We formally launched Kebun Gandaria, or the agro-ecology model farm of Samdhana in Kota Bogor, West Java in December 2022.
Kebun Gandaria, with a land area of 1,400m2, is located in the Tegal Gundil housing complex in Bogor City. Since 2014, Samdhana has been managing the farm and planting many local fruit trees. As such, the Kebun area remains to be the only green spot in this highly-built residential area in Bogor.
The “agro-eco” farming system is intended to be more energy efficient, maintain the biodiversity, and is able to achieve maximum production on a limited area, through product diversification and integrated farming. Bogor, being known as the ‘Rain City’, has abundant rainfall which we harvest for the fish pond and stocking water for the plants.
There is a garden where we grow various spices such as chili, lemongrass, cardamom, and turmeric; crops and vegetables like corn, cassava, spinach, tomatoes; and fruit trees such as papaya, jackfruit, and others. Apart from a guaranteed source of good nutrition, these crops have economic value, that will be a source of income for the farm.
Tilapia is being grown in the “bio-floc” pond. Bio-floc technology makes use of recycled wastes for fish food. Since the beginning, the tilapia have been fed using vegetable and fruit waste from the garden.
Kebun Gandaria runs on solar power, through the solar panels generously provided by Stromnesia, an NGO that empowers communities and development through green energy conversion. The solar panels generate 500W of electrical power which fuels the bio-floc pond. It is also used to operate other equipment such as water sprayers and milling machines. Stromnesia provides alternative solutions for small-scale businesses through electrification, especially in remote areas. Samdhana and Stromnesia has established a partnership to help promote solar power.
Learning nature in Rumah Kebun
The Rumah Kebun is a 4x6-meter multi-purpose house. The Rumah is a result of the collaboration between Samdhana and Amerta, a company engaged in the construction of houses from second hand timber. The construction began in September 2022, and completed in November. Ali, CEO of Amerta, said the building was designed together with young architects. “We got the wood from an old army warehouse in Cianjur,” Ali said. These are overhauled with several new material combinations that gave the building a unique look.
Rumah Kebun is ready to be used as a place to exchange ideas and hold various meetings. It is also used as a production house and farm kitchen. There will be learning sessions open for public on processing various agricultural products that are healthy and nutritious. It will promote using ingredients that are quite easy to find, like butterfly pea, roasted rice, moringa leaf milk, and nutmeg syrup.
In the future, we aim to make Kebun Gandaria a gathering place that will capacitate women groups in the surrounding areas, like KWT Ceger Asri to pursue their passion for farming their own food source. Currently the KWT Ceger Asri women groups has limited land available. The housing complex area used to be their farm, but it was converted. Agro-ecological farming will be a means to help them increase their produce and sustain their farms despite this limitation. We also envision that the Kebun will be a place for sharing knowledge in agro-ecology farming among the youth. It will also be opened in the near future as a co-working space for Samdhana Partners. Please connect to our social media.