Congratulations, you’ve successfully gone off the grid. Of all the things you’re not going to miss from your old life, it’s most definitely going to be the daily grind. On the other hand, one thing that a lot of you are indeed going to miss? Coffee.
Whether it came in the form of you taking a quick stroll to your favorite cafe you used to go to before and after work and treating yourself to a little cup of heaven, or in making it at home as you pour that liquid goodness straight from one of the pour-over coffee makers from Little Coffee Place, coffee has always been one of the most popular drinks in the world and we all know why — it’s just that good.
But fret not, living off-grid doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have your cup of joe. While it’s true that there are little to no coffee plantations in North America, it’s actually quite possible to grow your own coffee right in your backyard. But before we even begin, we need to know exactly what we’re getting ourselves into.
What Exactly is Coffee?
There are over 60 variants of coffee. And while it’s not common knowledge, coffee is actually a tree that is cultivated to grow between 3 to 4 feet. However, if left alone, coffee trees have been known to grow up to 40 feet. The trees are kept at manageable heights for ease of berry picking as well as having abundant fruit.
Now for the part that you actually directly interact with — the coffee bean. The coffee bean is found within the coffee berry, which is picked from the coffee tree. The bean is surrounded by pulp, which is also edible. Once the pulp is removed, the coffee bean is exposed.
Coffee beans are extracted from the berry through by de-pulping, washing, and drying, which can take 3 to 5 days depending on whether you’re drying the beans directly under the sun or in the shade. The green seeds — or beans — are then either shipped off to be sold, or roasted and ground for consumption.
How Do I Grow It Easily?
First off, you need to purchase a seedling. This is because germinating a seed takes several months to achieve. Coffee plants are available in most grocery stores as well as online. At this point, it’s a matter of taking care of your coffee plant the way that you would any other plant, save for a few things to take note of, such as:
- Temperature – should be between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit
- Sunlight – filtered sunlight is optimal (beneath tree canopies are ideal, if outdoors)
- Water Intake – use warm water and sprinkle from the top until water seeps from the bottom of the pot
- Fertilizers – use a soluble 10-10-10 fertilizer judiciously
And well, that’s about it. With regular care, you should be sipping your home-grown coffee in your off-grid backyard after about 75 days.