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Coffee Farm

Dancing and Celebrating

Do you ever get the feeling that you just don’t know how to celebrate well? Do you wonder what you’re missing out on? Watching some of the workers dance at a recent coffee farm celebration made me acutely aware that celebration is something I do poorly if I do it at all.

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Taking time out of the routine to celebrate the good things in our lives will help us cope when the bad things come. Dancing–psychically moving–to celebrate does more than increase your energy. It can increase your ability to handle setbacks and can enhance an optimistic outlook on life. Look for things to celebrate and then get out of your chair and dance!

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/imperfect-spirituality/201512/why-you-should-celebrate-everything

 

We’re back home..

Traveling half-way around the world is not to be viewed lightly. It takes time, effort and energy. The rewards from traveling half-way around the world, however, make the time, effort and energy well worthwhile. I was privileged to visit the Wambabya coffee farm and be part of Jessca’s celebration. I know that the workers on the coffee farm are hard-working and dedicated to growing great coffee. I learned that our coffee workers are also caring, energetic and lots of fun.

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The CEED business manager, Herbert Asiimwe, planned a terrific party to celebrate Jessca’s 17 years of work with the Ugandan Gold Coffee farm as the farm manager. There was music (with a DJ!), a fantastic lunch, singing and dancing and a few speeches that were testimony to Jessca’s hard work and devotion.

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I also got my first taste of obushera–a local drink made with millet and many other ingredients. Jessca’s obushera is famous.

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Traveling half-way around the world is arduous and time-consuming, yet the people we meet and the time we spend with them will be remembered for a lifetime.

We asked Worth Helms, one of the founding members of Ugandan Gold Coffee, to write about his involvement in Ugandan Gold Coffee and his takeaways from the journey of founding to retiring. Here is his story:

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“I’ve been involved with the coffee farm of Ugandan Gold since its planting in 2000. By 2002 we had 37.5 acres planted, but in May 2002, the board of directors was distraught because we did not have money to buy mulch in preparation for the dry season to retain moisture for the young trees. We prayed for money but none came.  We were beating ourselves up pretty badly, until one day we received a call from our farm manager that a miracle had taken place. ‘What’s the miracle?’, we asked.

‘Well, in Uganda, as in most third world countries, they burn land off before plowing. It’s a quick way to clear the land, and tilling the burned residue underground enriches it with carbon.’ He continued, ‘A farmer two miles from the coffee farm needed to plow 2 acres, so he started a fire to burn it off before plowing. A fifty mile an hour wind sprang up and blew the fire all the way to the coffee farm. But because there was no mulch for the fire to feed on, we did not lose one of our 15,000 coffee trees.’ 

We were stunned and joyful at the same time. This was one of the biggest lessons of my life. When you don’t get what you want, even if you pray for it , maybe it’s a blessing. Just keep doing the best you can.”

 The team members of Ugandan Gold Coffee have many miraculous stories like Worth’s. If you have some of your own, please tell us about them in the comment sections!

 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

 Worth has written his own book you can check out here

With the Holidays coming up,  finding gifts for everyone on the nice list can be difficult. Instead of giving your coworker Secret Santa a general coffee brand, give them a bag of Ugandan Gold Coffee. Here are three reasons why to choose social impact over anything else:

  1. 1 in 5

As we say on our mission page, “In Uganda today, one out of every five children will die 6f0c5421before their fifth birthday. Clean water, our most precious global resource, is available to less than 1% of Ugandans, and remains the primary obstacle to a healthy, productive, hope-filled life.” Every time you purchase a bag of Ugandan Gold Coffee, a portion of the proceeds go to a well-digging initiative to provide clean water to all the people of Uganda. We wrote about the importance of clean water for child development in a previous post and we are emphasizing it again – access to clean water can be life changing to a child living in a Ugandan village. A great cup of coffee changes mornings, your cup of coffee can save lives.

  1. It tastes goodbeans3

Our natural processing of the coffee beans keeps all the flavors within each bean so the cup you brew is going to the best it can be. We take extra care when picking the beans (one by one pulling them off the branch) and we sun dry the crop – turning the beans from a healthy red, to a deep brown. If you like your coffee black or almost light tan, it will be the absolute best (for an affordable price!).

  1. Social impactbeans4

This is the biggest part of our business plan. We aim for the coffee farm in Uganda to be self-sustaining, encouraging the employees to learn to stand on their own and become working members of society. Also, our well-digging initiative brings life to communities. Around each well, school desks are filled with excited kids, Bibles are cracked open in church pews, and business are filled with paying customers. The coffee is only the first part of the whole equation.

