Tue, Mar 24, 2015 - 4:01pm

Soil Fungi and the Advantages of Organic Coffee Farming in Nicaragua

Anonymous (not verified)
March 24, 2015

Don Juan Mora, a small-scale organic coffee farmer in Nicaragua, reached down and took a piece of organic material that was covered with a fungal mat from the soil on his farm. “When you see this, it means the soil is good and coffee plants will do well,” he said. As a master gardener back in the U.S., this made me think more about soil and its importance. A commonly used axiom in gardening and horticulture is the statement that “soil is not dirt.” This simple but profound gardening proverb suggests that healthy soil is a complex mixture of minerals, organic matter, air, water and millions of different living organisms (bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, earthworms, gastropods and more). We should think of healthy soil as a living, breathing organism which needs to be nourished in order to support plant and animal life. This concept has also been called the “soil food web” to denote the interdependent nature of these relationships.

Mon, Mar 16, 2015 - 4:47pm

Our Journey to Nicaragua, Part One: PRODECOOP

Sara Fiore
March 16, 2015

n January 2015, I had the extraordinary privilege of joining an Equal Exchange/PCUSA delegation to Nicaragua. These delegations connect supporters of Fair Trade, and Equal Exchange employees like me, with the people and places that make our products possible. Traveling to this new country, meeting farmers and seeing the co-ops firsthand brought everything I knew about Fair Trade to life. Here’s a look into our week of learning and exploring. Our Nicaraguan coffees are on sale for a limited time, too!

Mon, Mar 9, 2015 - 8:46am

Dear Tea Drinkers

Small Farmers, Big Change
March 9, 2015

If you drink tea, particularly tea sourced from India, we invite you to listen to this 6-minute BBC report on the working conditions and treatment of workers on tea plantations in India.  (Story begins at minute 6:17)
If you buy tea, please consider looking specifically for tea grown by small-scale farmers, rather than tea coming out of plantations, EVEN IF the tea is fair trade certified.

Mon, Feb 2, 2015 - 1:13pm

Gender Equity Workshop: Nicaragua, Part II

Beth Ann Caspersen
February 2, 2015

Equal Exchange is proudly supporting the Coffee Quality Institute’s Gender Equity program as a Sustaining Partner. Equal Exchange Coffee Quality Manager Beth Ann Caspersen participated in the second of four international workshops in Palacaguina, Nicaragua in January. This is the second of two blog posts about the experience.

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