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Surely/Someday + Kitchen

Not so long ago, we met with Sun Wahyu from Surely/Someday + Kitchen, a Jakarta-based creative baker. We discussed with him about his philosophy in choosing his ingredients and his creative process. Not so long after that, we were making small batches of pandan powder for Surely/Someday + Kitchen to be incorporated in his products. A rather insightful discussion, read through to find out more what goes inside his creative mind and considerations.

 

1. In your creative process of baking, how do you usually start? Does it begin from an inspiration? An ingredients you want to use? Or is there anything else that makes your creativity runs wild?

Proses kreatif bisa melalui cara yang berbeda beda. Kadang terinspirasi waktu berdiskusi dengan orang dalam bidang berbeda, kadang bisa juga dari melihat tekstur, situasi sekitar, sejarah atau bahkan memori. Kebetulan gue suka hal hal kecil yang meng-intrigue dan story telling, itu juga salah satu dasar saat gue mencoba untuk berkreasi khususnya untuk proyek Fable on The Table. Seklise kedengarannya, tapi penting untuk selalu  punya rasa penasaran dan keinginan tahu lebih, bahkan dari banyak bidang selain bidang yang kita geluti.

Creative process can be done in few different ways. Sometimes, inspiration comes when I am discussing with people from different backgrounds, sometimes it can be from observing texture, the surrounding, history or even memory. I happen to like little thing that is intriguing and telling a certain story, which also becomes one of my foundations when I try to create especially for Fable on The Table project. As cliche as it sounds, but it is important to have curiosity and willingness to learn more, even from other areas apart from the things that we are working on.

 

2. How do you usually choose your ingredients? What are the considerations?

Biasanya berdasarkan rasa ingin tahu dan mencoba kalau bahan A B C ini rasanya akan seperti apa, atau bisa diapakan. Kebetulan gue sangat menghindari menggunakan pewarna buatan, jadi dengan batasan itu, salah satu dasar gue memilih bahan tertentu kadang untuk mendapatkan warna tertentu juga.

Usually it’s from curiosity and willingness to experiment what flavours do certain ingredients bring or what can I do with it. I try to avoid artificial colouring, so from that restriction, one of my considerations in choosing ingredients are also to achieve certain colour.

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Photo courtesy of Surely/Someday + Kitchen.

3. We know that lately you have been playing around with local ingredients, what made you to do so?

Gue selalu tertarik dengan perasaan nostalgia, dan gue rasa banyak yang menganggap sepele beberapa bahan lokal, hanya mungkin karena kita terlalu familiar dengan bahan tersebut atau belum digali lebih dalam lagi.

I am always intrigued with nostalgic feelings and I think lots of people look down to local ingredients just because we are too familiar with local ingredient or we have not dig deeper about it.

 

4. Which Indonesian ingredients is your favourite?

Pandan, gula aren, jahe dan kelapa. Ada 4 mah ga favorit yah, hahaha. Oh gue juga suka belimbing wuluh!

Pandas, palm sugar, ginger and coconut. And belimbing wuluh is also another favourite of mine!

 

5. What are the challenges in using local ingredients?

Ketersediaannya.

It’s availability.

 

6. You have used Blueboots Farm’s pandan powder in some of your creations, what’s the story behind it?

Sebetulnya waktu itu hanya ngobrol santai sama Sam tentang Blueboots Farm ada bahan apa saja, dan Pandan itu kan sangat mudah dibudidayakan sebetulnya, dan gue memang pengen pakai pandan sebagai bahan cookies, tapi kendalanya dulu adalah untuk menggunakan pandan metode paling familiar itu adalah dengan di ekstrak sarinya, dan kalau bikin cookies gue lebih prefer sebisa mungkin ga terlalu banyak liquid, jadi gue tanya ke Sam, memungkinkan ga sih kalau Pandan dikeringkan dan di jadikan bubuk, dan ternyata bisa.

Actually at that time I was just chatting casually with Sam about Blueboots Farm’s produce and how pandan is actually really easy to grow. I have always wanted to use pandan as an ingredient for my cookies, but the restriction before was the most commonly available substance is pandan extract. When I’m making cookies, I prefer not to use too much liquid, so I asked Sam, is it possible if pandan is dehydrated and turned into powder and Sam said yes.

 

7. Do you think that Indonesian ingredients have been exposed a lot or do you think there is a lot of work in introducing local flavours?

