We Should Learn to Grow Coffee in America
We’ve learned to grow wine grapes in the U.S., so why not coffee? Only two states, Hawaii and California, grow coffee currently, but surely there are slopes in the Smokies where coffee bushes would thrive. And at moist Pacific Northwest elevations. After all, the tropics are moving north at a great clip and coffee-friendly biomes should be opening up fairly soon in the U.S.
With a little directed science, could new coffee growing regions could be established across North America? In areas distant enough from coffee leaf rust, a leaf-killing fungus, Hemileia vastatrix, to remain uninfected? The rust turns the leaves yellow and photosynthesis stops. Of course, the coffee “cherries” can’t grow, or the seeds inside. Especially those seeds dried and roasted to produce Arabica beans.
So how would soon-to-be American coffee growers explore that business? Well, they’d need some directed science. What temperatures and atmospheric pressures do coffee bushes and Robusta trees like? What sorts of mountain slope soils? Preferred PH? How much rain, and when? Do they like morning light from the east, or afternoon light from the west, or does it matter much to them as long as they get enough sun? And the big question: is there enough sun in the first place, so far north of the equator?
What about greenhouses?
If were a wealthy coffee drinker, I’d invest in that research, just to find out.