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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Vision Eco Farm - A visit to an organic farm

Sunday morning. Woke up 5AM. Not my usual routine. But for a good reason mum and I plus my boyfriend W were on our way to Vision Eco Farm, an organic farm started way back in 1996 and situated in Genting Highland. Vision Farm, is one of the several farms that the HO family owns (other farms located in Pajam, Kluang, Lojing Highlands).

Unless you drive a 4 wheel drive, the entrance can be quite tricky. Most of our group left their car on the entrance and walked to the farm. We were lucky, as the earliest to arrive and the ones with pots of food, Miss Ho (Wan Zhen, one of Mr Ho San Zheng's daughter who is in charge of the farm) sent one of her staff to pick us up.

Three foreign workers were already busy washing up utensils (using natural dish washing liquid, of course) for us to use later
When everyone finally arrived, we were grouped together for briefing session on the farm. Questions such as why organic vegetables are more expensive and the importance of eating organic produce arised and Wan Zhen knowing these are the usual questions visitors would post, explained everything before anyone could ask any questions.
Mr Ho started organic farming after he read one report in the 70s that if we do not start re cycling or taking care of our environment, for example, Beijing in China will turn into a desert eventually. I might not find the original report read by Mr Ho, but these are the information I managed to google, below are links that proved what Mr Ho read is happening right now.

Mr Ho also does not believe by not using any pesticides or any form of chemicals he cannot grow any crops . Based on very simple knowledge on organic farming and almost no knowledge on healthy living, he started his organic farming. Vision Eco Farm is the first permanent farm that he started. Right now, Mr Ho is busy travelling, to China or to countries around the south east region starting new farms or imparting his knowledge to the farmers who wants to grow their crops organically.

Vision Eco Farm also does not use organic fertisiliser and pesticides (even approved ones), relying more on the natural compost that mostly made up on garlics, agricultural waste, rice bran, seaweed, cocoa shells etc. This compost are either dug or cover on top of the soil as mulches. They do not believe in killing pest as but look at pest as signs for improvements. Healthier plants attract less pests and they strive to produce healthier plants with higher nutrients.

(the stench of the compost was unbearable, had to coax bf to take this picture for me)

(so attentive...)
While we were all in the farm, Mrs Ho was in the kitchen cooking up a storm, preparing fresh vegetables just plucked from the farm, even stir frying a papaya for us! Yummy!

Before we left, each of us were given a bottle of fresh organic sugarcane water from their farm in Kluang. All day experience plus so much food for only RM12 for adults and RM6 for children.

Organic thosai with vegetable rolls

Mum prepared it for a friend who is having a farewell party. Party was food friendly to vegetarians. Ingredients: Lots of homemade mayonaise saunce, lots of specially concocted plum sauce, lots of alfalfa, carrots, apples, lettuce, seaweed sheets and of course thosai.

With help from Uncle Wong who is expert in wrapping sushi, he was showing us the proper way to ensure the rolls look nice and professional.

Look at those carrots extra crunchy, juicy and sweet...