Mungkin beberapa sudah familiar yah, tapi sewaktu gue ikut salah satu event di coffee shop, gue baru sadar kalau latar belakang elu sebetulnya cukup mempengaruhi akses elu dengan bahan lokal, sebagai contoh sewaktu Blueboots membawa pisang ambon lumut (pisangnya mentok cuma hijau ga bisa kuning, cuma super manis dan wangi), ternyata banyak yang belum tahu, kalau asumsi gue, mungkin ada beberapa orang yang terbiasa membeli pisang cavendish, jadi hanya tahu varian pisang  seperti itu, dan padahal ada banyak varian pisang yang berbeda di Indonesia, dan masing masing pisang punya fungsi sendiri. Tapi bagi yang masih suka beli ke pasar, mungkin udah familiar dengan pisang ambon lumut tadi. Ini salah satu contohnya. Tapi gue rasa dengan adanya anak anak muda yang tertarik bergerak di bidang agrikultur, mungkin ke depannya bisa meng-introduce bahan lokal.

Perhaps there are some that’s already familiar. However when I joined one of the events at a coffee shop, I just realized that your background is affecting your access to local ingredients. As an example, when Blueboots brought pisang ambon lumut (the banana can only goes green – not even yellow – but it is super sweet and has a strong fragrant), apparently a lot of people didn’t have any idea about it. In my assumption, perhaps people are too used in buying cavendish banana, so they only know that variant of banana although there are lots other variants of banana in Indonesia and each of them has their own usage. But for those who still go to traditional market, I think they are quite familiar with that pisang ambon lumut. That was one example. But I think with lots of young generation with interest in agriculture, hopefully in the near future they can help to introduce local ingredients as well.

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8. How do you marry modern way of baking with local flavours?

I’m not sure what i do is something modern though, karena sejujuranya gue lebih tertarik gimana mengangkat nilai yang sudah ada, tapi tidak mendeskontruksi terlalu jauh sampai jatuhnya gimmick. Terus terang gue sendiri masih mencari tahu bahan bahan lokal yang menarik untuk dikembangkan. Tentunya gue rasa pasti tidak jauh jauh dari media cookies, tapi tidak menutup kemungkinan untuk dikembangkan ke arah yang lain juga.

I’m not sure what I do is something modern though, because to be honest I am more interested in how to elevate the existing value but not deconstructing it too far until it becomes a gimmick. To be honest I’m still looking for local ingredients which are interesting to be developed into my products. Of course I think it’s not going to be far from cookies, but it doesn’t restrict any opportunities for it to be developed to another direction as well.

 

9. Lastly, you also have your own garden at the back of your house, do you use those plants as your ingredients too? What grows there?

Iya ada beberapa bahan yang gue tanam sendiri, mostly herbs and spices. Sereh, pandan, thyme, mint dan yang terakhir lumayan sering gue pakai, bunga telang.

Yes I do have some ingredients that I grow on my own, mostly herbs and spices. Lemongrass, pandan, thyme, mint and the last one is something that I commonly use lately, telang flower.

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Growing This Funky Plant

This is the first time Blueboots Farm tried planting Daikon radish and we are pleasantly surprise how easily and quickly they grow. We started planting the radish seeds in seed trays filled with good compost, cocopeat and rice husks. After 2 weeks, the seeds sprouted baby seedlings ready to be planted into the soil. Alternatively, you can also plant the seed directly into the soil 1.5 cm deep.

Daikon radishes need more space than garden radishes. About 15 cm apart from seedling to seedling and 50 cm apart between rows will give sufficient space and nutrition for the radish to grow up 40 cm long and 8 cm wide!

The picture shown above is about 40 days old daikon radish. We are planning to harvest the daikon radishes when they are 60 – 70 days old. Let’s see how much bigger and bolder they will grow up to!

Daikon radish can be turned to many versatile dishes. From eating it raw in salads, boiling it in soup, roasting it with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper to pickling and fermenting the radish for tangy and crunchy accompaniment to that Korean fried chicken. Oh, the list go on… how can you not love this wonderful produce?

The Season’s Best Produce

We have about 60 trees of clove trees in our mini forest. In June, the forest will be infatuated with the smell of cloves. It takes skills and experience to harvest cloves as the tree is tall and we do not want to break its branches. Farmers uses wooden ladder and a basket trap to collect the cloves. After harvesting, we will dry the freshly-picked cloves under the sun for about a week.

