Malacara translates as ‘bad face’ which is an incongruous name for such a wonderful farm. Finca Malacara was established by Rafael Alvarez Lalinde. Coffee has been grown on this farm since the 1800s and it has been owned and managed by the Alvarez family since 1889. As the farm has been passed down through three generations it has been separated into three farms, Malacara A, B and C. José Guillermo Alvarez Prunera and Maria Alvarez De Murray have grown another fantastic crop this year despite continuing difficult circumstances. The farm is still recovering from a particularly destructive attack of Coffee Rust Disease (a fungus which attacks the foliage) a few years ago which has reduced the amount of coffee the trees produced. This year, the trees continue to recover and are almost back to their usual level of production. In some cases, Jose Guillermo and Maria have re-introduced a traditional pruning and training technique on the trees called Agobio Paras. Using this method, the main tree stem is bent past 45 degrees (to nearly horizontal) and fixed into the soil with an old branch shaped like a hook. From the upper side of the bent stem, new branches grow and one to several of these are selected for the future growth. The tree will now have more than three main stems from which the future new crops will develop. After some years of production, but before the yield starts to decline substantially, the stems are stumped, and new off-shoots establish themselves. From these new off-shoots, new stems will once again be selected, and the method will be applied again. It takes a number of years for a coffee farm to recover from an attack of CRD however we are pleased to be able to say that Malacara is making progress using the Agobio method and new planting where the disease has taken some trees. Please visit malacara.net
for more information about the farm.