Spirit Mountain Coffee, a Dominican Republic coffee farm run by an American couple, is being credited as as the first Bird Friendly®-certified coffee in the Caribbean.
Krista and Chad Wallace, along with business partner Jeff Loftsgaarden, bought the farm in 2003, several years after it was destroyed by a hurricane. Along with coffee production, the couple has developed a partner business on the property devoted to “sustainable agro-eco-adventure tourism,” Eastancia Natura. The farm operation was recently lauded by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center:
Finca Spirit Mountain’s coffee area ranges between 1100 and 1400 meters above sea level, which, along with careful processing, provides one of the Caribbean’s finest quality coffees. The varieties now are caturra and tipica, with some bourbon having recently been planted as well. Coffee harvest stretches from November to April, currently producing around 3600 kilograms each year.
A concerted effort to increase the diversity of the shade tree component on the farm involves the planting of some 50,000 seedlings of 30-plus tree species, most of which are native and/or endemic to the island. Seeds of species that also occur in Central America have been obtained from Costa Rica and Honduras to bolster the genetic stock of some of these species. The coming years will see an increase in this shade coffee area, with a few more hectares coming into production a little at a time.
For more on the farm or the nature preserve, visit spiritmountaincoffee.com.