This is the first year we’re buying from private farmers in Ethiopia. Mohammed Lalo seems to be a social and humble man, a loyal employer as caring about quality. Visiting his farm in December 2015 I was blown away about how fertile his farm was, by far the richest I’ve seen in Ethiopia.
Together with our green coffee source Nordic Approach we spent a full day at Mohammed Lalos farm in Atnago in the Jimma region. At farm they have and average of 3300 trees per hecatare, which is a lot for Ethiopia. The farm was extremely kept and the 33 blocks is clearly defined. At the farm they have planeted three different local improved varietals of Ethiopian Heirloom. All varietals are resistant and very fertile. The varietals 75227 and 74148 are bold and short and extremely productive trees, these are only used in smaller areas to ensure flavour quality at Mohammeds farm. Most of the area has 74110 planted, chosen for its taste profile. 74110 is a tall tree that has huge leaves and therefor needs to have 1.75 meters between the plants instead of 1.5 meter.
Hundreds of 74110 in the nursery
Mohammeds wife Mehbuba Lalo is also a part of Women in Coffee in Ethiopia. At the farm they applied their gender thinking by e.g letting the female pickers have a female supervisor and the guys have a male supervisor, something the pickers found making their work less competitive. They are working in small groups ten pickers to one supervisor make it less stressful for the pickers. The workers get a ride back to town everyday and at the farm Mohammed and Mehuba are also planting banana and food for the workers. In total it is 231000 seedlings being grown at the farm. Beside this, Mohammed and Mehbuba Lalo has supported the local school for three years in a row now.
Three girls from the female picker team
Generally in the Jimma region the mountains are hardly shaped and the soil is mainly built on clay. This three (picture) is mainly find in Jimma and is very good as shade trees for the coffee, letting a lot of air underneath, doesn't take to much of the nutrition in the soil and is not shadowing the coffee trees fully.
Producer: Mohammed and Mehbuba Palo
Location: Agaro, Jimma
Farmsize: 200 ha
Varietal: Ethiopia Heirloom, three different local improved varietals of Heirloom
Picking period: November 2015 - January 2016
Sourced by: Nordic Approach
Elevation: 1950 masl
Processing: Fully washed. The cherries are floated before they go in to production so they can remove floaters.
Drying: Coffee is being dried on raised african beds. The temperature can be relatively low, and they give the coffees up to 8 hours with sun pr day. Drying takes from 13- 20 days. They have to assigned people for each table constantly moving and sorting the parchment on the tables.
Flavour description: Juicy with light body, notes of white grape and jasmine with a citric acidity.