Let´s talk about our farm names

Many people are curious as to where our farm names come from. Normally, you find that farms have been named after their original owners or with names that describe the farm.

We believe that God has a purpose in our lives, and that our farms can be blessed with the names we give them. There is a promise in the Bible Scriptures that says:

“With the fruit of a man´s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit” Proverbs 18:20-21

This is why we have commercially changed our farm names to give them meaning:

  1. Finca Monte Sion (originally “Monterrey” meaning King of the Mountains)- Mount Zion is one of the hills on which stands the city of Jerusalem. King David took the Ark of the Covenant to Mount Zion were it rested for many years until the Temple was built by his son King Salomon. Since then, Mount Zion has been considered a holy mountain.
  2. Finca Manantiales (originally Los Rivera, a family name)– now meaning place of water springs. During times of trouble you can always find rest in a place of water springs. God is our water spring; he can solve our problems if we ask him to. “For in Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light we see light” Psalms 36:9.
  3. Finca Cielito Lindo- this is the original name this farm had when we purchased it. We felt we did not need to change its name because it also has a spiritual meaning. When we think of “Cielito Lindo” or a “Beautiful Sky” we can imagine a blue color, with calm winds, freshness and the peace that God wants us to have.
  4. Finca Shekinah (originally “Santa Marta”, probably named after a person or a saint)– from a Hebrew origin, Shekinah means the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God. It was presented in the form of a cloud which appeared when God protected and led his people through the desert and also when His Glory filled the Jerusalem Temple.
  5. Finca Shalom (Originally “San Cayetano”, probably named after a person or a saint)– Shalom comes from the Hebrew word that means peace: Peace between human beings, Peace within ourselves and Peace in our relationship with our Creator: God.
  6. Beneficio Maranatha (Our Mill was named Maranatha since the beginning) – an Aramaic word for “Christ is coming”; it was one of the early Christian prayers that asked for Christ to come back… and it´s the promise that we received as Christians and guarantees us eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” John 3:16.

Let´s talk about liming

To have a healthy and balanced soil it is necessary to analyze its chemical components. Laboratory results are the start off point in the decision making process for soil management.

El Salvador´s soil is characterized for having high acidity and a deficit in calcium and magnesium.  A high acidity affects the nutrient absorption levels of the soil and makes it more toxic, high acidity can diminish up to 70% de nutrient absorption levels. Among some of the factors that can cause high acidity we can mention:

  1. Too much aluminum, especially in soils rich in clay.
  2. Use of fertilizers, more often caused by those with nitrogen.
  3. Heavy rain can wash up the calcium, magnesium and potassium.
  4. The coffee tree can eat up as much nutrients as it can after having produced a strong crop.
  5. Lack of soil amendments.
  6. High temperatures that decompose organic materials.
  7. Abuse in the use of ammonium sulfate instead of using acidifying urea.
  8. Microorganisms in the soil that consume oxygen, expel carbon dioxide, form carbonic acid and free hydrogen ions.
  9. Organic material that is decomposed. However, these materials are important producers of humic and fulvic acids which later help stop the acidic process.

An optimum soil should be within the following ranges:

PH Aluminum (Al) Calcium (Ca) Magnesium (MG) Potassium (K) Phosphorus (P) Zinc (Zn) Manganese (Mn) Copper (Cu) Iron (Fe)
5.5 – 6.5 <1 5 – 25 1.5 – 4 0.38 – 0.90 20-40 6 – 36 10 – 100 3 – 20 20 – 80

Having a healthy soil is an ongoing process; we have been applying lime since 1992 in our coffee forest. Our maintenance program has been designed to help increase the calcium & magnesium and to lower the acidity.  This year´s program included:

  • Application of a lime composed of 35% Calcium, 15% Magnesium and 15% Sulphur. A small amount of Sulphur helps release the Iron and Aluminum that is 20 to 40 centimeters below the soil, and allows the Calcium and Magnesium to work better.
  • For those areas were the aluminum was too elevated we used a lime composed of 70% lime and 30% plaster (Calcium Sulfate). The plaster is used to neutralize the toxic aluminum in the soil.

The application of lime is done directly to the ground and is normally applied before the beginning of the rainy season, activity which was accomplished in our farms during the months of March and April.


Let´s talk about Coffee

Coffee has its start in the mountains of Ethiopia. The name “Arabic” is believed to come from the Arabs who were the first to produce and commercialize coffee. There are two main species of coffee: Arabica and Canephora from which most of the varieties come from. In El Salvador most of our coffee comes from the Coffea Arabica, and it´s believed to have been cultivated the first time between 1779 and 1815.

It was until 1857 that the coffee was distributed throughout the territory in the Apaneca-Ilamatepec mountain range, starting in Ahuachapan, Santa Ana and Sonsonate. This coffee forest is very important and forms part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor serving as a home to neotropical migrant birds and local fauna; it is also one of the main sources of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in El Salvador.

One important attribute in our coffee forest is that it is shade grown, thus increasing the amount of sucrose in the coffee bean and resulting a much sweeter cup of coffee.

The Monte Sion brand is composed of 6 different coffee farms: Monte Sion (1250-1400 masl), Manantiales (1400-1500 masl), Cielito Lindo (1300-1400 masl), Shekinah (1500-1700 masl), Florencia (1200-1250 masl) and Shalom (900 masl).

Our vision is to continue providing high quality, environmental friendly and a socially responsible coffee. We will keep you informed of the different activities that we have in our farms in order to comply with these objectives.

In the meantime… we appreciate your preference to our Monte Sion Brand and hope you are enjoying a great cup of Coffee!Image