|  Home  |   About us  |   Programs & Projects  |   Calendar  |   Birding  |   Blog  |   Get Involved  |

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Shade for Coffee and a Home for Birds

Chestnut-sided Warbler is
one of the migratory species
that benefits from bird-friendly coffee
A guest post by Scott Maxham:

Birds and coffee don’t seem to have much in common at first thought. Although an early morning birder may beg to differ as waking up at the crack of dawn can be a bit easier with a quick caffeine boost. The connection between birds and coffee is deeper than most realize.

Coffee is a beverage enjoyed by many, but quite often we don’t think about where it was grown. If we do know where it was grown it is most likely to romanticize over the warm location and not how the coffee itself was grown. Unfortunately most coffee plantations clear cut rainforests to make way for the coffee plants. Habitats are destroyed and once pristine forests are no longer standing. This is a big deal because coffee does not require full sun to grow. Interestingly, shade-grown coffee plants produce higher quality beans than sun grown coffee plants.

Bird-friendly coffee can help preserve
forest trees, providing critical habitat.
This in turn means that tropical rainforests don’t need to be cut down. These forests are the overwintering habitats for many of the birds we enjoy and are happy to have nesting in North America. Of course, such forests are home to many other plants and animals. Forests are also great at storing carbon and creating oxygen. Forests prevent erosion and promote healthy water cycles.

Birds and Beans is a brand of coffee that aims to support farmers who grow shade-grown coffee. They seek out these farmers and then sell their coffee to bird-loving coffee drinkers. If you would like to taste this bird friendly coffee, visit our coffee page.

In an effort to determine the benefits shade grown coffee, in terms of bird populations, North Branch Nature Center’s ‘Avian Wonders’ summer camp surveyed the Beidler Family Farm, in Randolph, to see what birds resided there. Other organic and bird-friendly farms were surveyed throughout the U.S. and Central America as part of a project with Birds and Beans… stay tuned for the results!

We encourage you to help the cause by purchasing Birds and Beans coffee for yourself or another coffee drinking friend or family member as part of our buyer's club. It is also small and easy change you can make to protect birds all around the world. 

No comments:

Post a Comment