THIS beautiful Monarch Butterfly is part of the 2010 “Super Generation” that will have made (or attempted to make) the 2500+ mile journey from St. Joseph Island and other parts of Eastern Canada to the Central Highlands of Mexico. These 60 million to one billion Monarch Butterflies will spend their winter hibernation clustered in small areas of the Reserva de la Biosfera Mariposa Monarca (Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve), a national protected area and nature preserve that covers more than 200-square-miles.
Though this Reserve is about a 650 km drive north and west from MICHIZA Coffee Cooperative in Oaxaca, we decided it was close enough to make a connection between our little island in Ontario and the coffee growing country of Mexico. “Think globally, act locally“.
Our Butterfly Story
We found the very hungry caterpillar (that this Monarch butterfly once was) munching on milkweed near our vegetable garden. Somebody gave us a special tent for us keep the caterpillar in so our family could experience the amazing transformation. We added several milkweed leaves and some wet paper towel and watched for over a week as the caterpillar ate and ate until one morning when we got up the caterpillar was hanging from the netted ceiling of the tent in a beautiful green chrysalis. Eventually the chrysalis got darker and darker until it looked black. We were worried that it had died, but then we saw that the black we saw was actually the black from the wings of the butterfly all scrunched up inside that tiny little space of the chrysalis, which was now clear.
Fast Facts on MICHIZA* ~from Cooperative Coffees
*The name MICHIZA is an abbreviation of these five indigenous groups across the State of OAXACA: Mixtecos, Chinantecos, Chatinos, Cuicatecos and Zapotecos.
- Comprised of 1030 members
- Founded in 1985
- Represent 1% of Oaxaca Coffee Farmers
- Certifications: Organic, FLO, SPP
- Varietals: Arabica: Typica Caturra
- Geographic Region: Oaxaca, Mexico
- Altitude: 900-1800 metres above sea level
- First international exports in 1989
- Present in 43 community
- Quality Profile: Soft acidity, medium body, vanilla, cocoa and nut flavours
- Crop diversification: oranges, corn, beans and sugar cane