24 July, 2010
In the mornings the view from the farm house is breathtaking. The clouds often settle in the valley below, leaving the farm perched up on the mountain, separated from civilization by a blanket of white. Across the valley, the cloud cover leaves only some mountain peaks exposed, which highlights the farm’s solitude. The farm’s apparent isolation has the effect of slowing down time, even to a stand-still, as though the entire world has been paused, or has even ceased to exist.
But in fact the farm is not as isolated as it seems. Only six kilometers away is the small village of Lenggong, which is located in the Perak State of central Malaysia. Lenggong consists of a bustling main street, a handful of convenient stores, and three banks. Ipoh is the next closest city, and is approximately 100km from here.Although it is possible to walk to Lenggong from the farm, the primary method of travelling is by 4-wheel drive or by motorbike. This involves a short dirt track down to the tar road, after which point its an easy ride.
The farm consists of two buildings: the main farm house, where we live and which is also attached to the ‚farmstay‘ for visitors; and then we have the ‚kilang‘, which is an old warehouse that was once used as a tea plantation drying house before we took over the farm. We are utilizing this building for our animals and are developing it to be used to accommodate guests too.
Our vision for this farm is remarkable on so many levels, and it thrives with multitudinous potentials that are born out of a noble philosophy of sustainable existence. It is organic and applies the principles of eco-friendliness, farming without pesticides or fertilizers, reducing carbon emissions by harnassing local natural resources and renewable energies (including hydro-power), and reducing household waste through composting, and re-cycling and re-using.
It is essential here to form a symbiotic relationship with the environment, which becomes something of an art requiring creativity, intuition and an emotional connection with Mother Earth.
The general focus is towards developing the land in a sustainable manner fostering a harmony with the local environment, and employing the principles learned from nature. In the long run, this sustainable agro-forestry aims to manage about 100 acres of land. On the slopes, terraces are being created to control soil erosion and irrigation. Along the edges various trees are being planted to bond with roots in order to strengthen the edges, and also to provide shade.
As we increase our control over the fertile land, we will divide it into to sectors which will play an important role when rotating the use of the land, providing pastures for livestock, or land for growing herbs.
More information about these different initiatives can be found under our ‚Green Technologies‘ link on the website.
We have also purpose built a ‚farmstay‘ exclusively for guests and visitors. This modern design boasts comfortable bedrooms, a bathroom, and a large open-plan lounge, dining area and a kitchen. We are also able to host volunteers who are free to come and get involved in the development of the farm. We welcome any interested people to come and visit or even to volunteer to help us, but most importantly, to share with us.
In sum, the philosophy of the farm is non-exploitative and non-commercial. It hopes to foster a peaceful existence, in which the inhabitants live harmoniously with the environment and with each other. As more guests and volunteers visit the farm, there may develop a small community of people, all of whom would be contributing their knowledge, skills and expertise towards sustaining the farm and its dream. This modest approach is inspired towards sustainability, with a minimal ecological impact and a low carbon footprint.