The month of July is indeed an exciting one, as i am updating this blogpost, i am looking around for the info for my Philippines trip next Tuesday, and shall work soon, but here’s a bit and pieces of the farm stay i was. Here’s the LINK to my FB picture album which i have made public view. Permaculture farming has always been my curiosity not because of its lifestyle but particularly on how architecture can revolve around with this design. Permaculture is a branch of ecological design and ecological engineering which develops sustainable human settlements and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.
I knew more about this farm like one year ago, I tried my best to have a free week or two to come to the farmstay until last week I am managed to clear out my time for this. This farmstay is not like what you think of a typical farmstay will be, kampung setting with all the coconut trees and wide open paddy fields, the picture gives you the impression that it is high above the hills but it is actually just a 15minutes drive up from the civilization road, across bushes and sub urban green space, it is on a hill side where it’s altitude is considerable high enough to feel like as if you are away from civilization.
Surrounded by forest area, the place will easily be found within mist and clouds during the wet season. I came here alone, I came here with the interest of experiencing to know how’s a farm life like, but I came with a passion for knowing the perceptions of others towards built environment and gaining my exposure and understanding towards permaculture architecture where textbooks won’t teach me.
The everyday life here is again, pretty much about farm, Morning waking up to the chickens around 8am+ and feeding the livestock (3 dogs, 7 cats kittens, 40+ ducks geese ducks, 20+ chicks, 10+ goats, 1 cow) and their diet again is not like how you illustrate how a farm factory is like, feeding them grains from a sack or what, no, it is about going around and collects leaves and bushes to feed them, and also refilling water, coconut shreds and also grains everything..
And the matter of taking care the livestock is done throughout the day and night with frequent visits to them and topping up their needs. Then it will be breakfast time for ourselves.. then we will do some “project” ranging from collecting tea leaves, planting different vegetables, building fences and also simple structures.. anything that will improve the farm stay. But I am just there for 4 days, I am sure there are a lot more interesting agendas.
The different life
I think as an urban boy, I really enjoy the difference it offered. I suppose that the most fun part of it was cooking, where meals feel different here and I didn’t even realize that I had a vegetarian meal over the 4 days… Home made stuff is at its best here, from fresh goat milk, fresh eggs, homemade cheese and bread etc… and yes, of course, the best part is about cooking what you planted, going around your farm and taking vegetables or flowers or leaves that appear in your dinner plate moments later..
In terms of utilities, water is also always free, from the stream, bath, and washing everything is done with nature.. just that electricity is limited at night as we depend on generator.. and that depends on fuel. So this is how I really felt that my carbon footprint has lower down a lot more when I do not see a single artificial light is being used in the morning here as how urban life we usually use.. ventilation is at its best here, sleeping with natural air conditioner made it felt so much more better than the “artificial” air conditioner.
I think ultimately, it is the joy of being close to nature that made it all up. We always get stuck with discovery channel or animal planet within that square box at home, but here is the live version of seeing chicks born and also cow and goats poos around you and you have to do the dirty jobs yourself. It is the place where i felt Human beings are made equivalent and embraced into nature, and depends a lot on nature actually. In urban context we can always relate to dirtiness that easily, i learnt it the hardway when i was cleaning the cow and goat poos with my nike shoes sweeping across the feaces, but again, as the time comes, there is nothing much dirty to be worried about but we celebrate it as we find it ultimately benefiting the plants nutritional value and hence also our food supply.Also another thing is observing snakes or other jungle creatures here are meant to be a celebration, because that’s a proof that we are that close to nature. As opposed in urban context we see the appearance of crocodile and snakes will fear us out and hence blaming the authority.. in here we appreciate their existence and to know that we are all at the same level of existence and God’s creation.. i suppose =)
To the next Level
But again i am here to understand more on permaculture architecture, what’s really needed to be Rethink about it and if urban permaculture design is really tangible and sustainable. Yes i am here for the farming experience but more to the passion of answering my curiosity as i want to be an architecture student to embrace my own concept, which textbooks again could not teach, but it is being found by myself here.