Just say it:  “Root.”

The word “root” in English is a hearty word, isn’t it?  Strong in its long “o” vowel sound, even stronger as a single-syllable word ending in a “t.”  Just saying it ~  root root root! ~ gives you a sense of what it means, the depth it conveys.

How a root appears and grows depends on many factors, not just the plant form.  Roots conform to the availability of water and nutrients and to the physical properties of soil.  It makes sense that the deepest roots are generally found in deserts and the shallowest in tundra.  The deepest observed living root, once found in an open-pit mine in Arizona, stretched over 196 feet below the surface of the ground.  Other records have been made in the Kalahari Desert (where the root of a Shepherd’s Tree was found to have reached 223 feet below ground level) and on the high Colorado Plateau (where a Juniper root reached a depth of 200 feet).

Growing as they do in temperate zones, the roots of coffee trees naturally do not stretch so far.  Generally they reach no further than 70 feet below ground.  But despite their relatively average size, coffee roots are no less miraculous than any others.  Not only do they absorb water and nutrients and anchor a coffee tree to the ground, but they represent vast storehouses of nutrients and prevent soil erosion.  To be thick and strong, coffee roots need an abundance of nitrogen, calcium, and magnesium, which they absorb through feeder roots found in the top 20 centimeters of the soil.

We here at Parks Coffee like the thought of roots.  Our business depends on countless unseen tendrils, reaching deep into the earth from Costa Rica to Kenya ~ and beyond!  And it depends on roots of a different sort, too:  those of the heart.  The roots of family.  Of endless hours of hard work.  Of dreams.

James Engel, now our Vice President of New Business and Vending, was with Randy Parks from the earliest years of his business, and he recalls Randy saying:  “People don’t go out of business; they just give up.”  Now the roots of Parks Coffee go back 25 years, and the next generation of the Parks family is an active part of the business.  We know 25 years isn’t as long as the life-span of the oldest-living tree (supposedly a Conifer found in Sweden, with a root system dating back 9,550 years), but it’s still quite an accomplishment in OCS business!

So today we celebrate roots.

“Root.”  “Root.”  ROOTS.