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Finca San Antonio lies at between 1,160 and 1,310 metres above sea level in the mountains of Central Guatemala. Coffee is planted out over 91.5 hectares - much of which is steep, mountainous terrain, meaning all work is carried out on the farm by hand.
The coffee grows in the shade of a diverse mix of native trees. Finca San Antonio has been organic certified since 1992 and as such uses no chemical fertilisers or pesticides. The farm produces its own organic fertilisers using vermiculture (worm farms) and left-over coffee pulp, leaves, remnants from pruning, cow dung etc. Finca San Antonio also operates its own organic weed control - based on a combination of shade cover, good plant density, weeding by hand and thick ground coverage with organic mulch.
San Antonio is a haven for native flora and fauna, and is an excellent spot for bird watching thanks to its extensive natural forests and uninvasive organic farming practices. All of the farm’s permanent workers are provided with housing - equipped with drinking water, electricity and modern bathrooms. San Antonio also runs a school for its employees’ children.
The main harvest on the farm runs from November until February. The coffee is picked by hand when it is fully ripe, pulped on the same day, fermented and fully washed. The wet parchment coffee is then moved to the farm’s extensive patios where it dries in the sun until it reaches the optimum humidity level. All of the waste water from the wet mill is treated at the farm’s three oxidation lakes, in order to keep its water courses free from pollution.