Rachel Samuel and Adam Overton started out making a documentary about coffee and ended up creating their own coffee farm, Gesha Village. They leased the land from the Ethiopian government but broke ground — planting wild seeds harvested from the Gori Gesha forest — only after receiving permission from the Meanit Shasha Woreda people and their two chiefs. Initially, the Meanit people blessed the project but declined the invitation to participate on the farm. Eventually, however, after observing and growing intrigued, they joined in and today benefit mutually.
Key to Gesha Village is a respect for the local ecosystem and the Meanit community, which lead to the founding of the Gesha Village Foundation in 2013. For two nearby schools, it has built bathrooms, provided supplies and furniture, given awards and helped to nurture a new investment in education within the community.
The farm is home to more than 30,000 native shade trees and 700,000 coffee trees, at least half of which are descended from the Gori Gesha forest seeds.