Devils Gulch Ranch is now selling locally roasted Haitian single origin coffee.
We are a family farm in Nicasio, Marin County owned and managed for over 40 years by Mark Pasternak and Myriam Kaplan-Pasternak, DVM. We raise rabbits, pigs and sheep, and sell to many well know restaurants in the Bay Area.
We have been working in Haiti since 2007 providing agricultural education, mostly for rabbit production, but have recently become involved with some coffee producers as well. While Myriam was working with farmers after the earthquake in 2010, she became aware that they were having a hard time finding reliable sources to sell their coffee to at fair prices.
Therefore, in 2011 we purchased, imported and sold 11,000 lbs of single origin Haitian green coffee. This year we have imported over 50,000 lbs of green beans from 2 different grower co-ops and are having some roasted in Petaluma to sell locally to markets and restaurants.
Our coffee is 100% Haitian unblended, single region coffee beans direct from the mountain forests of Haiti. Each batch represents a single harvest season, and a specific type of processing. As Haiti Coffee, Inc grows, more of Haiti's coffees will be featured. The mission is to help promote the awareness of Haiti’s coffees, to increase sales of Haitian coffee beans, to help Haitians rebuild their coffee industry in a sustainable manner, and help the Haitian coffee farmer earn a living. Haiti Coffee is also committed to supporting sustainable redevelopment to help Haiti become the Pearl of the Antilles once again. At this time, the coffee is not certified organic nor fair trade, though we will be assisting the growers in evaluating certification. We are already paying more than the fair trade price, and the Haitians cannot afford to buy chemicals for their coffee trees, anyway.
2012 Marmelade: Q rated by SCAA
Marmelade is located in the Department of Artibonite about 100 kilometers from Cap-Haitien at an elevation of 640 meters. The village has approximately 3000 inhabitants; 2000 of them are coffee farmers. There are 9 washing stations and one cooperative coffee mill. The coffee farmers are represented by 3 associations. For some time, the Haitian coffee industry has had difficulty. The coffee producers were pushed to look for other buyers and some of them stopped planting coffee switching to other crops. Now with the help of Haiti Coffee, the planters are hoping to go back to harvesting their coffee again.
2012 Champagne, Plaisance:
Plaisance is a city of 50,367 inhabitants known for its excellent forest grown products. It is located in the Northern Department about 40 kilometers from Cap-Haitien at an elevation of 350 meters. The village has many communities of which Champagne is the one touted to have the best coffee. This coffee comes from a group of 375 members who call themselves Koperativ Ekselsyo Basen or Cooperative Excelsior de Bassin (COEB). Because they are a small group and do not have a lot of equipment, they dry their coffee cherries directly in the sun (natural process) and mill them using a small mill. Their hopes with the sales of these beans, are to expand their equipment resources and increase their capacity to produce high quality coffee beans.
There is a really good synergy with the rabbits needing shade from the coffee plants, and/or the larger shade trees. The coffee from shade grown trees is better and therefore more valuable, helping to keep them from cutting the trees for firewood. The rabbits can be fed the leaves from many of the trees which the farmers can harvest themselves, so no need to spend money they do not have for rabbit feed, adding further value to the trees and helping to protect against deforestation. Then the rabbit manure can be used to fertilize the coffee plants, and of course the rabbits can be a source of great nutrition and income. Diversification is also very important.
Haitian coffee is grown a mere 700 miles off the coast of the US, yet it remains hidden in obscurity by the mystique of Haiti’s challenging history. In the 1750’s Haiti was the largest coffee producer in the world, and as recently as 1948 it was third in the world. Haiti has all of the natural components to grow the finest specialty coffee, similar to the finest coffees of Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. All Haiti needs is to re-establish the value chain and resurrect the skill and knowledge that were once there.
Haiti Coffee, principally owned by Myriam, is the green bean importer, and committed to creating income and jobs for Haitians. We collaborate with Partners for the Americas, USAID Farmer to Farmer program and with Makouti Enterprises, a Haitian organization, to further the sustainable redevelopment of Haiti. A portion of our profits are reinvested in Haiti. Roasted beans are being sold locally through Devils Gulch Ranch.