This blog tells the story of a local social project through the words of Ami, Psylo's creative director and green-living enthusiast. Join us as we hear his personal account of the project and his involvement in it:
Sowing The Seed of Love
It all started when I was helping a friend on the northern mountains of the ‘Island of the Gods’. At 1,200 meters high, they were setting up a boutique coffee farm. Growing 100% Arabica coffee, and also setting up an in-house processing centre bringing the Bali Arabica to the highest quality. I was called to act as an advisor, translator and eco-architect on this project. I designed the ‘visitor centre’ next to the holy spring on-site and in between the mandarines and coffee plantation.
Image: Pak Selamet with his wife Bu Wayan and daughter Ayu sitting at the front of the visitor centre, which was designed by Ami.
While working on this project, I developed tight connections with the local community. As a Chinese medicine practitioner, every time I would travel up the mountain, I will bring my acupuncture kit and herbal remedies to help those in need. In particular, Pak Wayan (meaning “firstborn” in Basha Indonesian) Selamet (pronounced Selamat) and his family became close friends. Over the years, Pak Selamet kept saying that I should be taking up land in the local village, so we could be neighbours.
Left image: sorting out the dry coffee beans before processing. Right image: Pak Selamat and Ami holding a bamboo shoot to cook for dinner.
Finally, after a few years, the right moment came. In 2020, I acquired and planted a new land plot with 300 mandarine trees and dozens of other fruit trees like mangoes, cherries, almonds and macadamias and a few more that are spread around. Among the trees, you’ll find growing cinnamon, cloves and Chinese medicinal herb trees. Although not certified, all are organic and grown by implementing permaculture and electro-culture concepts and techniques.
Left image: grafting young mandarine trees. Right image: electro-culture antennas with copper wiring between the mandarine trees.
The first orchid has been prospering, and everybody is happy. So when I came back from Mexico in April 2022, Pak Selamet suggested expanding our collaboration. With Selamet’s local connections and the help of Psylo for investment, we joined forces to acquire 3 hectares and planted about 3,000 mandarine trees. In between, while the trees are still small, passion fruits are growing in the rows between the trees. Later on, when the trees are taller, coffee trees will be planted among them, as well as fava beans to help fix the nitrogen and other permaculture complementary crops. We hope to start to be profitable from the mandarines within the next 4 years.
Image: Selamet's family and the Psylo Team at the end of the latest 'Rewild' photoshoot.
Enjoying The Latest Fruits
With our recent ‘Rewild’ photoshoot taking place nearby, at the end of the shooting day the team stopped over at the orange grove project. We took the opportunity to film them while they were having a look around and enjoying the fruits of this beautiful friendship.