Clove has been an important commodity for Indonesia since the trading era. It is one of the most sought after spices for its usage as medicine to cigars. Native to Maluku island, which commonly called as the Spice Island, we are lucky to have clove in our mini forest to learn from.

Gooey Peanut Butter Cookies

Been wanting to try a gluten free cookies? Try it with our flourless peanut butter cookie recipe! We recommend dipping it in hot milk if you need some midnight snack.
Ingredients
1 cup Blueboots Farm Peanut Butter
¼ cup mix of brown & white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Yield: ~ 1 kg cookie dough

Method
Preheat oven to 180oC
Cream peanut butter, vanilla, eggs and all sugar until smooth
Add baking soda and salt, mix thoroughly
Scoop the dough according to prefered size
Bake for 10 minutes, rotate in between.

Rainy-Day Soup

If you have a slow cooker or a crock pot, this recipe will be super easy. Just dump all of the ingredients into the pot and let it cook on its own. Not only easy, this soup is also nutritious, which may help when you’re feeling under the weather.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, here’s how to cook up some comforting bean soup (straight from mom’s recipe book):

1 water chestnut, finely diced
1 large section of lotus root, sliced
0.5 kg fresh peanuts
2 carrots, diced
1L water
Salt & white pepper to season

  1. Put the water chestnut and water into the pot
  2. Once boiling, add the lotus root and peanuts (for a heartier soup you can add 0.5 kg diced chicken meat at this point), cook until simmering, then add the carrots,
  3. Once they are all cooked (about 12-15 minutes on medium-high heat) taste and season the soup

A cup of warm soup is best shared during the rain, enjoy.

5 Tricks to Improve Your Soil

Ever wanting to have an edible garden of your own? Home garden filled with chillis, tomatoes, herbs and leafy vegetables at hand’s reach? Before going into details on how to plant, we need to improve the structure and fertility of the soil before planting plants into the ground. Like humans, plants need a balanced diet of beneficial microbes, minerals and nutrients. Here is 5 easy tricks you can apply:

  1. Adding composts, composts & composts! Adding composts to current soil in the garden is the easiest and sure way to improve fertility and structure in the soil. Adding composts will enhance the water retention of the soil and increase the activity and number of soil organism. You can get supply of composts from local organic garden stores or local farms that you can contact. Composts are decomposed organic matter made from kitchen waste, animal manures, unused green leaves and dried leaves. All piled up to decompose till the pile becomes a dark and soft black soil called humus.
  1. Make permanent raised garden beds. Making raised beds will ensure that nutrients do not easily run-off from where the plants will be planted. It also prevents from stepping on garden beds that will compact and destroy soil structure. Raised beds also increases the drainage of excess water during heavy rainy season
  1. Planting cover crops on exposed soil. Recommended cover crops are plants from the legume family such as gotu kola (antanan), peanuts and clover. Legume plants as mentioned grow easily in any type of soil and are purposely planted to condition infertile soil. These plants capture nitrogen from the air and add free nitrogen into the soil. They also can also can be a good source of greens/biomass needed for composting or chopped off and drop it and mix it to the soil so as to add organic matter. Planting cover crops will also retain water needed for plants and microbial activity.
  1. Reduce tillage on soil. Heavy tillage is needed only in the beginning part of gardening when deep-rooted weeds like teki and alang-alang need to be taken out of the soil. However, after that tillage should not be frequently done as it will destroy the natural soil layer/ structure you have built over time. In order to loosen soil, a broad fork can be used to poke through the soil in a slow motion without bringing much disruption.
  1. Never use herbicide or pesticide. Using herbicide or pesticide will instantly kill millions or billions of soil organism that we need for growth of healthy plants through a whole biodiversity and activities of the soil web system. It will need a great amount of time again to achieve to its healthy state again.

What’s In Blueboots’ Peanut Butter

There are plenty peanut butters you can choose from out there, you have tasted lots of peanut butter out there, but have you tasted Blueboots Farm’s?

Our peanut butter consists of the amazing natural produces which are good for your body. Most importantly the main ingredient, which is the peanut, is organically grown at Blueboots Farm. We select the best peanuts seeds with every season of planting and feed the soil with our own Blueboots compost and liquid fertilizer to make sure that the peanuts contains an array of nutrients and reach its maximum flavor and creaminess.

We are allowing the soil to get nitrogen for its fertility from rotating the crops. This will ensure that our peanuts are getting the nutrients they needed in the natural way.

