MEET OUR FARMERS
Our Meet Our Farmers series provides a glimpse into the history, legacy and dedication of the farming families whom we partner with. When you purchase San Francisco Bay Coffee, you are joining our efforts to improve the lives of our farmers and those in their communities around the world.
June 1, 2021
Ligia Quiros Barrantes, Costa Rica
Ligia Quiros Barrantes at her farm in Naranjo, Costa Rica.
When Ligia Quiros Barrantes was born 56 years ago, she entered into a hard-working family where growing coffee on a small farm was their livelihood. The daughter of Juan Felix Quiros and Bertalia Barrantes, her parents were part of the first group of visionaries to form the Naranjo Producers Cooperative (CooproNaranjo). At that time, the province of Alajuela was experiencing the beginning of a coffee production boom, and the advantages of associating with a cooperative model were evident. Ligia would later serve that same cooperative and work to advance the benefits to farming families like hers.
The first-generation Quiros Barrantes family included nine children, and the entire family was involved in the daily work of the 37-acre farm. As the children married and started families of their own, a portion of the farm would be distributed to each of them. When Ligia married Ivan Araya, a mathematics professor at the local school, she became the beneficiary of six acres of the family’s coffee farm.
Ligia and her husband Ivan worked hard to renew and develop their tiny plot by planting new varieties and utilizing agronomic techniques to improve the land. They had three children, Esteban, Angel and Maria Isabel, who also joined the hustle and bustle of the coffee farm at a young age. It wasn’t until Ligia’s parents died 14 years ago that she assumed full management of the family farm and become involved in other projects in the Naranjo community, including active participation as a delegate on CooproNaranjo’s board of directors.
“Vibrant shades of green cover the gently sloped terrain, with lush coffee plants of all sizes meticulously planted in rows amidst mature trees and other tropical plants.”
Naranjo is a primarily agricultural town and is characterized by its exemplary models of environmental sustainability. Ligia’s small coffee farm is located in Naranjo at 4,265 feet above sea level, amongst several other family-owned farms. There are protected forests nearby, which allows one to easily observe a variety of colorful birds, small animals and a magical biodiversity. The temperate climate results in a complex flavor profile for the coffee, with fruity, balanced acidity and a pleasantly intense aroma.
Ligia with her husband Ivan surveying their trees.
Due to the demands, both Ligia and Ivan dedicate their full days to farm operation and maintenance and are rarely found inside their house. They rise early in the morning and spend the entire day managing the various tasks without the help of other employees, including harvest, fertilization and pest control. Their children also work on the farm in between academic studies and family time, ensuring the family’s tradition of producing one of the area’s finest coffees. Ligia keeps a watchful eye over everything and provides her seal of approval, verifying that everything is done on time and in a quality manner.
Because the preservation of nature in conjunction with Costa Rican coffee farming is a priority, Ligia and family are looking into increasing the number of trees on their property, to ensure the ultimate microclimate for growing coffee as well as one that is conducive to bird watching. Most of the farm is planted with Obatá, which is grown for San Francisco Bay Coffee, but additional varieties such as Catiguá MG2, San Isidro and some F1 hybrids are also being developed. Ligia hopes that the purchase price of coffee will keep up with the increasing costs of coffee production, and she is working to add direct sales to their business, which would allow them to process coffee in a more traditional and artisanal way. Ligia is very proud to honor her parents’ legacy by continuing their family’s livelihood and dedication to the production of excellent coffee.