Archive for June, 2011

Milky Way with Distant storm

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Clear night with the milky way in stunning brilliance as far away flashes of lightening lit up the horizon

Infrastructure 2011

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Here are some images from all the infrastructure work we have started in 2011


Topography in order to define the common area where our infrastructure will be built


We got help from Professor Ricardo Sanjur, local topographer from David. Yes it is a Leica theodolite!


Drainage, drainage drainage. Major work was done for drainage. We hired a back hoe for several days and worked on ditches to channel water away from the house and road and future cabin locations.


Tene and Macial discussing drainage strategy


Preparing the grounds for next years construction of the future common area building at the mirador.


Reinaldo up on the back hoe bucket removing branches from a Matahombro tree. Notice the Bajareque clouds on the continental divide


Breaking foundation of our first cabin


Foundation complete and framing going up using the timber we harvested during he summer of 2010


Timber framing with mortise and tenons and pegs instead of nails


A portable saw mill was hauled up the 10km 4×4 road to cut our timber into beams and rafters and planks for future siding and flooring


3×6 rafters in the foreground cut with the portable mill will be the rafters for the future loft


Roof rafters going up

More photos and updates as our infrastructure progress unfolds…….

New Wasp Moth

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Check out this bad ass new wasp moth that visited our bug lights recently. Yellow jacket abdomen with blue iridescent spots. This was the first specimen of this species seen at Mount Totumas Cloud Forest.

Sembrando Café

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

On June 1st we planted the first of 1500 coffee trees. The site location is at 1800m and is on a wind protected east facing slope that was shaded primarily by trees of the Inga genus. This is a good elevation for growing premium high altitude coffee and the existing shade trees are recognized as a great tree under which to grow shade grown coffee. The area covers about 1 hectar or less than 1% of the land at Mount Totumas Cloud Forest.

We hired Mr. Clemente Vega to get us started off on the right track. Clemente is a coffee consultant with many years experience growing coffee in Chiriqui. In addition he studied sustainable agriculture in Costa Rica. With his guidance we will follow sustainable practices in growing coffee using mainly biological controls and organic techniques.
We decided to plant 5 varieties of coffee in order to gain experience on what grows best at this location; Geisha, Caturra, Katuii, Pacamara and Tipica.
Our plans are to sell the coffee to guests and to process and roast the beans on site. We hope this will make a significant contribution to the operating costs of the site as well as provide an educational and agro tourism attraction for visitors.


We went to Boquete to a nursery to buy the coffee seedlings. Here we are loading them on our pick up truck. We made a two story rack on the truck and were able to fit 1000 seedlings on our first trip. We returned for the other 500 a couple days later.


Coffee tree nursery in Boquete


Transporting the seedlings to the site


This is a view facing south at Mount Totumas Cloud Forest. The site where we are planting the coffee is beyond the horses at the end of the pasture where the slope drops down


Here is the shaded slope where we are planting the coffee. This string represents the very first row at the top of the slope. We will plant Caturra variety here as this is the most compact variety and will handle best the occasional winds that may affect this area at the top of the slope.


Cloud forest immediately above the slope where we are planting the coffee


Mr. Clemente Vega training the staff on the proper planting of the coffee seedlings


Clemente applying Microsplag, a bacteria that is a soil innoculant that controls nematodes and other pests.


Planting the first row


Yours truly