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Local farmers can learn about growing coffee here

SANTA BARBARA – FRINJ Coffee is holding a workshop Wednesday, Aug. 17, 10 a.m. to noon, for San Diego County growers, and those curious to learn more about growing coffee; it is open to all who are interested. The workshop will be held at the San Diego County Farm Bureau, 420 S. Broadway, Escondido.

Specialty coffee is a fast growing and lucrative new business opportunity crop for growers to consider growing in select areas of San Diego County. By working with FRINJ Coffee, San Diego County growers can acquire and access robust cultivars and rare genetics proven to succeed in California through 15 years of experience with coffee agronomic systems, and an incredible post-harvest support team and infrastructure.

FRINJ can work with growers to diversify their orchards to add a layer of coffee to their operations that is great for the local ecology and the resilience of the farming system.

To RSVP, email Benjamin Myers at [email protected]. Anyone who cannot attend and would still like more information can reach out and schedule a private conversation about coffee. This event is free.

FRINJ farm advisors will serve California grown coffee, share information about what is needed to grow coffee, will answer questions, and establish contact with growers that need site visits after hearing the presentation.

According to CNN Business, a recent study showed that coffee plants will be drastically less suitable for cultivation in current coffee-producing regions by 2050 because of the impacts of climate change, further stating that climate change adaptation will be necessary in most major producing regions.

Brazil, the largest coffee producer in the world, lost 30% of its 2021/2022 arabica crop to a dry spell, showcasing the drastic effects of climate change and its ramifications on the global coffee industry.

Good Land Organics, a subtropical organic fruit farm in Santa Barbara, began experimenting with coffee crops decades ago using a layered, intercropping system that maximizes natural resources and builds soil health.

In 2017, FRINJ Coffee was born, proving that coffee could be successfully grown in a region never expected: Coastal Southern California.

"With climate change, we are facing a more turbulent global farming environment. The heat gets hotter, the wind gets stronger, and when it rains, it rains more. We need to prepare for these extremes by building more resilient food production systems," said the CEO, founder, and farmer of FRINJ Coffee, Jay Ruskey. "This causes us to augment traditional farming methods in search of opportunities to farm crops that not only provide more potential for the farmer to make money but provide systems that can rebound quickly when farmers encounter a severe weather event."

FRINJ Coffee specializes in a whole systems solution to California-grown coffee production, teaching farmers how to successfully grow and market FRINJ Coffee and benefit from adding a new, value-added specialty crop to their portfolios.

With just a dozen participating farms at the onset, FRINJ Coffee now works with over 70 farms throughout Southern Coastal California. A large portion of their growers are certified organic or becoming organic. Ruskey and his team of farm advisors teach their farmers how to incorporate regenerative agriculture, including multi-cropping agroforestry systems, the support of heavy mulching, and the importance of participating in healthy soils programs to bring more nutrition to crops. Through this support, FRINJ expands both coffee cultivation and the future of resilient farming.

FRINJ Coffee growers span demographics from generational farming families looking for a companion crop for their existing avocado and lemon groves to new farmers, like Grammy award winning musician Jason Mraz who advocates for climate and promotes local, regenerative agriculture and a fair trade.

Together, California FRINJ farmers have planted over 100,000 coffee trees, as part of a new model very different from the large commodity growers in other parts of the world. FRINJ Coffee works with each farmer to assess their land, recommend the appropriate plant materials and infrastructure while consulting on cultivation, sustainability, culture, research, and post-harvest to bring the coffee to market. They are pioneering a new industry in California: high-end, specialty craft coffee.

 

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