Daimes Polanía Tovar is one of five siblings—three men and two women—who were raised among their parent’s coffee trees in the municipality of Palermo, in the northern part of the department of Huila. Out of the five, he is the only one who has carried on the family tradition of coffee cultivation, while his brothers have pursued careers in medicine and engineering, respectively.
Daimes has been producing coffee on Finca Dos Quebradas for the last ten years. His house sits at 1,800 m.a.s.l while the highest part of his cafetal, is located at 1,950 m.a.s.l. The farm has a total surface area of eight and a half hectares, with four of those planted with three varieties of coffee. He has approximately 6,000 Castillo trees, and a little over 3,000 Colombia and Caturra trees. He prefers Castillo because of its high yield and strong resistance to coffee-leaf rust. Besides coffee, Don Daimes also grows plantain, yucca, and avocado, which he uses to feed his family and his workers. Two years-ago he planted 2,000 Tahiti lemon— also known as Persian lime—trees and is excited about the future commercial possibilities of this crop as it is a staple of the Colombian pantry.
The vereda (or township) of San Pedro Alto is steadily becoming well-known for its specialty coffee. The climate in this more mountainous part of Palermo, is “optimal” for coffee production, says Daimes. The annual rainfall is “super” and there are naturally-occurring springs “everywhere”, which means coffee farmers must be extra careful with the runoff waste produced by the post-collection processing of their coffee cherries. The soil in this region is rich, albeit acidic due to its proximity to marble and limestone mines. Finca Dos Quebradas is also home to clay soil, found mostly in the various plots of protected forest on the property. We have fortunately heard from several producers in Palermo that, because of its micro-climate and mountainous terrain, the dreaded phenomenon of El Niño has yet to affect the area in the devastating manner in which has hit the southern part of Huila.
The Castillo and Colombia cherries that went into this microlot were harvested carefully by hand by Daimes’s five pickers, all of whom are either transplants from the department of Antioquia or from southern Huila. After
the fruit is brought in, it remains intact, inside a hopper, till the next day. Around twelve hours later, at six am, the cherries are put through an Ecomill, which is a kind of mechanic de-mucilager. Another 24-hour period of
dry fermentation takes place afterwards. The beans are then washed thoroughly and put out to dry, first on raised beds for ten to twelve days, and then later finished in a Guardiola, or mechanical dryer, for an addi-
tional 28 to 30 hours.
The name of Daimes Polanía Tovar’s finca translates to “two springs”. He says that these waters once held gold and he feels fortunate to have found this property with its golden waters because, before, when he lived in the lowlands, he wasn’t getting any of his coffee into Cadefihuila’s (our allied cooperative in Huila) microlot program. This lot is the first they have accepted and he is rightly proud. We thank him for his hard work and