5 Good Reasons to Start Farming

As January kicked off, we met some people who were interested to start a new hobby. How happy we are that some actually are interested to get into farming! We’re not talking about having a massive land and turn it into a farm. You could do urban farming in your garden or the balcony of your apartment to start with. For those of you who have the same intention, we have listed 5 good reasons to start farming in 2017.

  1. You don’t need much to start
    Believe it or not, growing your own produce won’t cost you that much. You only need a couple of basics such as seeds, soil and some pots to start with. You can have a close look of your plants everyday by giving them enough water and sunlight. Doesn’t cost much at all!
  2. The freshest produce
    Have you ever cooked some pasta and wished that you have bought a bag of basil from the market? Well, if you grow them at home, you only have to pick them from the pot in your balcony.
  3. Utilise your idle space
    Got some space on your windowsills, backyard or balcony? Then turning those idle spaces into a small farm corner would be a fruitful idea. Urban farming doesn’t need much space yet they can be turned into some amazing produces. So start looking around your place for that idle corner so you can start your own urban farm.
  4. Turn your rubbish into gold
    Did you know that you can turn your food waste into compost? Think about eggshells, fruit and vegetable waste. They can add beneficial microorganism to your plants and your waste don’t cost anything at all!
  5. You get to experiment
    If Biology was your favorite subject in high school, then you are the right kind to start your own urban farming. You get to experiment with different seeds and methods of planting and see which method works best for you!

Workshop Wrap Up

Earlier this month, we shared with you about the beginning of an internal workshop at Blueboots Farm focusing on developing our organic farming knowledge. The workshop has ended this week and we have learned so much! Now let us share some of our experiences from the workshop.

The intensive workshops conducted by our special teacher Pak Hengky, an experienced organic farmer have finally come to an end. We are surprised and grateful to many new knowledge and techniques we have gained. The farmers at Blueboots Farm are now empowered with skills to make their own composts, fertilizer and bio-pesticides made from natural surroundings without ever needing to buy. It is so easy to make and in the future we want to be able to educate surrounding farmers in our community to do the same. This can greatly reduce the habit of Indonesian farmers to greatly depend on buying farm inputs from big corporation.


We are also excited to have learnt new planting and maintenance techniques to increase productivity of crops on farm. This new techniques will be applied immediately to the farm and we will be expecting about 80% – 100% increase in crop production overtime. What we have learnt is just the tip of the iceberg. By constantly applying new skills and meticulously observing the effects on plants, we are able to gain more experiences and knowledge only we ourselves can acquire.

Can’t wait to keep learning and seeing the farm grow better in 2017!

Back to Basic: Pandan Powder

Blueboots Farm’s Pandan Powder is something that we never got tired of. Chefs love it because they can incorporate it into their dessert dishes, housewives are so into it because the color is so vibrant, kids are loving it so much. The younger generation digs it because it is so versatile to be incorporated into dishes such as smoothie bowl or cookies.

Compost-making at Blueboots Farm

Hi everyone, how’s your Monday?

At Blueboots Farm, we made composts from old banana stems, weeds (grass), after-harvest leaves from sweet potatoes and edamame, chicken/cow/sheep poop, beer waste, dedak, lime, sekam. Everything was mixed together so they decompose. Once they have decomposed, we can use it at the farm!

 

Grow Yourself Some Chilli

Planting chillies can be done in your own garden or as potted plants. Here are the steps to plant yourself some chillies, so you can supply your household regardless the price of chilli out there.

  1. Get yourself some chilli seeds. These can be done by drying some seeds from the chilli that you already have at home.
  2. Sow seeds in polybag or small pot filled with damp soil. Cover lightly with soil and place on shaded area.
  3. Watch your seeds until they germinate, usually it will take 7-10 days.
  4. Once germinated, it can be moved to a more well-lit area. Keep the soil damp but not soaking wet. Transfer the plants to individual polybags or pots so they have sufficient space to grow.

Hot Chilli

The abnormality of chili price these days surely has got the country talking. In some areas, the price of chilli has reached IDR 100.000/kg mark, while in places outside Java, the price surged up to IDR 250.000/kg.

One thing that caused the situation is the unbalanced level of supply and demand. The extreme rainy season from December 2016 to January 2017 surely caused chilli production to be lower than usual. Although farmers have followed government’s instruction to plant a certain amount of chilli for the early year demand, the weather was simply not allowing. We all know how bad it is the rainy season for crops, including chilli.

From our observation, the price of chilli among farmers is around IDR 50.000 – IDR 60.000/kg. If that is the case, normally it would reach the buyer in around IDR 80.000/kg. There surely is some speculation happening too that plays role in the surging price of chilli.

