NEW BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF THE COFFEE BORER

Here is the first step: the top grade rice is being rigorously selected--discolored, broken grains taken out .

A deadly enemy of coffee plants across the world is the coffee borer. The coffee borer, Hypothenemus hampei, is a small beetle that, according to Wikipedia, affects the economy of over 20 million families who depend on the coffee harvest. If unchecked, it can destroy an entire harvest in one area. The female insect bores into the ripening coffee cherry and deposits her eggs. As the larvae become pupae and mature and grow, they eat the soft cherry, either destroying it completely or making it unsellable because of defects.

Strict control, in the form of visual inspection and careful removal of all infected beans on the ground or on the trees, before and also after the harvest, is the most common way farmers control the borer. As the female can fly short distances, it spreads easily. Chemical insecticides are often toxic, expensive and not very effective.

However, it has been found that the fungus, Beauveria bassiana, is a natural enemy of the borer. It destroys the coffee borer. Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that grows naturally in soils and can be cultivated and sprayed on the coffee plants.

Nueva Granada has been growing Beauveriana bassiana in our laboratory for over a year now, so as to have enough to spray against the coffee borer. Anacafé, the coffee growers association, gives the Beauveriana bassiana spores to farms at no charge.

First the medium, top grade rice, is carefully selected, washed and disinfected. It is then precooked for 20 minutes. The rice is cooled and inoculated with the Beauveria bassiana and put in sterile bottles. It rests 20 days in the laboratory and then it is ready to be taken into the field.

In the field the rice is washed with a solution of oil and water and the resulting suspension is sprayed on the coffee. The suspension from seven pounds is used per hectar.

Here are the Nueva Granada labs to incubate and grow Beauveria bassiana. The bottles rest without movement for 20 days while the fungus grows.-

 

CONGRATULATIONS

These three students from the Instituto Telesecundaria de Finca Nueva Granada won prizes in a six school reading competition sponsored by Anacafe held on October 19th.


Third Year student Claudio Manuel won

First Prize.

Second Year student Karla Paola won

First Prize.

First Year student Helen Beatriz won

Third Prize.

The Institute is very proud of them. Again.

 

 

READING COMPETITION SPONSORED BY ANACAFE

In the local competition of El Tumbador, our students from Nueva Granada Primary School won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes which was extremely exciting. Here they are below.


1st Prize: Franklin, 4th grade

2nd Prize: Marisol , 3rd grade

3rd Prize: Kimberly, 6th grade

In the regional competition of the entire Department of San Marcos, Franklin made Nueva Granada proud by winning third place! Here he is on the podium.

 

5 KILOMETER INTERNATIONAL MARATHON FOR MEN AND WOMEN

Students from the Nueva Granada secondary school -- Instituto de Telesecundaria - took part in the international 5 km. marathon. In the women's competition they won all three prizes. They were:

In the Woman's 5 km Marathon:

1st place --- Leidy, Caserío Nuevo Medio Día

2nd place --- María, Finca Medio Día

3rd place --- Karla, La Union

In the men's 5 km Marathon

Another student from the Instituto de Nueva Granada won

2nd place --- Claudio, Finca Medio Día


LATEST NEWS AT NUEVA GRANADA, EL TUMBADOR, SAN MARCOS

For the latest news about the coffee plants and beans and coffee crop, please look to the left and click on calendar which will go slowly from January to December from the jasmin scented flowering to the swelling green beans, to the ripening coffee and the deep red cherries....

This page is for all the other things going on in the farm.....

A Wonderful Visit

We just had four young Japanese coffee people make the long trip to Nueva Granada. They were full of enthusiasm! And so were our students!


Solar Panels

We had to reinforce the roof over the wet mill so it could bear the weight of the solar panels. But they are now installed and working. We produce about 50 kilowats which helps us reduce our electricity bill. And the neighbor has already asked if we can put him in touch with the people who did ours. So green is contagious and good!!

 

Our athletes, has won several competitions so far

 


A CHILDREN’S WORK BOOK ON OUR RARE BIRD

 

 

Ana Maria Farjado, the biologist who discovered the Tangara cabanisi in Nueva Granada, created a children’s workbook and coloring book.  She came to the farm and  brought copies for every student in the school..  There is more on the bird below.

 

TANGARA CABANISI

Nueva Granada also has a rare bird up in the forest that has only been found in two other places in Guatemala.  It is a bird that is becoming extinct.

