Coffee Waste Good for Soil

From Epoch Times.

An excerpt.

“Researchers have witnessed incredible results after dumping 30 truckloads of coffee pulp, a waste product of the coffee industry, onto an area of degraded former farmland in Costa Rica. Marking out a control area of a similar size, they were astounded by the change over the next two years.

“Dr. Rebecca Cole, lead author of the study—which was published in the British Ecological Society journal Ecological Solutions and Evidence—described the change as “dramatic.”

“The area treated with a thick layer of coffee pulp turned into a small forest in only two years,” Cole said, according to a press release, “while the control plot remained dominated by nonnative pasture grasses.”

“In 2018, researchers from ETH-Zurich and the University of Hawai’i covered a 35-by-40-meter area on a former coffee farm in Coto Brus county, southern Costa Rica, which had undergone rapid deforestation in the 1950s, with a half-meter thick layer of the coffee pulp as part of an experiment in regeneration.

“Nutrients in the pulp—a byproduct of separating the coffee bean from the cherry—including carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous, elevated the quality of the soil stripped bare by extensive farming.

“Through analyzing soil samples, recording species present and the growth of new saplings, and using drones to monitor canopy cover, the team was able to observe significant changes.

“By early 2021, the coffee pulp had eradicated the invasive pasture grasses that were preventing native tree species—propagated by wind and animals—from taking root and thriving. The treated land had generated an 80-percent canopy cover.

“By comparison, the control area had only generated a 20-percent canopy cover and only a quarter of the height. Nonnative grasses still dominated.

“The study’s findings state that coffee pulp can help speed up tropical forest recovery on former agricultural land.”

Retrieved May 21, 2021 from Researchers Dump Tons of Coffee Waste Onto Degraded Land, 2 Years Later It’s Transformed (

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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