Friday, September 22, 2017

A Visit To An Organic Farm And An Attempt At Organic Produce Trade

Happy Hijriyah New Year, if you're celebrating, that is.

One of the New Year's resolutions that has been returning in my list then and now is eating healthy. Let's see if I can do better on this in the current year.

In my previous workplace, I had colleagues who were into organic vegetable and other hipster foods. They sort of influenced me to join the eating healthy movement. But organic vegetables cost a lot, so we would scour Lotte supermarket to find discounted produces and set a weekly meal plan. 

One day, one of them posted a photo in Instagram about an online marketplace for organic produce called kecipir.com. I was intrigued so I placed an order to see how it went. The shopping procedure is pretty easy: (1) log in to the web, (2) choose the agent's location to pick up the produce, (3) start shopping, (4) check out and choose payment method, either greencash (a kind of virtual account) or bank transfer (only for BCA or Bank Mandiri, at the moment), (5) then a few days later, a driver will deliver those produces to the chosen agents and customers can choose to pick up the produces themselves or requested the produces to be sent by GrabExpress.

On the first order experience, the driver delivered the produces to my house because the agent I chose had moved out of the area. The driver then suggested that I became an agent because they still need more agents. I thought: why not? So I registered at the web and received the invitation to their farm for agent induction. The visit took place last month, I've just got the time to wrap things up.

The farm is located in Bogor area. The new agent candidates met up with the driver in Cilandak Town Square (Citos) at 7.30 a.m. and we headed together to the farm. As a Bekasi resident, I had to leave home at 5.30 a.m. to reach Citos. 

In the farm, the guys told us how they started the business that started as a way to help local organic farmers getting a fair price and how we could help contribute to the cause. They also explained the benefit of consuming organic produces for your health. Then we had a tour around to see how they worked in the farm.

A partial aerial view of the farm. 

First stop: the nursery

They wrap the seedlings in banana leaves to reduce the usage of plastic polybags. They just bury the whole package into the soil because the leaves will disintegrate with nature.

A variety of seeds.

They told us how they got the seeds from the plants and the fruits. It sounded easy that I made a mental note to try the tips at home.


They explained that to reduce pest problems, they planted the plants that produce fruit and spices side by side. Also, they don't use chemical fertilizer, they make it themselves.

The bio slurry area


They feed the goats with the organic produce, then use the poo for biogas.

They also showed the farm-scale biogas plant, made from the goats' poo. They invested Rp 20 million to build the system, but once it has run, they no longer need to buy gas for the kitchen activity. Oh dear, I really can't run away from all these renewable energy and climate change thingy.

Then they allowed us to harvest cherry tomatoes and eggplants. They also encouraged us to eat the tomatoes directly because organic fruits are safe to consume, just a little dirt and dust won't give you stomachache.



Kecipir, or winged bean, or Psophocarpus tetragonolobus

Eggplant

Cherry tomatoes

Oyong, or angled gourd, or Luffa acutangula


I'm the girl with the biggest smile and holding the biggest eggplant (ha!).

If you're living in West Bekasi and need organic produces, just look up for an agent in the Bintara Jaya area, that person will be me hehehe. I will most likely post my attempts at cooking organic vegetables in the future, so stay tune :).

All photos with me in the frames are from kecipir.com, the rest are mine. Please credit accordingly.

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