Another thing that goes in Blueboots Farm’s peanut butter is coconut oil, which is actually good for digestion and lowering bad blood cholesterol! Then to sweeten things up just a tad bit, we are mixing in organic coconut palm sugar that goes through less processing, allowing it to contain most of its nutrients. The peanut butter is sweet but not too sweet, making sure that you can taste the peanut as the main ingredient. Last but not least, the magic ingredient is sea salt, that makes every sweet thing has an edge to it. We are using sea salt because similar to coconut palm sugar, it goes through less processing, only the evaporation of sea water body. It allows sea salt to retain each minerals aside from sodium and chloride, which is important to our body’s electrolyte balance.

There you go! Now you know what goes into our creamy and yummy peanut butter. If you are keen to taste our peanut butter please contact us or comment on our post.

5 Facts About Blueboots Farm Everyone Think Is True (But It’s Not)

Some days you wondered, who are the people behind these fruit and veggie posts you see on Instagram. You then started to make your own hypothesis of who actually planted them. Is it some old farmers in a rural area? Do they use the latest technology in growing the crops? Where do they get their seeds from?

Read through to read about what people commonly think about Blueboots Farm and the truth behind it.

  1. Blueboots Farm is located in a remote rural area. We are actually located in Cijeruk, Bogor, 30 minutes off the city of Bogor. The same main street as Warso Durian Farm.
  1. Blueboots Farm is owned by an old rich man. We’re definitely not old, we are young farmpreneurs who take on the challenge of growing food sustainably, with the help of local Cijeruk farmers in the area (although they look old, they’re soul and spirit is as young as us). We are also working with fresh graduate from IPB to strengthen our knowledge on growing food.
  1. In order to get the best harvest we use pesticide. In order to stay to our vision, we’ve been trying to find ways to keep our farm sustainable and organic. Therefore we make our own bio-pesticide from natural ingredients found easily on the farm. Like neem, suren, papaya leaves and many other smelly or bitter plant that deter pests.
  1. We grow the same crops all the time. In order to reduce the number of pests and maintain a healthy soil, crops rotation is implemented. We never plant the same kind of crop after each season.
  1. We have strong background in agriculture. False. We studied totally different things but we are keen to learn about agriculture. Most of our knowledge and skills came from asking around, learning from local farmers and doing things hands-on. There was definitely lots of trial and error and even now we are still trying different things to achieve the best result by combining traditional and modern methods.

We hope what we do will inspire and positively impact our community. Follow Blueboots Farm’s progress as we strive towards a better future for farming!

The Local’s Superfood – Centella Asiatica (Pegagan)

Good morning!

Another new day, another new knowledge about our local superfood. We will kickstart the day in knowing about Centella Asiatica also known as Gotu kola, pegagan, daun kaki kuda and lots of other names depending on how the locals know it as. This plant is not to be easily dismissed. Knowing Gotu kola’s benefit will help improve or treat your health.

Indonesia is blessed with abundant of powerful and useful wild plants if we have the power of knowledge on the benefits of all the wild plants. Gotu kola is not a new found herb that is discovered for its tremendous health benefits but it is a forgotten plant due to our shift of importance of getting our essential nutrients with other valued vegetables, fruits and even health supplements.

Gotu kola can be easily found growing wildly in farms, open-field, roadsides etc. if we look closely enough. It has beautiful spade-shaped leaves or horse-hoof like leaf that can be easily identified.

Gotu kola is generally good to boost our immune system but however, it is really worshipped for its used as a combat to high blood pressure, boosting central nervous system, improving circulatory system, repairing skin, protecting veins and blood vessels and antibacterial properties.

If anyone is facing any health issues with the above mentioned, please read more about Gotu kola and let Blueboots team know if you need this herb. We have plenty growing in the farm.
Blueboots’ favourite way of consuming Gotu kola is adding fresh leaves to salad, blending it with basil to make pesto and also into powder dehydrated in low temperature to add to juices. Better eaten fresh for maximum nutrients.

Fresh Jam at Sunday’s Best

Blueboots will be featuring our fresh from the farm Rosella Jam. Dark crimson red jam with delicious flavour that will be a wonderful accompaniment to bread, scones, cheese and even meat.

