Over the last weekend, I went for a trip to an organic farm to find out more about organic farming, health and dieting. This was a 3-day 2-night workshop and the organizers gave us a real-packed and fruitful learning experience.
This organic farm is called TitiEco Farm Resort and it is located in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. The farm is around 34 acres big (I’m not too sure I’ve remembered correctly) and the farm only produce organic foods. I think they have organic poultry as well.
The farm is structured more towards an educational purpose. And through this experience, (I’m not sure if you have watched Avatar) but I felt I was connected with the Earth once again. It felt lthe entire Earth is like a global network where every single living object is connected to one another. And after this trip, I truly felt that we are responsible for our Earth and every action we made ends up direct back to us.
This is my second trip to the organic farm and the first was actually 10 years ago when I was around 10-14 years old. I can’t really recall the first trip but I think I didn’t really like it at that time (still a boy and don’t appreciate much about life).
Let’s go on with the itinerary of the trip and I’ll share with you my experience on the way…
2nd April 2010
05:45 am – Gather at a train station in Singapore
09:15 am – Stopped for some roadside breakfast
11:30 am – Lunch in a vegetarian restaurant
We had our lunch in this vegetarian restaurant (the photo is closing up on their snacks bar). The food is quite delicious but I won’t say that it is very healthy – They have some foods which are fried and oily. But nevertheless, since you can choose your own food, you can always choose the healthier food.
1:00 pm – Waterfall viewing
After the lunch, we went on to stop at the Waterfall. I think most tourists stopped by here, and I was here 10 years ago too! The air was very fresh here and it was refreshing. We took off our shoes and fold up our jeans to paddle in the water in the shallow waters at the bottom.There are many people who swim in the shallow waters and it is believed that swimming in the waterfall could keep you healthy.
The photo shows a higher section of the water fall.
After having fun at this waterfall for an hour, we set off to the organic farm.
4:00 pm – Arrival at the organic farm
4:30 pm – Bread-making demonstrations
We were taught how to make organic homemade wholemeal bread.
From the piece of recipe given to us, you will need
Organic homemade wholemeal bread recipe
500 g Wholemeal Flour
300 cc Water (40 Degree Celsius)
1 tbsp Yeast
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
Sprinkle – Molasses
1 tbsp oil (cold press)
Just sprinkle – Salt
Others eg. raisin, almond…
Directions to make the bread…
1) Add yeast, brown sugar, molasses, oil and salt into 300 cc warm water and stir well then mix in whole meal flour.
2) Knead flour 20 minutes or 300 times (if you first started to knead, you would need to knead 300 times)
3) Then put the mixture into a greased tin and cover with a wet cloth, put in warm place for 20 minutes and until double size, then roll it in smooth ball and leave it until double size.
You can add things like raisin, or almonds after it has grown double the size.
4) Steam for 45 minutes.
It tastes exactly like the wholemeal bread you can buy from organic bakery.
5:00 pm – Lesson on enzymes
This is the first lesson conducted by Mr. Lim (owner of the farm). He shares with everyone the power of enzymes and how it is vital in our human body. Acid alkaline level, our body’s enzymes, all play an important role for our body to function well.
Most people don’t really know much about enzymes and the important roles they play in our body. Most health problems or diseases can be linked to our digestive systems – indigestion of food can lead to a lot of problems.
Stay tuned reading our blog for more digestive enzymes read…
5:30 pm – Eating of salad & fruits
I truly love their salads and fruits. The photo on the left shows the salad we ate (doesn’t look nice on the photo because I took it a little too late). We ate papaya for the first day and do you know that there are tons of enzymes in the papaya seeds? Yes, I swallowed the papaya seeds as well but it is really tasty.
Take note: not to eat non-organic papaya’s seeds as it contains all the pesticides or toxins.
6:00 pm – Dinner
The dinner for the first day is just some common Chinese dishes but they are cooked in a very healthy way. We had soup before our dinner.
Health tip: soup will dilute your enzymes hence it is best to drink soup before your dinner.
8:00 pm – Fireflies
During the night, we set off into the farm to find fireflies – We managed to see around 5-10 fireflies.
