Unica - Costa Rica
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Diego Guardia's Hacienda Sonora near Alajuela in the Valle Central region of Costa Rica
Notes of Pineapple and Floral
Hacienda Sonora sits at the foot of the Poas Volcano. The farm operates on 100% renewable energy generated by a hydroelectric generator that transform rushing rivers into energy. The energy fuels the wet and dry mills and provides free electricity for everyone living and working on the farm. On the whole, Hacienda Sonora has shared their success generously, paying fair wages to all workers and bolstering the local community economy.
The farm and its mill cover approximately 100 hectares. Of those, 45 hectares are devote to shaded coffee lands. Coffee plants are surrounded by exotic trees and other native vegetation. This biodiversity promote soil health and maintains the nutrient-rich soil that helps grow dense, delicious cherry. The remaining land has wild forest reserve growing on 35 hectares and 20 hectares for sugarcane, which has been grown on Hacienda Sonora’s land for over 150 years.
Hacienda Sonora has its own micromill, which enables the farm to keep lots separated by variety and create unique microlots. The mill is centrally located, right next to a traditional sugarcane mill that’s been preserved intact for over 150 years. Honey processing help reduce waste water and protect Hacienda Sonora and the surrounding environment. Compared to washed process, honey processing saves more than 3 gallon per pound of coffee. Producing a single 69kg bag of honey processed coffee can save more than 455 gallons of water. In fact, to better protect the environment, all coffees at Hacienda Sonora are either honey or natural processed. After selective handpicking, ripe cherry is pulped. Parchment and mucilage are then laid to dry on either the farm’s raised beds or its patio where it is turned frequently to promote even drying.
Hacienda Sonora is a part of the NAMA Café de Costa Rica project, the first of the Costa Rican government’s Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). They’re actively working towards lower carbon emissions through investments in key technologies and methods. NAMA Café de Costa Rica is the first of its kind to support coffee farmers as they make changes to their coffee production to reduce overall emissions and resource use. Hacienda Sonora has received 10% back on carbon reduction investments.