The coffee industry in Nicaragua has underdone periods of turmoil that have hindered the development of the speciality sector in the country. Many experienced coffee farmers fled during the years under Sandinista rule of the late 1970s to the 1990s. When the political scene changed these farmers returned and not long after Nicaragua started to produce some good coffee. Ripe cherries are handpicked and sorted between December and March. There is a wet mill on the farm where the ripe red cherry is deposited and weighed from each picker. The cherries then enter floatation tanks where ripes and unripes are separated by density. Ripe dense cherries are then pulped to remove the skin leaving the sticky beans to be fermented for between 14 and 18 hours before being washed in channels. The washed beans are then taken to the drying patios at the nearby mill of San Ignacio where they are regularly turned by rake to ensure good, even drying. The overall drying process will take around 10 to 12 days.