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Creating a Food Forest at Kulkul Farm Bali

Chapter 3: 
Ubud Bali – Implementing & Agroforestry Workshop

The Kulkul Farm already welcomed us in the beginning of June for an unforgettable delicious lunch and a tour around their permaculture garden. We were more than happy to come back to this peaceful place which serves as a role model and educational centre for sustainable living. But this time, we did not come as visitors, but as facilitators of an Agroforestry Workshop integrated in their Permaculture Design Course (PDC).

When we arrived, these PDC students were listening carefully to Nick Ritar, co-director of the regenerative education company Milkwood, who was leading the course together with Orin Hardy, the owner and manager, and therewith the centre, heart and core of the Kulkul Farm.

Cutting trees to create a base for life

As soon as Orin passed his tools to our hands, we had the permission to pull down a small food forest which was in urgent need of an update. We started to cut the young trees, to root out the grasses and together with the gardeners we ploughed up the ground. We kept everything! Everything could serve as organic matter to nourish the soil for the upcoming Agroforestry system which we intended to implement together with the PDC participants. Organic matter included the banana trees. Spilling over of water, they cooled down our sore hands when we chopped them down. After sunset, we finished the final long six rows with headlights and went to bed in our cozy bamboo yurt, exhausted but with a big smile.

Listen to nature from day two.

The next day, after an incredible breakfast with a good portion of fresh papaya and dragon fruit, topped with self-made granola, rosella jam and peanut butter, the last preparations were done in a few hours. We could not wait to bring the curious PDC group to our site who apparently could not wait to get active and to push the seeds down into the ground. But nature needs time, it requires patience, open ears and eyes. Nature is our greatest master on this planet and if we observe carefully, nature will tell us what to do. Nature teaches how a banana tree wants to be planted to climb up stronger and faster. It shows us how to use organic matter to keep the water in the soil and how to activate a certain communication system, telling the plant to first focus on the establishment of its root system.

The PDC students were surprised watching us planting a banana stem upside down, cutting the leaves of a young pomelo seedling and covering the ground with banana leaves. The PDC participants understood that there is still much too learn, but also that we were able to plant a little food forest in only a few hours which can provide us soon with a high variety of delicious fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Standing hand in hand around the field, we felt the power of new life in our centre. We felt gratitude towards the seeds, the water, the soil and everybody around us making all this possible together as a community. We felt the power of us as human beings in nature, as ecosystem engineers who are able to create abundance – as long as we respect mother earth, its rhythm, its melody, its natural cycle and live in its continuous flow of harmony and mutuality.

Food and feedback

The hard work was rewarded with a vegetarian version of the Indonesian speciality Rendang, meaning jackfruit in a coconut milk sauce with a perfect mix of ginger, galangal, lemongrass and turmeric leaves. Happy and with full bellies, we came together in the Kulkul bamboo living room, where we presented ReNature and the project in a sand bag and popcorn atmosphere.

Opening the question round, we realized that we could talk another five days and nights about Agroforestry, the system, its techniques and benefits. It was a challenge to break down its complexity in an afternoon workshop, but the feedback made clear: It was worth it! The group was inspired and motivated to create their own food forest and more, they could not wait to support us on our journey of a global transition towards Agroforestry.

Happy Kulkul Farm Bali

Previous journal chapter: reNature seeds in Java and Sulawesi

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Only 4 months later…

Watch the regenerative power of nature. Only four months later the land looks green with produce and really for the next season.