Do we have you convinced?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Ugandan Gold Farm Workers

Ugandan Gold Farm Workers with harvested beans. Photo by David Weisbrod (http://www.weisbrodimaging.com)

This past Saturday, Ugandan Gold employee Jill Whitecap gave a presentation on Ugandan Gold’s operations and philosophies at First Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh.  Apparently someone was listening, and Ugandan Gold was mentioned by Ruth Anne Dailey in an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about how giving is so important, but giving in the wrong way can be disastrous.

At Ugandan Gold Coffee, giving the people of Uganda a better standard of living has always been our focus. The need for clean water in Africa is one of the most pressing issues today. Just giving people clean water isn’t enough. We have always sought to partner with the Ugandan people so that together we can create solutions with them– creating jobs, providing training, enabling a better standard of living. This is why we sell our coffee – not only do the profits provide the ability to drill water wells, it also pays for the workers at our coffee farm, the operation of a model food farm and the workers who are drilling the wells.

It allows us to give people clean water, and to be a catalyst for changing the standard of living for so many in the region. It might be a lot easier to raise support and  purchase coffee to sell or to send teams of westerners  to drill wells.

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The Ugandan Gold drilling team in the field. Photo by David Weisbrod (http://www.weisbrodimaging.com)

It might even be cheaper. But it wouldn’t be right, and it wouldn’t truly help the Ugandan people in the end. Instead, we’re training Ugandans to drill wells.  In fact, some of our well drillers have even left our staff to start their own businesses in Uganda, and we couldn’t be happier! Ugandan Gold truly is a gift that keeps on giving.

So, we thank you for all of your support. We thank you for purchasing coffee which allows us to not only give Ugandans clean water, but to train them and equip them to change their own country. Your support allows the people of Uganda to stand on their own two feet, and to give back to their communities. It also, we hope, helps them feel their worth – both with God, in their communities, and to the world.

Thank you again, and while you’re here, click on the link below and read the article by Ruth Ann Dailey in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  It’s an excellent article on the dangers of giving incorrectly, and how charities like Ugandan Gold are doing the right thing by empowering the people with whom they work:

 

Ruth Ann Dailey: "To Give is Divine, but 'Toxic Charity’ Lurks"
Ruth Ann Dailey: “To Give is Divine, but ‘Toxic Charity’ Lurks”

It is easy to admit that Ugandan Gold Coffee is naturally good for a multitude of reasons. But what else can be done to bring out all the delicious flavors? We did a little research on the National Coffee Association (NCA) website and compiled a list of ways to make your morning pot of coffee even better:

  1. Buy it freshbeans

According to the National Coffee Association, it is extremely important to buy the coffee as fresh as possible, much like all the other produce you may buy in a grocery store. The ideal time span coffee stays fresh is one to two weeks – tops. The NCA suggests purchasing smaller bags that way you are not using one huge bag for several weeks. You can restock anytime with Ugandan Gold Coffee if it is your coffee of choice 🙂

  1. Do not reuse

For once we are encouraging you not to recycle. At least not right away. The NCA specifically notes how reusing coffee grounds removes the flavor. In fact, the more times you put the grounds through the brewing process, the more bitter it becomes. This concept goes hand in hand with the freshness – fresher grounds give you better coffee. If you do wish to recycle your grounds instead of throwing them in the garbage, you can read up on the NCA’sbeans3 suggested article about how to do it here.

  1. Surprisingly, water

The kind of water you use to brew your coffee can affect the taste, obviously. Highly chlorinated water detracts from the flavor of our Sipi Falls coffee. The amount of water you use is just as influential to the taste as the water itself. The NCA urges the “Golden Ratio”. In simple terms, for every 6 ounces of water you use, dump 2 tablespoons of ground coffee into the coffee maker. Of course, this is simply the NCA’s opinion; adding more water or coffee will change the strength of the flavor, so change it to your preference.

  1. The little ole beanbeans4

It should be no surprise that the bean, the main ingredient, is a factor in taste. The lines are blurred as to what is the “best” bean to pair with a certain type of roasting. It is all based on your preference! If you are curious, you can read all the details, but to save you from the long paragraphs, Ugandan Gold Coffee’s beans are 100% natural and offers a wide variety of options. We encourage you to do research on what level of roasting you enjoy and where your beans come from – it can mean all the difference! You can also check out what we have after glancing at the NCA’s
informational article.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9

Information derived from: www.ncausa.org/About-Coffee/How-to-Brew-Coffee

To keep it pretty short for a Monday, glance at this beautiful video of some of our coffee workers singing and dancing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0nyVtUhVCo

In the country of Uganda, dance can be a way to celebrate a social occasion, good harvest, or religious ceremony. In this video, it is in gratefulness for new cooking stoves. Happy Monday!

