Manuel Jose Castillo
PARTNER´S NAME : ILSE IBETH MEDINA
FINCA EL SILENCIO STORY
On Cauca, Manuel Jose Castillo lives on his farm El Silencio with his wife, Ibeth Medina. It is located in the municipality of Inza, in the central mountain range of Colombia, and originally belonged to his father, who named it El Silencio (The Silence) because, at first, he had no crops on the land, and every time he went there, it was pure silence.
From a young age, Manuel Jose started to learn about coffee, as most of his family was involved with it. Over time, he learned more through acquaintances and workshops and has experimented with different techniques and procedures, finding what works best for him and his coffee. His main motivation to produce high-quality coffee came from the better prices being paid for it. As a result, his income significantly improved, allowing for a better lifestyle for his family, the enhancement of the farm’s infrastructure, and better fertilization for his trees. At the farm, he is helped by his wife with the administrative aspects while he handles the production. Manuel’s plans for the future are to improve his coffee processing and increase the size of his drying space, along with optimizing his current resources.
As a parting message, he wants to let you know, “Thank you for consuming my coffee, and I would like to invite you to visit my farm to see first-hand how the coffee is produced.”
Manuel Jose starts the coffee process with careful manual picking, and then the cherries are taken to the wet mill on the farm. There, he combines the harvests of two days, for example, Monday and Tuesday, and then pulps them. Afterward, the coffee is fermented for 28 to 36 hours, followed by a couple of washes to clean it. For the drying stage, he takes the coffee to his covered raised beds, where it will take between 15 to 20 days to dry to its ideal humidity point.