Over the mountains, through the woods

 

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On our second day here in Popayán, we had an early start to meet some of the coffee farmers in the Morales municipality. Our adventure began at 7am when we set off to meet our first farmer, Hermes. He showed us around his own organic farm, as well as three other farms in the Asociación campesina en agricultura limpia Morales (ASOCALM). Of the four farms we visited, half were organic, but each farmer was dedicated to environmentally-friendly production.

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At each of these farms, we asked questions regarding every aspect of production including size of the farms, inputs on the land, and difficulties they faced. Each of the farmers mentioned the hardships of climate change and the impacts the increased rain and temperatures have caused upon their production. From there, we traveled around their plots collecting and sampling soil. Some of our tests included pH, soil texture, and soil color. The soil samples were analyzed in-field to show the farmers a variety of tools they could use to better understand the health and requirements of their individual soils. We also took samples from these farms to be tested for biological activity once they have dried.

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During our time in Morales, we were given a delicious lunch of San Cocho (yucca, corn, and potato) and even witnessed a few musical numbers from a local family of coffee farmers.

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