Harvesting Coffee


The fruit on its bush.

The line of pickers.

The pickers.

The weighing of individual pickings.

Separating the beans from their flesh.

Washing the beans.

Drying the beans on open-air trays.

Flesh of the de-pipped fruit.

Seasonal workers waiting to be paid for their days's picking.

Dear Darryl who had invited us to his house in Margate, showed us among other places of interest, the Beaver Creek Coffee plantation in Port Edward. It was too late for a guided tour, so we tasted their various blends of coffee, bought a packet of the finest for our daughter Thekla, the gourmet fundi, and snooped around the yard to see what was happening.

Darryl Dale and Colleen.

Just then the seasonal pickers were arriving with their bags of fruit, lining up to have their pickings weighed and be paid for it – R 2,50 a kg. From what we could see and from further enquiries, they averaged between 20 and 25 kg this day. The season lasts from June to August and at the height of the season some pickers bring in as much as 100 kg on a good day. It does not make for any form of living, but brings the much needed extra money. We had not seen a coffee fruit, plant or plantation before and enjoyed the outing to Beaver Creek, one of the few coffee plantations in South Africa, enormously.

The weather was mild and balmy – quite different from what we had had at the Cape a few days before. So we felt privileged as so often. Thank you, Darryl. We’ll show pics of your lovely house in our next blog.

The flesh of the fruit - to be composted.

With love from
Colleen & Walter
Mt Edgecombe, Natal
Saturday June 18, 2011

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