass those answers on to the people of Nicaragua. We must insist that the SCAA continue to do the same on a world wide basis. After all where are they going to spend all the money they make on chemical coffee if there is no more air to breath or water to drink? All of you should be looking for any potential person that you know could be a proud owner of an organic coffee farm on a beautiful lake in Nicaragua.

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New Road Into El Peten – 04/08

We finally have a good road now all the way into El Peten! After years of struggling with various agencies, with the help of Plan Japon, we were able to mobilize all the equipment and materials necessary to renovate the 8 km. of road into the farm. We were proud to be able to help provide all the culverts, concrete, sand and labor to install all the drainage for this road. The entire community has publicly acknowledged their deep appreciation for our participation and even publicized it on the local tv station.


Construction on the farm continues and the bar bathrooms and the terrace are looking spectacular. The main hacienda house is coming along and the tasting room is getting tile. All the buildings look fabulous. We can now offer full service for visitors including boating on the lake in “celeste” our surf and ski boat.

As the May permaculture seminar has been postponed, Byron is running some mini seminars for some 25 women. Ruth taught them how to make yogurt yesterday and they will be back May 26, 27 and 28 for training in herbal teas, nectars, vinegar, dried medicinals, etc. We have a good size herb garden going already. We have another 50,000 coffee plants germinating and going into bags this next week. We have a massive amount of material to make bocacci which will fertilize all our plants. I have also purchased another 12,000 hardwood trees to augment the thousands that we have cultivated on the farm. Trees are where it’s at!

Ruth and Giovanni are settling in and getting systems for cleaning and cooking together at the hotel. Ruth is taking off on a trip to South America this week and I am hoping that she will return in August. Until then Giovanni and the two new hotel employees will have to buck up. Come on down to visit and help train them!

We are off to the SCAA coffee conference next week in Minnesota. See you there!

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Hotel Opening and Permaculture Seminar – 03/08


We are proud to announce the opening of the hotel at El Peten and our inaugural permaculture seminar. This will take place in the first two weeks of April. We have some 40 participants from Nicaragua and the rest of Central America, many of whom represent co-ops. Several of Byron’s “locos” (professors) from Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia will be teaching their various disciplines from soil photography to rock flour mineral extraction in various workshops over the two weeks.

Simas, the association for sustainable agriculture, will be administering the seminar. They plan to invite all of the local dignitaries including the Minister of Agriculture and the media to inaugurate the opening of what we hope to be the educational center for organic agriculture in the region. We are proud to be sponsoring some of the participants.

The hotel has been outfitted with custom made furniture from Finca Las Nubes. The bar and restaurant features an outdoor grill and seating for up to 40 guests. It is perched on a knoll overlooking the lake and Rio Juijuina. The roads into El Peten are being redone and we have contributed $10,000 toward the project. We are also currently installing primary power lines all the way into the farm. We hope that both of the projects are completed by April 1st.


This year’s coffee harvest was a big success and as luck would have it, coffee prices went up substantially right as we were selling. We are using this windfall to help the community with the road project mentioned above and other projects.

Byron continues to inspire and direct improvements on the farm. Together, with his help and the ongoing administration of seminars on the farm, we hope to put into practice many new experimental methods. These will include bio-dynamic beef (dried and fresh), medicinal herbs and teas, dried and canned fruit, and a myriad of other organic farm products. We contemplate offering continual seminars in all these disciplines.

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El Peten Certified Organic – 01/08


We are proud to announce that our farm, El Peten was certified organic this month by Biolatina, the Central and South American organic certifier. They are so taken with the farm they have asked to hold their inspector training there.

We hope to open the hotel in the next sixty days, and begin the permaculture seminars as well. The construction is moving swimmingly and the place looks great. The new bar and dining room for the hotel is looking fabulous.


Harvest is in full swing and we now have a total of almost 45,000 pounds of pergamino which translates into about 23,000 lbs of oro. We are about half way through the harvest. I am working on getting samples of green beans that have been dried and dehulled to toasters, both here and in the U.S. We had our first cupping at Sol Cafe, our dry beneficio, and by all accounts we have some excellent coffee! Chocolate, caramel, wood, medium acid and body, tiny bit astringent as it was the first pick, dry residual, and creamy. Overall, a very good showing for our first early pickings. Congratulations are in order! We should have samples in the next couple weeks. Young Ernesto, our farm manager, deserves much credit for learning so much, so fast from Byron.


