Arthur McGowan’s Story
Arthur and his ten siblings grew up in the Jamaica Blue Mountains with both parents where the main source of income for the family was farming. During the holidays and sometimes on weekends when school was out Arthur would assist his father on his farm. While in his final years at Trench Town Comprehensive High School, Arthur learned to play the Steel Pan from the school band. After high school he continued his journey as a professional bass player for the Caribbean Regal Steel Band.
In 1997, one year after his father died, he decided it was time it was time to seek a more stable and profitable career. With the availability of Land Water, the little farming knowledge he learned from his father, and a little savings from playing music Arthur decided to begin coffee farming.
While his first efforts at farming were less than encouraging, he did some research and decided a small irrigation system was necessary if the seedling were to thrive. As time went by Arthur nurtured and watched his seedlings gradually grow and mature into robust trees, yielding ripe, edible coffee berries.
Over time Arthur cleared more land, planted more coffee, and expanded his business. Unfortunately, a neighbor’s fire got out of control and destroyed all three acres of seedlings. Even though this was a horrendous experience it proved to be a valuable lesson.
Arthur meditated deeply on his dream to own a successful business, and his unwavering passion for coffee burned even brighter. He replanted all three acres and more, ultimately achieving more than 22 acres of rich Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. Determination, ingenuity, and hard work are the epitome of Arthur's character. He possesses more than 15 years of experience growing and manufacturing coffee in his playground, the Jamaica Blue Mountains.
From his tranquil farm more than 4000 feet above sea level deep in the Jamaica Blue Mountains (considered his office) Arthur ensures that the best quality coffee is brought to harvest. Each batch of coffee reaped from the farm is pulped, hand-washed, and then placed on a barbecue to air dry. From developing a unique method of cultivation and a new approach to land, people, music, and culture, Arthur's vision is to spearhead new development in the industry and ensure stakeholder satisfaction. After becoming frustrated with trade practices, Arthur acquired a license from the CIB to trade Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee.
Blue Mountain Coffee, Inc. is proud to have partnered with Arthur to purchase two 60 kg bags of JBM green coffee, paying a premium to enable his farm to be sustainable. Arthur is a dedicated father and farmer who is well respected by his peers. Arthur leads the RIDDIM STEEL BAND though sets of real Jamaican folk songs and hits of today.
Featured Farmer: Edgar Edwards - Edgar Edwards was born1944 in the district of New Rumble in the Parish of St. Andrew. After leaving school at age 13, he went with his mother in the nearby community called Westphalia to farm on the Straw Berry Hill’s property. Edgar soon learned the skills of farming and decided to have his own farm on which he farmed cash crops. The income from this work was minimal, so he decided to seek additional employment. He went to work with the Forestry Department and later the Coffee Industry Board as a laborer. He worked with the Coffee Industry Board for over ten years.
My Journey to Clifton Mount Coffee Estate, Jan 21st, 2013 - At the invitation of David Levy, the US agent for Clifton Mount Coffee Estate, I recently took a trip to Jamaica. These are a few reflections of my trip.
Featured Farmer: Hearon Millwood - This month we want you to meet Mr. Hearon Millwood who has been supplying beans to M.B.C.F. since 1996. Millwood was born in the district of Clifton Hill in the Parish of Portland, which is located with the lush Blue Mountain range. He migrated from Portland to St Andrew to a farming district called Hall’s Delight, which is also located in the Blue Mountain range. There he found employment with the Coffee Industry Board as a laborer where he learned the art of coffee cultivation.
Edgar Munn Recognized for Providing Authentic Jamaican Coffee at Affordable Prices - Edgar Munn, President of Blue Mountain Coffee, Inc., recently met with Roger Clarke, Jamaican Agricultural Minister and Senator Norman Grant, one of Jamaica's internationally-certified coffee tasters to discuss the company's great strides in adding value to the coffee agriculture business.