Trip report by Lee Yuat Wah
There were 40 participants, 15 MNS members and 25 non MNS members taking part of this field trip held on 20th Feb 2011 (Sunday). All were adults except 2 children from Edward Yoong. The oldest participant was 79 years old while the youngest was about 5 years old. All of us were traveling from Ipoh to Chenderiang in 12 different cars.
The name of this organic farm is Hebron. It is run by a community of Chinese with Christianity faith. The manager of this farm Mr.Tan could speak English and Mandarin well. He gave us a short briefing before he took us to the actual farm which is on a gentle slope near the foot hill. In the farm, there are fishing ponds, organic chicken farm, soya bean making kicap corner, nutritious herbs, organic fruit trees like papaya, bananas, passion fruit, lemon, avocados , durians and other organic vegetables – brinjals, long beans ,bitter gourds ,4 angled beans, chillies, groundnuts and a great varieties of organic plants. Most of the crops are mostly mono-cultivated. They grow as many types of crops as possible in a single block of, land so that each type of crop can be self-sustainable. Each crop can grow on its own without much attack of the insects or pests. To prevent the crops been eaten by insects, mints, spices, lemon grass and other scented plants are grown amongst the crops. All the crops grown here are fertilized with their farm self- produced compost. They are organic fertilizer which is made up of palm oil husk, charcoal, EM (Effective MIcro-organism ) liquid and dung.
This farm has a self-made solar panel drier for preserving harvested crops. The drier looks like a village wooden toilet but it is very useful and cheap in maintenance. It has a number of shelves inside ,lining from the top to the bottom of this drying toilet-like hut. Hot air is driven from the back of the hut with the help of a fan and the solar panel.
After seeing the organic crops at the base of the foot hill, we had to walk up the hill with steep slope for 40 minutes before reaching the second part of the Hebron organic farm which is at the summit of the hill.
The central part of the hill is not owned by Hebron. Few of the participants had to take the farm jeep to get to the top of the farm. However. most of us enjoyed the walk to the summit, because we sweated and finally could reach the summit where the community hall is situated. The surrounding area of this quiet and cooling part of community gathering place is grown with a lot of huge evergreen eucalyptus trees (like the Australian gum trees) and durian trees. Standing at the side of the community hall, we could see the evergreen forests below our feetl and far away. The minute vehicles moving along on the highway and some of the developed housing areas were clearly seen . We felt that we were on the top of the world. Over there ,we had a slide show on the produce which was similar to one of the organic farms in Taiwan.
At 12.30pm , we had a delicious lunch with all the organic food from the farm at the shed near the community hall. We had good herbal drinks after lunch too. Anyway, we walked down hill again to the base of the hill after lunch. By the time I reached the base of the hill , some of the participants had gone into the Organic farm’s store where a lot of organic manufactured products were displayed for sale.
We left this farm at 1.30pm. Most of us bought a lot of organic fresh food and manufactured products. The participants enjoyed this field trip and most of them are looking forward for another trip.