Coffee is life for David Benitez, manager of a 2-acre farm known as
This farm is in the community of Opalaca, and it is home to David and his parents and siblings. In prior years, David’s family sold coffee in cherry to the local middleman. But by working with Catracha Coffee — a local organization dedicated to connecting the Santa Elena coffee growing community with specialty roasters — David has learned to use his own micro-mill so that he can depulp, ferment, and dry his coffee right on the farm. Now the family has the ability to sell their coffee as a micro-lot.
David is a prime example of the next generation of the professional farmer. He has a degree in agroecology and works as high school teacher. When not in the classroom, he is busy applying his knowledge directly to his family’s farm.
Here David only uses homemade organic inputs to manage plant nutrition. He is also conscious of the need for soil conservation and the importance of shade trees. The farm has several different kinds of shade trees including sweetgum, guachipilin, and inga as well as a number of fruit-bearing trees.
While David’s passion for coffee is strong, he has an even stronger dedication to his community. The Benitez family manages a community garden using principles of agroecology — serving their community with year-round vegetable production. And while schools have been closed during the pandemic, David has donated his time to community activities. He provides technical support for dozens of families looking to integrate organic practices into their gardens, and he has helped deliver thousands of trees from the local nursery for reforestation projects throughout Santa Elena.
We hope Small Batch No. 02 provides you with not only a delicious cup of coffee but also but a bit of inspiration