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Growing coffee at home

 
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I ADORE coffee.  It's my necessity.   My one true love that gets me going in the morning and inspires me to keep on even when the day gets too much.

When I found out it might go extinct, I knew I had to do something to make sure that even if the end is nigh, I can still have my morning pick-me-up.  I have no idea if I can get a harvest, but what's a gardener if not optimism personified?   Of course, I couldn't grow enough to feed my cravings, but it does make a good excuse to feed my houseplant addiction and will make a stunning addition to my plant wall I'm planning to help control the heat that comes in my big southwest window during the summer.  

And for those of you who want to kick the habit or just want to play with caffeine alternatives, we've got a thread for that!

So let's chat about growing coffee!  









and the cute chickens in my photo, are from here
growing-coffee-just-in-case.jpg
growing coffee just in case
growing coffee just in case
 
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I love that you posted this!.

I am also interested in growing coffee at home. I thought I'd share this guide. (and a few pics for those who want to check it out first or the skimming type)

"Growing Guide part 1" was great. (yet for papers from Academia, I found it a pleasant  read (not always the case! ha) and I think, anyone with reasonable growing/gardening skills would gain from it if you wanted to try.

The germination tips were helpful. I liked the detailed info on what cultivars are best at certain altitudes (so I looked for something that reasonably matched- though I realize I may not be able to obtain some of these cultivars -but you never know....)

I also found the soil conditions/regional info interesting, as in this way , I could tweak my container soil a bit -since for me  (as this is just a fun experiment in a corner, which started because my son demanded (in a sweet way) we grow some bananas!...... and with this,  I started to think  "What else have I never tried to grow but consume?"

and now for another cup of coffee!

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Filename: Coffee_Growing_Processing_Sustainable_Pr.pdf
Description: Wiley / edited by Jean Nicholas Witgens / Academic -free access
File size: 64 megabytes
 
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Just wondering, I have this friend who tends to drink 4 cups of coffee a day.  If this friend was to want to grow his own coffee to replace his store bought coffee, how much space would this friend have to grow out in coffee plants?  This friend really would love to know.  I He can quit any time....but he won't.  This friend thanks you in advance!
 
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Just acquired my slice of heaven (2.6 acres ) and a coffee grower friend, from Coorg (India) is giving us 6 plants (3 arabica, 3 robusta). Arabica is fussier and lives for a shorter while. Robusta for a longer period, but the flavour isn't as great.
He says 3 bushes are sufficient for a family of 4. He also advised planting fresh every 3 years (from bean) so we never run out of coffee.
Interesting factoid : a substitute for coffee is roasted okra seed. Read about this, but never tried it myself.
Thanks for this thread. I don't drink, i don't smoke, nor do weed and I gave up meat/fish/chicken. I will not give up coffee. If coffee goes extinct, I'll be guarding my bushes like a post apocalyptic hero ...
 
Jen Michel
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Greg Martin wrote:Just wondering, I have this friend who tends to drink 4 cups of coffee a day.  If this friend was to want to grow his own coffee to replace his store bought coffee, how much space would this friend have to grow out in coffee plants?  This friend really would love to know.  I He can quit any time....but he won't.  This friend thanks you in advance!




Hi Greg,

I checked a few different sources and I believe it would hover around 30-35 plants to achieve the healthy daily fix your friend requires. (These are full grown plants)
I am adding a few extra plants to a general assumption number that a mature arabica plant produces approximately ..5-1 lbs of roasted coffee- These amounts have such a range due to the a myriad of factors like environment, inputs, and the skill of the grower.

Someone new to this, would most certainly have an issue or two-(or seven) so I would recommend planting 3-4 (or 10 if you have the space)  to account for mistakes, death, disease, low yielding plants etc.
I've attached some photos from the aforementioned guide that gives ideas on spacing. But for ease -about 6-6.5 ft (3 m) between plants is a good number.


 
Jen Michel
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Roshni Chandy wrote:Just acquired my slice of heaven (2.6 acres ) and a coffee grower friend, from Coorg (India) is giving us 6 plants (3 arabica, 3 robusta). Arabica is fussier and lives for a shorter while. Robusta for a longer period, but the flavour isn't as great.
He says 3 bushes are sufficient for a family of 4. He also advised planting fresh every 3 years (from bean) so we never run out of coffee.
Interesting factoid : a substitute for coffee is roasted okra seed. Read about this, but never tried it myself.
Thanks for this thread. I don't drink, i don't smoke, nor do weed and I gave up meat/fish/chicken. I will not give up coffee. If coffee goes extinct, I'll be guarding my bushes like a post apocalyptic hero ...




Congratulations on your slice of
Heaven.
You are in good coffee country -and it’s amazing you’re receiving plants from an experienced coffee grower!! (Much better yields I am sure + adapted well to the climate) I like the idea of successional planting of the beans to sustain supply.

 it’s very important to put in apa apa or ice cream bean tree /leguminous plant - for mulching/weed control and nitrogen fixing. I found it interesting that kale, potatoes, soybeans, avocados, bananas, vertiver etc are good companion plants

I remember reading somewhere long ago that you could roast okra and drink it like coffee- but I forgot - thanks for reminding me!

 
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I'd LOVE to grow my own coffee! (And a hoot-ton of the other tropical plants I'm addicted to, like bananas, cacao, and citrus fruits - for starters!) But, I'm honestly not sure where/ how to start. I'll watch the videos asap, but I've a feeling, since our house is kinda dark(all logs, few windows on the south side) that supplying myself might be a hella challenge. On the other hand, even just a couple would be awesome, and would give me 'Oh, yes, of COURSE, I grow (a minute portion of) my own coffee!' type bragging rights, lol. Even if it never fruits in my house, it's still a beautiful plant!
 
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r ranson wrote: I have no idea if I can get a harvest, but what's a gardener if not optimism personified?   Of course, I couldn't grow enough to feed my cravings, but it does make a good excuse to feed my houseplant addiction and will make a stunning addition to my plant wall I'm planning to help control the heat that comes in my big southwest window during the summer.  


I thought - no, never going to do well in the UK, but Bob Flowerdew says he gets a crop in his greenhouse (see article here) so you ought to be OK with a South facing window I think. Apparently the flowers smell divine too!
 
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My mother-in-law had a 7 foot tall coffee tree just merrily growing in her house. It made quite a few coffee beans, too, and my mother-in-law was constantly hacking it back, and it simply didn't care. So, indoor coffee trees can totally make some coffee

Having said that, she gave us a seedling from one of the coffee beans that had fallen from her tree. Apparently, you don't need two trees to get fertile seeds? Anyway, we'd had it in a pot here in our house for like 3 years, but I think it needed (A) more consistent water, and (b) a bigger pot.

It never made any coffee beans, and it was always a little sad. And when my husband had his crohn's flare-up year last year, watering the tree was the least of any of our priorities. So, it ended up dying. But, I think it's for the best. I think coffee trees want to be big potted plants, like the size that sits on the floor...rather than little potted plants that sit on a windowsill. Our house is WAY too small to house any plants that take up floor space. But, I think if someone has the room, a coffee tree can be a great potted plant for them, and even give them some coffee beans!

On the topic of growing caffeine, I did plant two tea bushes outside. Sadly, they also aren't terribly happy, and haven't grown very much. But, at least they haven't died! Still, we've had them for three years now, I think, and they're still not more than 2 feet tall and scraggly. It doesn't help that they end up getting stepped on and broken randomly. I feel like I really need to learn to take better care of my caffeine plants!
 
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