The place that cheers

Robusta have long leaves, they take care of themselves, fetch a lower price, and they live long; Arabica have smaller leaves, they need to be fussed after, and enjoy a high price; the Kaveri are somewhat like Arabica, but I didn’t register their value. In the plantation which we saw Sunday morning, pepper creepers have died of wilt, their leaves and stems have dried-up, and their pepper-pods, small and tight and together, are green but useless. Vanilla that held so much promise—last year they even grew them on their terraces—has collapsed on the market. The jolly planter of the estate we saw Sunday afternoon has grown mostly Arabica, whose low-hanging branches are enmeshed tree to tree so that the ground below them is in darkness—a short vast canopy you have to bend to see—and as a happy consequence the earth there is free from weed—proof of vintage of his estate. The first plantation we saw—on Saturday—has too many silver oaks putting too much shade on coffee and the planter was going to cut down five-hundred heaven-bound trees. The slopes in each plantation plunge to give it its own lake, and the lakes are full of green water from underground springs. The biggest lake of them sprawls two acres and is twenty feet deep. They leave the lakes alone, taking only water from them. I thought out loud that I'd have a study by the lake if I owned a plantation, but the planter with me didn't quite like the idea. He mentioned water-snakes, among other things. The plantations look out at standing layers of hills, green rolling mounds in front, hills behind them, and then very tall hills which are blue, shadowy, and mixed up with the clouds. All that fresh air lightened our spirits, and today on Monday, at work, we are warm and cheered by the coffee plantations, happy to have gone there, happy to be back here.

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