8:30 pm – Watch a John Robbins DVD
Very interesting video on the American diet – how it causes illnesses and diseases. From this video, I discovered the real truth behind all the cows, what they are fed with, their water sources, and how eating them will not only harm ourselves but also the earth (though I never eat beef throughout my whole life).
11:00 pm – Lights out
3rd April 2010
06:30 am – Wake up
07:00 am – Morning exercise
We did some crazy morning exercises like chicken dance and line dance. In the whole workshop, there is a 71 year old grandmother who could touch her toes with her legs strengthen!
08:00 am – Breakfast
This is the salad we had for our breakfast. If you look closely, you see the National Flower of Malaysia – Hibiscus. And yes, it is edible and it smells real sweet. There are sprouts, vegetables, guava, papaya, sea weed for this entire salad.
That’s not all for the breakfast, we had a real sumptuous breakfast (I can’t exactly remember all the foods but there are like 7-8 kinds of food) – vegetables paste, buns, salad, home-made pumpkin food, and many more…
09:00 am – Visit to the farm
We went around visiting the farm and were even invited to pluck our own corns. You should try eating the corn straight without cooking it and you will agree with me that it is natural, very sweet, and fresh. I only ate mine 5 days after I brought it home and what a waste!
Here are some of the photos I took on the way.
Guess what is this?
I bet you will think it is mango, but this is actually Avocado. If I didn’t remember wrongly, this is a different type that grows in Asia.
I thought it was mango too but it’s not. Sadly, we didn’t get to try the avocado as it was not ready for harvest.
They have 2 ostriches in the farm. And we had an interesting conversation about ostrich.
For these 2 ostriches, their legs are much beautiful than other ostriches you see in the zoo. The main reason is because these 2 ostriches are fed on healthy organic plants. And unlike other animals, ostrich cooperate to incubate the eggs.
Photo on the left – Pineapple
They have also grown quite a number of pineapples in the farm. But I happened to see this tiny pineapple that appear out of nowhere and allows a very clear photo of it.
We also ate quite a number of pineapples during the stay. I don’t really love pineapples as I find them quite sour but nevertheless, it somehow relieve my tongue ulcers during the stay.
When we asked about how does the organic farm fight against the pests, Mr. Lim shared that the plants have their own immune system against pests. In fact, pests only existed to destroy the weakest of the plants so the weak plants could quickly return to the earth as nutrients for the next generations. By using pesticides, it reduces the immune system for the plants and the pests are more likely to attack the weakened plants again. More powerful or deadly pesticides are needed to fight against it.
11:00 am – Owner’s sharing
Background story about the farm – The owner, Mr Lim, invested in this farm back in 1997 before the Asian Economic Crisis. Most of his friends thought he was crazy by investing to build an organic farm. The land at that time was very expensive and it was indeed a losing investment. In fact, the farm was losing money for the first 7 years! You may think it is easy to start an organic farm but it isn’t… The thing about organic farm is that you would need to care a lot about the soil and the land.
But Mr. Lim believes in doing something for the Earth and continues on.
He also shares with everyone the cost of buying non-organic food – it maybe cheap, but the cost of damaging the earth and the cost of damaging the health are far greater than the cost we pay for the food.
12:00 pm – Lunch time – Thunder Tea Rice (Lei Cha)
We had this amazing lunch called Thunder Tea Rice (Lei Cha). The original recipe originated from Hakka and now it’s famous in many Asia’s countries. The ingredients include tofu, tulips, carrots, cucumber, ground nuts, pickled radish, peanuts, and other vegetables together mixed into cooked brown rice and served with tea, basil and mint steeped in hot water.
From what I heard, the thunder tea rice has many benefits to your health and body. For most people, it can enhance slimming and detoxification. It can also help to prevent hypertension, ease digestion, treat diabetes, and many more…
If you like to know more about this, do let us know in the comments below so we could prepare a recipe for you and tell you more about it for subsequent blog entries.
1:00 pm – Diet/nutrition lesson
I love the way Mr. Lim classifies the food into different category and what you should eat to keep a balanced diet. He shares a little about acid-alkaline balance but following his general diet plans, I don’t see how one would face acid-alkaline balance problem. But he makes a good point that one shouldn’t go too alkaline as well. Too alkaline would be bad for the body too (I don’t think most people would be too alkaline unless they are pure vegans).