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

More Than Just…

Ugandan Gold Coffee is more than just coffee. Yes, the product we sell is one of high quality and affordable price, but our goal is not centered toward money. It is about the social impact we can make through providing clean water to the people of Uganda. We produced a short 30 second video depicting what our organization is more than just… Here are brief descriptions of each item in the video, followed by the video itself – enjoy!

More than just… Fair trade.

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We are proud to say our coffee farm in Uganda is close to being 100% self-sustaining. When we developed it a few years back we did not want the people working on it to be dependent on Americans. It was with the Ugandans’ best interest in mind when we showed them how to make a profit and stay steady on their own two feet.

More than just… A Business6f0c3886

The sales definitely bring in money. Our idea would not function without an operational cycle. Luckily, it is through the business model that we can provide access to clean water, and with that access churches, schools, and small shops grow. Clean water brings culture and thriving communities.

More than just… Organically Grown6f0c4156

The way we process our beans is completely natural and completely delicious. We taught the farmers how to grow efficiently so they can reap more of a crop each season to increase profits. Just as an example of how detail-oriented we are: when harvesting, our workers pick the individual beans off the coffee tree branches instead of grabbing the ripe and unripe beans together in handfuls.

More than just… Local Farmer6f0c3913
Outside of Africa, hundreds of people are involved in the growth of the coffee farm – from our social media followers to our dedicated board members. Everyone who has heard our story is touched by the power of God and feels called to make a difference.

More than just… A Community
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 As mentioned before, water wells encourage the growth of community around them. It is out of this community that Christian fellowship grows. It is through these relationships that men and women can go out into the world and share the love of Christ.

More than just coffee.

You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.
Psalm 65:9

Throwing it Back to 2014

We produced this video during a mission trip in July, 2014. The footage is effective showing the joy which clean water can bring to a whole community – and you can help! With every cup of Ugandan Gold Coffee, three hundred cups of clean water are given to a community in Uganda. What does this mean? All of our profits from selling coffee are used to fund the drilling of wells all over Uganda, giving these people in Africa a second chance at life. Check out our products on the Purchase page!

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

6f0c4355-2As a budding high school student, I never enjoyed the taste of coffee. It was bitter, made me jittery and frankly was just too expensive for my small saving account. That all changed spring semester of my first year of college when I desperately needed a pick-me-up at 11:30 at night with 2-3 more hours of studying to go. I would do the usual– dump creamer into the disposable cup filled with the hot, brown liquid until it tasted more like creamer than coffee but hey, it gave me t10524062_742487679145572_202635359_nhe kick I needed.

By the summer, I was hooked on coffee. I needed at least one cup a day to avoid the caffeine headache but I didn’t want the black stuff. I wanted the tan goodness that tasted like French Vanilla. When I started college for the second year, I was still having my coffee that way and I enjoyed it more than the average person, just never black. Next thing I know, I am a private contractor for a coffee company called Ugandan Gold and they are asking me to sell their product. But the dreaded question was asked – have you ever tried our coffee? The answer was unfortunately, “No, but I’ll give it a shot.”

My bosses arrived the next week with samples but they did not bring any creamer to dull the bitterness I always tasted (I mean, who wouldn’t bring creamer?). I didn’t want to be rude so I was obliged to taste some, very nervous of what my stomach would experience in the 3-5 minutes we all had coffee. I braced myself for impact as I took my first sip, expecting the bitterness and cowboy coffee taste. Luckily, I experienced quite the opposite. The drink was delicious. The kind of beverage that didn’t just warm up your stomach but warmed up your whole soul.

Since that first sample, I am an absolute fan. I found myself in my car on the way to market to buy my own bag (more affordable than other brands, by the way) and I am now obsessed. Every morning, my joy is my Ugandan Gold Coffee with a little creamer (sorry, I can’t help myself). There is little residue in the bottom of the cup, the consistency is always smooth, and it makes my entire being happy. It gets me through my morning classes. If I, the reluctant fan of coffee, can appreciate Ugandan Gold Coffee, you can, too.