Miller Walles Cruz
He was alone, lost in a blackberry & grape darkness. He prayed and his faith in mother earth ripped that syrupy & dense void. "Take this holy seed my beloved son. In it you'll find your rebirth".
Miller Walles Cruz never ceases to seek out and incorporate new agronomic knowledge to improve his coffee farm. Under his fastidious care and with this help of his family, Finca La Morelia has blossomed into a productive, specialty coffee farm that maintains quality across the entire cultivation and production process.
Tall, quiet and soft-spoken, Miller Walles wasn’t always a coffee farmer. In the early 2000s, Miller Walles transitioned from sugarcane. According to him, the switch to coffee was life-saving because coffee enabled him to better support his family. With his wife, Dadny Salinas, and oldest son, Ricardo, Miller Walles transformed Finca La Morelia from its wild and infertile beginnings to today’s productive coffee farm. They also preserved a portion of the land as protected forest to maintain local biodiversity.
Miller Walles is dedicated to expanding his coffee producing knowledge. He has taken courses on coffee production and farm managements taught by professional agronomists from local institutions like SENA (the National training Service). He has also attended workshops sponsored by the United Nations and those run at the producers’ association to which he belongs.
Finca La Morelia is located in the Huila region, one of the most well-known coffee growing areas located in the southwest of Colombia.
Along with Cauca and Nariño, Huila is one the three departments where the Colombian Massif is located. A massif is a group of mountain ranges, and the Colombian Massif, which is known locally as Nudo de Almaguer, provides up to 70% of safe drinking and agricultural water for the Colombian population.
The Magdalena River, the Colombia’s largest river, runs through the region, providing plenty of water for coffee farming and generating (directly and indirectly) up to 86% of Colombia GDP. The mountain range also features the fertile volcanic soil so typical to the Andean Mountains.
Miller Walles’ Finca La Morelia runs mostly on family labor but they hire day laborers during harvest to help them pick cherry at the perfect time. To encourage laborers to pick only the ripest cherry, Miller Walles pays his workers an average of 1,000 pesos more per unit of cherry picked than most farms in the area.
Miller Walles floats all cherry at his wet mill and removes any damaged or unripe cherry. Once sorted, cherry is pulped and laid to dry for approximately 20 days.
MILLER WALLES CRUZ
(FINCA LA MORELIA)
SYRUPY & DENSE
BLACKBERRY & GRAPE
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