The rare bird that was sighted at Nueva Granada by a young ornithologist. Adriana Fajardo Herrera returned this September to locate more of the birds and bring the school children coloring books so they would be inspired by the wildlife in the farm.

 

Tangara cabanisi or Azure-rumped Tanager

Peterson Field Guide to Mexican Birds writes: "Extremely rare, only two specimens known. A green and blue bird; upper back metalic grass green, lower back and rump azure-blue, abdomen whitish; wings, tail, sides of chest blackish with blue feather edgings; crown dull blue." It was the search to find what kinds of plants the Tangara cabanisi fed from that sent Jorge Jimenez and Rosario Rodas to Nueva Granada to spend time on the mountain. And it was this search that led to the discovery of the very special plant!

 

  OUR LOOK OUT

We repainted and refloored our small “folly” which has a 360° view over the neighboring farms, down to the ocean and up to the volcanos.

 

  PAINTING THE SCHOOL
 

We repainted with blue and green our formerly light gray classrooms to make them seem fresher and more lively.  And we put typical, colored pompoms on the bookcases and cabinets.

 

  OUR COMPUTER TEACHER

Jennifer Anabella Guzmán has stayed with us and now teaches computer science to the secondary school students as well as to the school children in the Nueva Granada primary school. We just updated her primary school text books with bright new ones. With the addition of her course, the secondary school students can earn a certificate in computer skills as well as their secondary degree

 

  THE NEW  “CHIPPER”

We invested in a chipper to chop up the vegetation – called “el gigante” -- that is growing too heavily in the farm and must be pulled out.  We use the plant chips, mixed with coffee pulp, to feed our worms, which is particularly important when the harvest is over and there is no more coffee pulp.  The worm-fertilizer  project is hugely successful and we feel it organically enriches and deepens our soil throughout the farm.  More below on the beginning of the worm project.

NEWEST TRACTOR

The green tractor is the newest vehicle we have, the trucks and other tractors are a bit aged but they are strong.
 

Nueva Granada has a plant that is unique in all the world! It looks rather ordinary to us but it is one of a kind!! We were informed by Luis Eduardo Velásquez, an agronomist at the National Hervarium that it was of the Acanthaceae family Stenostephanus latilabris.

Jorge Jimenez y Rosario Rodas the botanists who discovered the plant

Jorge, Rosario and Luis Eduardo Velasquez

The plant has been named for Jorge Jimenez, the young San Carlos University botanist from the university herbarium who discovered it :
Bolbitis moranii J.B. Jiménez

 

 

 

Reservas Naturales Privadas.



Nueva Granada has joined the Asociacion de Reservas Naturales Privadas de Guatemala with the 550 additional acres of Monte Cristo that we acquired last year. The top part of Monte Cristo has 165 acres of tropical rainforest which goes up to 6,000 feet. We are proud to be part of the chain of Guatemalan high altitude coffee farms that keep wildlife corridors open.


Six new computers for the Secondary School


Our adventure -- in alliance with Funcafé and the Guatemalan government -- into secondary education for students from Nueva Granada and the neighboring farms begin with the 7th grade. This year we begin the 8th grade. Next year 9th grade. The farma bought six new computers for the secondary school.

 

Our Worms.

Our experiment with worms continues to be very successful. The colony
is expanding and producing organic fertilizer for the farm. The worms
digest ground up macadamia shells and aged coffee pulp. As soon as the
coffee crop comes in in earnest and there is more pulp, and the pulp ages,
we will triple the size of the colony in a short time.

 

   
 

 
 
 
 

The annual report of Rainforest Alliance 2007 that is just out has two quotes from the the Nueva Granada Primary School. One is from the president, Fausto Alexander Ambrosio Jimenez, the other from our computer teacher, Glendy Cecilia Barrios Joj.

 
 
 
 
  Fortunately we also acquired 400 adjacent acres planted with high altitude Bourbon coffee which had not been worked for years. We did not have enough small plants ready to be planted when the land became available so we have been pruning and replanting as much as we can. Next year we will plant out more. Our plan is to process this high-grown, Arabica Bourbon coffee separately under the name Nueva Granada Monte Cristo, but it will take a while until we have a good amount.
  Please look at the calendar to see where we are now. The rainy season has been strong and is continuing. As I write this, in September, there are a few red beans and we are slowly beginning to pick now.
   

 

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