Blueboots’ Vision

We, at Blueboots Farm, want to revolutionize the local food culture that emphasizes on quality, sustainability and traceability

Growing up in a diverse and rich land, often times we take our land for granted. As we experience living abroad, we started to realize how blessed we are with rich soil and tropical climates. And as we take a closer look, we started to realize how vast the food industry has grown. Unfortunately, this growth has made the root of food distance from its consumers.  A lot of young people don’t know how some fruits or vegetables look like before it’s processed. Most importantly a lot of people has forgotten how to grow like the old days, organically. Organic farming is actually not a new thing. If you look back and think about the farming back in the days, they probably didn’t have the knowledge and/or technology to use pesticides etc. In many Indonesian farms , farmers used local plants or herbs such as suren and neem to minimize pests that destroy their crops. They also often use their kitchen waste as a compost. It was the high demand (due to the scarce of food during wars) that pushes them to industrialize farming, where they maximized crops’ growth through technology. However, this ‘forced’ growth was not fully evaluated, neither was it sustainable. In order for farmers to keep growing ‘good crop’ they needed to keep buying ‘good seeds’ and pesticides, which might be more costly compared to how much they could sell their crops. The price was even lower if they had to sell it to the middlemen, also known as tengkulak.

As we learned about this issues we were encouraged to face the challenge. We wanted to show to others that growing organically & sustainably is not impossible. And since not everyone have the time to grow their own food, we want to be able to provide some options for their daily supplies by reintroducing some of the classic recipes of processing harvests in a modern & fun way.

How These Worms Do Wonder in Blueboots Farm

Worms are small creatures living on earth that we humans often take for granted of. They play a vital role in the ecosystem at the bottom of the food chain that indirectly sustain our food growing system. At Blueboots Farm, the worms are appreciated for their massive contribution in achieving a holistic integral system our farm will like to achieve. Here are some of the roles of worms:

  1. They help break down organic materials to good compost needed to feed the soil called worm casting or vermicast.
  2. They aerate soil needed for plants and other organism living in the soil
  3. Helps bring down nutrients to deeper level of the soil that is closer to plant roots
  4. Worms as food for chickens and other birds around the area

Now that we know that these worms are so useful, everyone at Blueboots Farm is taking care of them and making sure that they too, are growing healthily to keep the whole process works well!

Go Bananas!

Did you know that there is more than just a type of banana? We’ll be bringing a range of different bananas on this weekend’s 1/15 Coffee Sunday’s Best.

Real Food by Blueboots

At Blueboots Farm, we always strive to provide our customers with the freshest ingredients. Knowing that some of our produce do not have a very long shelf life, Blueboots Farm is constantly developing new products from our land’s produce.

One of our first product is Blueboots Farm Peanut Butter, which comes in three kinds, Creamy, Crunchy and Dark Chocolate. Blueboots Farm Peanut Butter has been fairly popular for its taste, versatility and the natural benefit that comes with it. A lot of our customers have been saying that they have not tasted real peanut butter and were amazed by how creamy, yummy and healthy it is!

Apart from our Peanut Butter, Blueboots Farm team makes seasonal jams from the seasonal fruit and flower harvests we get around the year. At the moment, we are making delicious Rosella jam that can be perfectly paired with peanut butter and bread.

So whatever products come out of Blueboots Farm, we ensure that they bring out the best of our farm to be enjoyed on your table. Stay tune for more Real Food by Blueboots Farm that you can enjoy!

Knowing Samantha in 3 Questions

Rise and shine!

This morning, we chatted with Blueboots Farm’s founder, Samantha Gunawan, to find out more about why she ended up in a farm while a lot of women her age would not even want to spend too much time under the sun. Read through to find out how Samantha started Blueboots Farm and the challenges she had.

What did you study, Sam? Does it have anything to do with farming?
I studied Industrial Engineering at Purdue University for my bachelor’s degree.

Tell us your first encounter/experience with farming.
My first encounter will be going to Nafi’s farm at Cisarua and for the first time seeing, touching, smelling and tasting the plants right off the ground and not from the supermarket or on a plate. It was a rousing encounter that got me curious on where our food comes from.

Why did you start Blueboots Farm?
I started Blueboots farm because I was just dying to learn and experiment on growing. I knew that the best way of learning to farm is to start trying. I started right away and it has been a roller coaster ride since then, trying to figure things out and sometimes doing things from scratch. Definitely I encountered lots of trial and error in the process.

Although Samantha did not have a background in farming, she has been very keen in learning, trying and getting her hands on the process. To know Samantha further, you can always email her on samantha@blueboots.farm. She would be more than happy to talk if she has got no soil in her hand.