A typical morning at Dr. Beck’s desk…
I love coffee. I need coffee. Every morning to work and to live. Like my father, who started life in 1912 with a cup of Joe, on land that a generation later was swept clean of topsoil by the Dust Storms of the 1930’s, and ‘blessed’ with a s-l-o-w heart and a long-life.
Every day that I knew him, Dad had a pot of coffee at breakfast. Not a cup. A pot. He died at 103 years. If anything says I am his biological son, it is this inherent need for coffee, a slow heart, and the longevity of our ancestors. At 70, I am only 2/3 through my given heartbeats (2.2 billion), ‘with or without cardiovascular disease.’ according to more than one source, and physician and friend, P.K.
Almost a year ago, I was a visitor to the Kona Coffee Belt. It was my second visit in 5 years. This important region of Hawaiʻi. I summarized my last trip in one or two blogpost in April, 2019 with photos…
In a month, I will return to South Kona, more book-educated on the horticulture of coffee. I will include the insightful, but little known work outside of Hawaiʻi, Growing Coffee in Hawaiʻi (UH Press, 2008); a few lessons learned by others at great personal and sometimes financial expense; and a greater admiration of the Kona coffee farmers, farm workers, and plantation owners of the region. I return with a NASA coffee cup in hand and a thirst for the the true coffee spirit. Perhaps I can help eliminate a root nematode in coffee trees. Or not. Perhaps I can become a coffee farmer myself on land abandoned by a previous owner. That would be near-to-heaven to me.
I come to visit, then I hope to come to live for 25 years or until the end of life. Hopefully, if I am accepted by soil, by rain, by the Kama aʻina I can endure with coffee.
“Some soils in Kona and elsewhere in Hawaii are of recent origin and appear to be almost pure lava. Coffee does surprisingly well in such soils where the rainfall is abundant and well distributed (or irrigation is available)…” – Growing Coffee in Hawaiʻi.