I wonder lately how we do it when groups are here, because in a rarity there are no groups in March and I still struggle to find time to get everything done! Wednesday we were to go to Sampedrana, on the way in Comayagua picking up 150 Hass avocado trees (or Haas depending on where marketed...the most popular avocado around and considered a better tasting one than the green skinned variety)
We have been doing some repairs and preventative maintenance to the Blue Ford as of late. Seeing what we spent in 2012, I have been debating in my mind whether or not it is time for group and mission use to step up to another vehicle. It has served us well over the past almost eight years, but it is becoming harder to keep it in tip-top form. How we would replace it...that is another story. But my stewardship mind is spinning for sure on options. So of course on the way to Comayagua we heard a very loud noise...pulled immediately over and turned the ignition off. We checked what we could, then tried to re-start the truck...nothing. A few calls...and a mechanic came from Comayagua eventually to find that the brand new starter (the second one as of late) was in many small pieces...that is not the general idea. He removed the starter and tried to leave it ok to continue...and we push started it. We just did not turn it off for the rest of the journey. Travelling all the way up the mountain this way is good for your for communing with God.
We found the avocado truck, eventually, unloaded quickly from their truck to ours and made our way to Sampedrana as carefully as we could with 150 fragile grafted trees in the back.
We were originally planning to go all the way up to the Hill Climber coffee farm...the trees are not ready to plant yet, but we wanted to check on progress up there, and talk about plans for the year. With the mechanical problems along the way....we will have to schedule another trip soon.
So instead we got to chat a bit with some of the kids that helped us unload, quickly see some brothers and sisters from the Church, and hit the road to get back to Teguc before dark.
Why are we taking avocado trees to Sampedrana? Good question. There are a few goals here....represented by a conversation we had while unloading with another coffee farmer. If you had asked several years ago, no one would have considered mixing crops up there...coffee was just the way to go always in the long term. This year with very low coffee prices, in the ground used...you could have made more money with avocados than you would with coffee. So not only do we get a bit of other financial income, one that may be more or less depending on the year but adds more stability...it is also another product that can be sold at market or to individuals in the community as well.
We have information about some cheap strawberry plants as well...that might be something we tinker with up there at some point, on more of an experimental basis, at least at first. Maybe in the future...His Eyes “Fresa on your Mesa” jam? Hmmmm.
Not many people get to see coffee trees during their flowering stage...a beautiful time of year. This is typically the warmest time of year for the country as well. The spaces where you see flowers here represent where there will be coffee beans later in the year. Seeing more flowers...means more coffee! The more we sell as Hill Climber coffee the better...selling on the open market right now is better than nothing of course, but when you buy our coffee it directly helps us to do more of these projects and move the mission forward faster!