How does the idea evolve to convert a coffee farm to biodynamic cultivation? It takes almost 5 years to get the soil ready. The certification process is quite strict, and the work is extremely extensive. Which is in fact one of the main reasons why Demeter coffee is so rare. But when you speak with Dagoberto Marin from La Chacra D´dago and his three sons, one thing becomes clear: You don’t do Demeter cultivation for the profit. You do it because you believe that there is no other way. Because it is the only way to make the world a little bit better. Which starts with the soil health and carries on to the satisfied sigh when enjoying the coffee. So, it is about time, to introduce the people, to whom we owe this pleasure. Family business of a beautiful kind.
Today, the founder of La Chacra D´dago is over 70 years old, but his eyes are still sparkling with enthusiasm, when he speaks about biodynamic agriculture. It is no wonder, considering the fact that he returned to his birthplace after finishing his studies at the Universidad de San Marcos and – after unsatisfying attempts of conventional and organic cultivation – started the Demeter cultivation on the coffee farm with a lot of patience and drive in 2005.
“It was a big surprise for us, but it was exactly what we had hoped for this farm. Demeter farming is a gift and a challenge. You must know (and understand…) yourself and the surrounding. We are wonderful creatures, connected to the cosmos…and that’s why we are very thankful for the spiritual world.”
He is Dagoberto’s eldest son and in charge of the whole production and its processes. He constantly develops the farm, takes care of the plants, the land, and developed a new area in which animals – cows and sheep – will live to supply the dung for the Demeter preparations.
He is a little bit shy. But when he stands in front of one of the biggest trees of the farm – a primeval forest giant that lives in symbiosis with orchids, palms and the like – you can feel the love he has for all of it.
“This tree is a whole universe (with all the plants that grow on it and the coffee below it). That is biodynamics – biodynamics that work.”
Originally, Ceasar was in charge of sales, logistics, exports, our first and main contact at La Chacra D’dago. But over the years and after a couple of visits to Peru we developed a friendship with the whole family. He is the middle brother of the three and committed himself, amongst other things, to meticulously monitor the quality of the coffee beans. He likes to say, “Quality does not go without ecology”. And:
“I think, it is in fact a beautiful art: To use all elements that nature provides in harmony. Microorganisms, plants, wind, rain, sun – to acknowledge all of it as a whole.”
He is Dagoberto’s youngest son, studied communication science and controls the Marketing, social media, and the image editing. But perhaps, he also has an unimagined art talent, because he also paints. Our big red bird of paradise on the grey fermentation tanks are his work, for example.
„For me, this (here at La Chacra D’dago) is a different world, because you can learn to do everything with freedom. No one gives you orders, but you need to be proactive and have a strong will…. And then you will always get a: “Do it. If you want to do it, do it. And we will support you with it.”
Of course, the „team respect” is even much bigger (not to mention all the strong women, who back these successful men). Everyone here knows, why they decided for Demeter coffee cultivation. Biodynamics work. That becomes quite clear when you experience this little paradise.
If you like to dive deeper into the story and concept of the Marin family, check out the interview with Cesar Marin. It gives you quite a good impression of the idea behind the holistic concept.