“Maria Rosa Oidor runs her farm Los Nogales with her husband Antonio Pillimué and their four children. The farm is a 30-minute walk from the town of San Antonio, where the couple also have a small shop. Maria Rosa and Antonio bought their three-hectare farm from savings saved from the sales of their business fifteen years ago.
Today, Marie Rosa’s family focuses exclusively on coffee. Her eldest son Robinson previously worked as the head of a local growing association and was also a well-known coffee producer. Nilson’s younger son also inherited part of the family farm and tries to learn everything about coffee. Even at the age of 58, Doña Maria still takes a hike up the mountain every day to organize the collectors and schedule their work. She is an impressive woman, a symbol of a Colombian coffee farmer who often does not receive such recognition as their “Juan Valdez” counterpart.
Despite the small size of the farm, Maria and Antonio decided to plant three different varieties in the high hills on which their land lies: Tabi, Typica and Caturra. The high altitude of their farm (2000 meters above sea level) allows them to continue growing these more susceptible cultivars despite the danger of rusting coffee leaves. However, in preparation for the future, two years ago, old tree areas were replanted with the Castillo variety under incentives from the Columbia Coffee Growers Federation (FNC).
Coffee trees are fertilized three times a year, depending on the condition and amount of coffee on the bush, and seeds for new coffee trees are collected and germinated directly on the farm. It helps to collect up to fifteen employees during the harvest. “