Wet mill construction has begun
The heavy rains have finally subsided, and we can share the news that the building of the wet mill begins this week. Miguel has completed the drafting of the area for construction, and if the weather permits, clearance and building is to start. Miguel’s Uncle, a civil engineer, is currently putting the final touches to the plan. This includes the thickness of the retaining wall of the mill, and ensures that the structure is solid enough considering the slope. A retaining wall binds earth between two different elevations. These are built in areas where slopes in the landscape need to be altered for building purposes. And by the nature of its terrain, El Fenix is a prime example of hillside farming with this kind of need. Our retaining wall will stand at between 3 and 4 metres and will need to be very thick. Colombia’s unpredictable weather patterns mean that heavy rainfall affects construction time. And this is especially true when building into slopes where movement of the soil is inevitable. The importance of this building work means that time and planning are vital.
Throughout the coffee's processing, we use gravity as our reliable form of transportation. The structure staggers down the hillside, and contains our floating channels, sorting screens and tables, using the slope to move the coffee. The fermentation room sits underneath the structure, insulated by the earth surrounding it. This is then covered with a concrete top, serving as further insulation and as a base for the mill above it. Time, money and construction mean the mill in its entirety is the most expensive part of the project.
Farm update :
In contrast to talk of heavy rainfall, the current climate on the farm is dry, meaning we must water the seedlings every morning. With such unpredictable weather, the hydration of the plants always needs to be monitored.
That is all from us for now, but there will be more to update you on soon.
All the best from the Raw Material Team