Luzmila González

Farm: El Oasis & El Recreo / Origin: Gaitania, Tolima.

Doña Luzmila is a dedicated first-generation coffee farmer and has been producing coffee since 2008 with the support of her husband Eider. Luzmila owns two farms in Gaitania, Tolima. The first is El Oasis which is 10 hectares in size and located at 1750 m.a.s.l. The second is El Recreo which is 4 hectares in size and is located at 1600 m.a.s.l. Luzmila produces mainly traditional Colombian varieties on her coffee farms such as Castillo, Caturra, Colombia, and Typica. In addition to coffee, she also grows beans and fruit trees such as mandarin.

Luzmila was raised in the rush of the big city but ever since she was a young girl, she dreamed of living on a farm, growing her own food and caring for the land. After traveling and working in various parts of Colombia with her husband, they decided to settle down in Tolima and join the local coffee-growing community there.

El Oasis was the first farm she was able to afford with the help of a loan from the bank. Doña Luzmila was new to growing coffee and relied heavily on the support of her neighbors to help guide her on how to nurture coffee trees and produce great coffee.

It took around four years of learning and overcoming challenges before Luzmila felt proud of the coffees she was producing. She then made the shift towards organic practices and 8 years after establishing El Oasis she was able to gain Organic certification.

Luzmila tells us that one of the greatest challenges comes at harvest time when finding labor to help pick the ripe cherries can be very difficult. Luckie, they live in a tight-knit community of coffee growers that help each other to harvest cherries and transport them to the associations.

Luzmila participates in local coffee competitions and her coffee is always among the finalist. In addition to growing coffee, she has another family run business that they operate in the local town which sells clothes and beauty products. Luzmila and her husband have four children, 2 boys and two girls. The children love to help out on the farm with their parents in their spare time. The family cherish spending time together around the dinner table and enjoying each other’s company.