On top of that, the government has been pretty strict in not importing chilli to fulfill our local demand. However, it is expected that in early February 2017, the price of chilli will be normalized. It is due to sufficient production of chilli from some areas like Banyuwangi, Kediri, Malang, Blitar and Temanggung.

What are your thoughts on the surging price of chilli?

We will be sharing some tips to grow your own chilli at home in our next article this week, so hopefully you can save some money on chilli in the near future.

Indonesian Edible Flowers

With all the hype that edible flowers is getting in the market, have we paid enough tribute to local edible flowers that we have in our land? Keep in mind that all the flowers that are edible, they don’t have to be petite and pretty. While most edible flowers are shown as a garnish these days, flowers have been a core part in some of Indonesian favourite dishes. So what are they?

  1. Bunga Pepaya

 

We bet most of you have had bunga pepaya (papaya flower), most probably in a Manadonese restaurant. Papaya flower that is used in Indonesian dishes would be the ones that haven’t bloomed yet and most of the time we used the male flower. It has a slightly bitter taste to it, but when cooked in the right way they bring out quite a memorable taste!

  1. Bunga Telang

Bunga Telang (Butterfly Pea) flower has got to be one of the most fascinating flowers that we have in Indonesia. When extracted, it brings out a deep blue color. It has a Latin name of Clitoria ternatea, which indicates that the flower originates from Ternate, an island in the Eastern part of Indonesia. The flower is believed to bring benefits to the health, including memory enhancing, treating hair loss and as antidepressant.  

  1. Kecombrang

Surprisingly common to be used in Indonesian dishes, bunga kecombrang is cooked differently in different parts of Indonesia. In Bali, the flower is called kecicang, while the young stem is called bongkot and both can be used in sambal matah. In Javanese dishes, the flower is a common part of pecel, mixed with other vegetables. In Karo, bunga kecombrang is used in their popular dish, which is arsik ikan mas.

  1. Kembang Turi

Kembang Turi is quite popular in Javanese dishes. When it has been boiled, the flower is a common addition to pecel or eaten as lalap. The flower itself has a meaty flavor and has a bit of slimy texture. It is believed that kembang turi can help breastfeeding mother to improve milk production.

Let The Workshop Begins!

Starting the new year, Blueboots team are constantly searching to learn new knowledge and techniques to help better improve ourselves as Farmpreneurs. This January we have invited our dear friend Pak Hengky, an experienced organic farmer to conduct a few workshops catering Blueboots’ needs for more in-depth information and knowledge. Surprisingly, even the most stubborn farmer we have, Pak Petrus, was keen to join us and learn our hearts away!

The first workshop we had was all about Bio-activator and Bio-pesticide. This simply means we are extracting useful microorganisms found in the nature to assist in making liquid fertilizer and natural pesticide to be applied to our soil and crops. A rather important part in organic farming, especially in improving the life cycle of a plant and towards having zero waste in the farm.

The workshop was really fun, we get to go to the small bamboo forest in the farm to source for young bamboo shoots, run around the farm looking for wild-growing plants that can help deter pests. It was a great experience for us, as we got to discover parts of our land even deeper. Things that  we did not know can bring so much benefit to the farm are now stars of the land!

We also set up a small lab room in the processing building, for us to brew our very own fertilizer and useful microorganism needed for healthy soil and plants. We are definitely seeing the teachings from our science teacher come to live!

The workshop itself will run for a couple more times in January. We are especially keen to share the knowledge with you, so stay tune for more workshop updates.

Natural Remedies for The Holiday Blues

 

The holiday might be over but the blues might stay around. We understand how hard it is to keep yourself motivated to work when holiday pictures are still floating around and people are still telling stories about their holiday. Today, we will share some natural remedies to boost your mood and help you to move on from the holiday blues.

  1. Sooth Yourself

When we’re not in a very good mood, we just feel like having some drinks to soothe ourselves. One of our to-go natural remedies is ginger. The warmth of ginger will help to lift your mood. Simply peel a ginger and slice it. Boil the ginger and add honey if you wish. We love to have it warm but you can also have it as an iced drink.

  1. Increase Your Magnesium Intake

Magnesium plays an important part for your body’s metabolism. It supports a healthy immune system, regulate blood sugar levels and it also keeps your bones strong. Snack on healthy Magnesium sources such as soymilk, banana, spinach and almond.

  1. Cut Down Caffeine

It is surely tempting to lift your morning mood by having a cup or two of coffee. However, this kind of caffeine intake only lets you survive for an hour or two, leaving you feel more sluggish than before. What about cutting down caffeine and swap your morning warm drinks into something more healthy? Perhaps some Rosella Tea? Since we have quite an abundant amount of Rosella at the farm, we normally dry them and bring it back to life by boiling it into a yummy Rosella Tea when we need it. Rosella Tea is pretty common to be found in supermarkets these days and they are great antioxidant for your body too!