1:30pm – Tried out the hot foot bath.
This is a 30 minute foot bath. Basically as seen in the photo, my legs were warmed in the brown wooden pail and the whole wooden pail would become extremely warm with the hot air boiler. Before this 30 minute foot bath, I drank papaya enzyme to help the body to sweat it all out. For this, there’s no water in it but the boiler made air in the whole container extremely warm.
If you are one who seldom sweat, drink a cup of warm water to help you sweat it out. You may also want to wear more clothing for this to help you to sweat. You can see a towel above the pail right? It is to help to keep the temperature of the pail warm so as to help your body to sweat. My whole body was perspiring after finishing this 30 minute foot bath.
This is the picture of the entire equipments for the hot foot bath. The boiler is connected to the pail and it would make it extremely hot. You can easily adjust the time and temperature of the whole pail.
After doing the foot bath, I was told to hit my legs at different locations for many many times. Different acupoints on our legs represent Those parts which I felt pain indicated which organs are not functioning well or weaker. For mine, when I hit between my legs, I could feel the pain – Indicating my kidneys are weak.
There was a lady who have done the foot bath as well. As she hit her legs, her leg revealed blue black and this meant that some parts of her body was seriously blocked.
As I felt pain between my legs, I would need to boost my kidneys by eating more black natural foods like black sesame, sea weeds, black beans etc.
Another benefits of doing this hot foot bath is it can help you detoxify the “heat” as well as the toxins in your body. When we fell sick and we eat the antibiotics, it doesn’t really cure the cause or get rid of the toxins in our body. In another words, we have only “temporarily recovered”. By doing this hot foot bath, it can help to remove all the “heat” in our body. This is under the concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
2:30 pm – Video on how a school changes their diet and affects the kids performance
This video we watched in short tells you that fast food, processed foods, affect the students’ well being and their performance in school. By changing their diets, their performance improve and they are much better students.
4:30 pm – Hot herbal sauna
I was amazed that they have a sauna facility in an organic farm! I tried it too and the experience was great. I was sweating tremendously, all the toxins seem to come out from the skin and others who have tried it came out with healthy pink face.
5:00 pm – Coconut and salad
We had the same Hibiscus as part of our salad and it tastes real natural and sweet. We also had coconut and pineapples as our fruits.
6:00 pm – Dinner
8:00 pm – Video session
Watch a very inspiring video of an Indian child who have problems with learning and how a teacher saw the problem and help him out. It’s a pretty long movie but it was quite touching.
After the video session, we had some warm red bean soup before we prepared to sleep.
11:00 pm – Bathing time
12:00 am – Sleep
Did I not mention that you will have good bowel elimination during the stay here because the enzymes, fruits and vegetables were doing their job?
4th April 2010
06:30 am – Wake up
07:00 am – Morning exercise
We had some simple stretching exercises. I couldn’t really remember the length of the exercises but it was quite a long stretching. Some of the exercises include beating our hands and shoulders.
08:00 am – Breakfast
We had some herbs, vegetables, guavas and almond milk. It’s not sweet at all but mixing the almond milk can make the vegetable juice quite nice to drink but we could also add some fruits enzyme to make it sweeter.
You could also blend some vegetables juice every morning and drink it before you have your cereal for breakfast. If you have a weaker stomach, maybe you want to drink some enzymes before you drink the vegetable juice.
I added some mangosteen enzymes to my cup of vegetables juice and it tasted real great.
09:00 am – Farm’s visit – Lessons on herbs
We went around looking at the herbs. We discovered how the herbs are grown, what are some of the benefits of the herbs, and even some history behind the herbs.
There are plenty of photos for each individual herbs but I guess that would be for another day.
10:00 am – Sharing session
10:30 am – Purchasing of organic produce and products
11:00 am – Lunch
11:30 am – Departure from the farm
That’s all for the entire trip. It’s a great experience from this trip even though I was bitten by quite a number of mosquitoes.
If you went for trip to organic farm before, do share with us below and we would like to hear from your experience too.