The past few days I’ve been hunkered in the La-Z-Boy, trying to nap away a bit of a bug… and when napping wouldn’t happen and reading made my head hurt I flipped on the idiot box. In the course of my channel surfing — mostly between National Geographic, FoodTV and Discovery, (hundreds of channels and I watch, what… three?) — I happened upon a series called Dirty Jobs. And I couldn’t look away…

In this show, the host — Mike Rowe — does, well… dirty jobs. Icky jobs. Nasty jobs. Or as Discovery says:

Our brave host and apprentice Mike Rowe will introduce you to a hardworking group of men and women who overcome fear, danger and sometimes stench and overall ickiness to accomplish their daily tasks. Not one to just stand by, each week, Rowe will assume the duties of the jobs he’s profiling, working alongside rattlesnake catchers, fish processors, bee removers, septic-tank technicians and other professionals: average folks tackling extraordinary tasks that simply must get done.

In this particular episode the adventures ranged from nursing sick sea-lions to wrangling ostriches (nasty mean critters they are, too… just dinosaurs with feathers) to — and here’s the relevant part — working on a coffee farm. Now given the show’s format, a fair amount of air-time was given to the fertilizing part of the coffee growing process, and that means working with a lot of compost, a fair amount of manure, and a heaping pile of fermenting coffee cherry skins (which have a pretty amazing aroma, let me tell ya.) Just the same, the show also did a fairly spiffy job of walking through the many steps involved in processing coffee: picking, sorting, washing, pulping, fermenting, washing (again), drying, milling and roasting.

Dirty Jobs… look for the Ostrich Farmer episode.


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