I just got back from Peru last week and found some great growing regions … it’s easy … you just have to ride busses and motorcycles for 50 or more hours and you are there! They are right at the source of the Amazon high up in the eastern side of the Andes… awesome mountains!
The shot with the three kids is real close to a small pueblo Cochapampa … about a 9 hour bus ride from Cusco over a 15,000 ft pass on a one lane dirt road to a town called Quirrabamba. We had to stop and back up at least 100 times during the journey to allow other vehicles to pass.!Que Lastima! Needless to say, there are no guardrails and the dropoffs are profound! It is then 3 more hours up that gourge you see in the background to one of the most lush organic typica coffee growing areas I have ever seen. The climb is up an amazing switchback road to a village at about 1900 meters (6100 ft.) that sems lost in time.
The other location in Peru that I visited is in the upper Tabaconas valley about 16 hours from Chiclayo in the northern part of the country … not far from the Equador border. The valley is about 20 miles in length and has about 7 small towns dotted along the way. This is part of the massive headwaters of the mighty Amazon. How amazing to jump over tiny streams that eventually will gather and meet the Atlantic ocean thousands of miles away! Tabaconis is another organic farming comunity cooperative. They spend a good amount of time in school learning organic growing techniques. Sadly they had never been able to taste their own fine coffee because no one had ever shown them how to roast. It was my pleasure to demonstrate a simple method over an open fire. The coop is teaching the kids as part of their curriculim how to grow organic foods and they have a 2 acre organic coffee plot they are managing too. (in this valley there were at least 4 other small schools doing the same thing) Not only do they learn but they can take the veggies home with them too. They gave me a couple of mondo turnips!
– John Bolton …… Salt Lake Roasting Co.