We are deeply indebted to Byron for his continual support!

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September news from El Peten – 9/07

Finca Java is pleased to announce the progress at El Peten on Lake Apanas. It is an organic coffee farm stretched out along over 2 km. of shoreline where Rio Juijuina flows into the lake. It is a fully producing farm, where in addition to coffee we will be producing organic beef, pork, chicken, eggs, milk, cheese, fruits, nuts, vegetables, There are fruit orchards from which we will make dried fruits and jellies and dried medicinal herbs and flowers The nursery is full of some 20,000 coffee plants, 10,000 hardwood trees, and ornamentals.

Finca Java

We have drilled a 250 ft deep well and installed a pump and pressure system recently. In the last few months we have planted about 8,000 hardwoods of various varieties and continue to germinate seed for future production. Our crew has been pruning the coffee plants, spraying the worm casting fertilizer which they are producing, and minerals on the plants in anticipation of the coming harvest of 30,000 pounds of coffee this year. We are furiously working on the installation of a new coffee depulper and complete remodel of the beneficio.

new coffee depulper

Byron Coralles, who has won international acclaim for his organic coffee, has been guiding the progress of all the organic systems on the farm. He has initiated an improved cow manure and coffee pulp worm casting production which should really push up our yield in the coming harvests. I call him microbial man. He uses techniques to impart live microbial organisms into the soil. This is the epitome of growing organically. A healthy plant does not need pesticides or herbicides. He has a demonstration garden where he has companion plantings of all kinds of fruits growing together with coffee.

Byron will be holding permaculture seminars here on the farm to program to educate and promote the practice sustainable organic agriculture when we get the hotel done. We cannot wait.

All the buildings on the farm have now been re roofed and remodeled. The hotel is coming along and we anticipate having ten double rooms available in the spring so that our buyers friends and guests can stay on the farm and enjoy boating, bird-watching, horseback riding and all the other activities on the farm.

The few hacienda offerings we have are not going to last, so, come on up and see us. It is absolutely gorgeous!.

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Finca Java Videos

President Ortega Visits Finca El Peten

Farm Flyover

A Day at the Farm

Making Bocacci

Making Charcoal

Monoculture vs Polyculture

The Role of Microbes

Luxury Accommodations

Organic Farm Living

Wildlife & Eco Activities

What’s Up

We are pleased to announce that this year’s harvest is now available from Flamenco Organic coffee Co. It is offered as a single origin SHG as that is extremely important to us. All purchases will help fund all the social projects currently funded by Finca Java including http://www.proyectonica-agua.org/index.html and http://www.comunidadconnect.org/ Our good friends at Taylormade […]

Reforestation at Finca El Peten

One of the many benefits of cultivating organic coffee is the symbiotic relationship a healthy harvest has with the trees that shade the plantation. At Finca Java, we feel blessed with the opportunity to incorporate reforestation into our master plan for Finca El Peten. We have been planting indigenous hardwoods for the last four years, […]

Finca Java’s Commitment to Community

Finca Java was created 4 years ago as an endeavor to preserve and improve the environment through organic coffee cultivation and reforestation, support the local economy through job creation, and nurture a higher quality of life for those less fortunate in our community of Los Robles. By committing ourselves to practice organic permaculture at Finca […]

July 2011 – Planting season begins!

So much has happened since our last post, from the cultivation of our coffee trees to the exciting work we are doing in the community of Los Robles. In future posts, we will be sharing more detailed news of our efforts through images, videos, and updates. Currently, there are 50,000 coffee plants from our nursery […]

Christmas 2009 at Finca El Peten – 12/09

The holiday season was welcomed with high spirits this year on the farm.

Finca El Peten at SCAA conference 2009 in Atlanta – 04/09

John Thompson recently returned from Atlanta and the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s annual conference at the GA World Congress Center.

Nicaragua’s President Ortega visits Finca El Peten – 03/09

President Daniel Ortega showed up at the farm by helicopter to give a speech on self-sustainability and organic agriculture!

Finca El Peten hosted a party for the outgoing mayor – 01/09

We hosted a party for the outgoing mayor and all associated dignitaries this weekend at El Peten.

New Years party at Finca El Peten – 01/09

We hosted a New Year´s party for the new mayor, vice mayor, ministers of government agencies, and head of the local army base

International Permaculture Seminar at Finca El Peten – 08/08

Eighty-five agricultural engineers different countries descended on Finca El Peten for a diplomado on the merits of Permaculture.