It was the week the farm received a new solar system! This is another step forward towards using renewable energy source that is sustainable and inexhaustible (where budget permits) to the farm. The Orang Asli farmers were keen to learn how to install the new system, and they did with guidance! Although the solar system does not currently power the entire farm, it triggers the farmers as to what alternate, sustainable, renewable energy is.
A new cycle begins in the farm – bottle gourds! Those who have been buying from the farm since July 2016 would remember our bottle gourds. They were something many of us did not know how to cook initially, but once tried, many simply loved the crunchy texture of the bottle gourds. Due to abundant bottle gourds yield from the farm – we had once 400kg bottle gourds in one week (!) – many of us experimented cooking with bottle gourds and came out with some brilliant recipes.
The bottle gourds are very versatile. They can be:
- stir-fried with garlics or with added dried shrimps (udang kering),
- cooked “yong tau foo style” with fish paste,
- steamed as bottle gourd boats or bowls with fillings you fancy,
- made into Thai style salad (raw),
- juiced with ambra – refreshing!
- boiled as soup; they taste a bit like the Chinese old cucumber,
- cooked as curried dishes.
Back by popular demand, the bottle gourds are coming our way again! This is one farm produce we highly recommend!
Look out too for another cycle of pumpkins. If you liked the mini sweet pumpkins, you probably would like the the new pumpkin variety available. The pumpkins are seasonal so enjoy them while they last!
We are sowing, investing and partnering in the dream of the Orang Asli to be self-sustaining professional farmers. 18 months since this community farm started, our newbies are gaining grounds.
Harvest is on the increase – from 55kgs on Monday to 75kgs on Wednesday and to 90kgs on Friday! These are the total yield from okra, pumpkins, bitter gourds, long beans, sweet potato leaves, four angle beans, sweet corns, etc. The first batch of the greenhouse leafy vegetables will be harvested in the coming week!
The Orang Asli farmers’ confidence increases this past week in tandem with the increase in harvest! We see hope in their eyes and happiness on their faces. They certainly appear to be walking taller too.
Skills in multi-tasking and planning ahead are developing with greater efficacy. The farmers could now, with some coaching, balance plant care, vegetable fruit care, pest control and future crop planning. This is a laudable achievement as pre-planning of future crop planting schedules is not easy. Great to see them connecting continuity in planting and harvesting with maximization of production!
The farmers also continue to problem-solve issues with irrigation at the farm, a constant source of their worries. Tubes and fittings are being assembled for a new drip irrigation system. Hopefully, they will make headway with the irrigation system.
On a side note, the wild boars are gaining grounds too! They went for the sweet potatoes a couple of months ago, and they gunned down our yummy sweet corns. They skilfully broke through the fencing and feasted on 10-15 corn plants! Netting is repaired and a night guard is now on duty on the farm.
It was a week of new realms.
Our Orang Asli farmers hosted two young indigenous Penan men from Sarawak for five days. The two young men were eager to learn our organic farming concept and methods for they wish to be trainers in the future to empower their fellow natives to be professional farmers with sustainable income. Errol, our organic consultant, was there to coach the Penan visitors. The OA farmers were happy too to share their knowledge and experiences. You could see they love the idea of being possible catalyst of natural farming!
It was also a week the farm saw new types of fruit and root vegetables. The farmers were ecstatic to harvest new sweet mini pumpkins and daikon (white radish). And they are certainly looking forward to harvesting new leafy vegetables from the greenhouse, and fruits such as sour sops and bananas, just to name a few, in the coming weeks!
So, look out for our tri-weekly announcements at https://www.facebook.com/OA-Organics-1262587073835222/?notif_t=page_fan¬if_id=1490795328666294 or check out directly from http://www.oaorganics.my/. Fruits are seasonal and usually limited in quantity.
Exciting news at the farm this week and ahead!
The orang asli farmers harvested the first batch of leafy vegetables planted in the greenhouse built by Gamuda Berhad! There were green Pak Choy and Choy Sum in that batch. They are beaming with pride for successfully growing leafy greens in their greenhouse!
The lady farmers especially enjoyed the harvesting experience. They said it was like going shopping in the greenhouse to pick vegetables for sale!
For those who love brinjals and petola, expect them your way soon! Harvesting of brinjals has begun, and petolas are starting to fruit. With these, we now will have more varieties from the farm.
For those who are adventurous vegetable eaters, the OA farmers want to take us on a journey of enjoying their everyday vegetables either foraged from the jungle or grown in their village. You will now occasionally see in the list of vegetable on sales items such as young fresh bamboo shoots, ulam raja, umbut pokok bayas and pucuk paku, just to name a few. So, do keep an eye out for these!
OA Organics is People-oriented and Planet-friendly.
People-oriented – the consumers, the farmers
OA Organics believes in eating healthily and strives to make farm produce affordable for all, through direct purchase from the farm. We aim to provide buyers:
- Choices – you choose what you like to buy from the available range, and which day and place to get your orders. Order online at http://oaorganics.my
- Fresh produce – vegetables are harvested Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and you get your orders the following day.
- Variety – you get to experience seasonal vegetables and fruits, and local asli produce not typically found in urban markets.
The Orang Asli farmers’ development is also very important. We sow into their dreams to be skilled farmers with a sustainable income to improve their livelihoods. The farmers are provided with training in technical knowledge, farm management, business development, and communication skills to articulate their thoughts and feelings.
We journey with them, celebrate their success and cheer them on when they fail. Contact us if you wish to volunteer with OA Organics and invest in the farmers’ dream and hope.
Planet-friendly – natural farming method, no harmful chemical
OA Organics believes in conserving the planet. Natural farming method is used and harmful chemical is a NO, NO. Check out our earlier blogs to find out more.