If you are looking for a real treat when you are in Salento I would recommend making the effort to visit the Sacha Mama reserve and organic coffee farm. It requires a bit of hike to get there but it is well worth the effort. The reserve is run by Pedro Grojales and his family and they have been working to preserve the surrounding jungle and advocating for the cultivation of organic coffee without the modern inputs ands without the destruction of the native plants.
It’s a two hour hike from Salento, downhill which means of course that on the way back it’s all up. The road is marked occasionally with “SM” spray painted in different places along the path.
After the the long hike and looking for the SM signs posted along the way we finally arrived at Sancho Mama reserve to meet Pedro and his family. The reserve, farm and their property is absolutely beautiful and fully worth your visit.
Pedro invited us into his home and started us off with a coffee tasting in their living room which has an incredible view of the surrounding area. Then he took us off to the farm to see how organic coffee is grown without modern pesticides. He takes great pride in the fact the the grows his coffee plants among the other native plants and refuses to clear cut his land for coffee growing and profit. He sees the value in the beauty of the nature around him and I really appreciate that there are people like him willing to make less money to preserve what he feels is important. We need more people like him. After a little coffee we headed off into the farm to see his coffee plants.
Pedro showed us how picking coffee the old way means that you only pick the coffee beans that are ready to be picked. Most industrial coffee farms pick all the beans at once when most of them are ready.
After touring the coffee form he took us to the processing part where we grind off the the outer parts of the coffee fruit to extract the green coffee beans on the inside. Again, at Sancho Mama they do this the old way with a grinder.
After grinding the beans you have finally extracted the green coffee bean and you are ready to roast the coffee to get it ready to drink. He showed us how this works in small batches like this.
The final process is to bag your roasted coffee in a sealed pouch. Again we doing this the old way, one bag at a time.
Pedro and his family were very great hosts and his passion for the coffee and everything on his farm was so apparent. He loves what he is doing and it absolutely shows. On your tour they also fix you an awesome lunch with organic food grown right on the farm. Visiting the farm was incredible experience and I would recommend it to anyone willing to make the long trek to get there.
Hope to see you in Salento some time soon!
Pedro and his wife (sorry forgot her name but we spent all day with Pedro) but they were very welcoming and generous with their time. Visiting the farm was an incredible experience that you can only have if you are willing able to make the trek to do it.
If you can make I recommend that you do.
Activities, Colombia, Destinations, Featured, Hiking, Salento, Shopping, Sights, Specialty, Things to do, Tours, Travel Post, view,