Sunday, October 18, 2009

KOREF, Day 2

A bit late for sunrise, but Jojo leads us in a session of sun salutations to greet the new day.

Since we're on an organic rice farm every meal is based around, you guessed it, organic brown rice. We're looking at brown nasi lemak for brekkie which was quite good especially with the sweet but totally non-lethal Level 1/2 sambal chilli. Fresh food is always nice, but I still have yet to acquire a taste for brown rice, unfortunately.

Modern rice farming techniques have dispensed with little old ladies beating the heck out of rice sheaves to extract rice grains. Here we have a threshing machine operated by a guy sitting on top (not shown in pix) while the de-husked rice grains fill the sack below.

Secret of eco farming: many of the farmhands are short-term international volunteers who basically work for board and lodging, having eschewed the decadence of modern living, and who are in their own way doing their bit to advance the cause of responsible, eco-friendly food production methods.

After a briefing on how to operate a sickle, we're sent off to the fields to harvest rice. It would probably have been back-breaking work if we had put our heart and soul into it, but we were mugging for the camera most of the time while enjoying the mud spa that we'd been sunk to our knees in. That was one muddy field. Heh, typical tourists.

Bonus: a chance to observe a sweet potato harvest as well. These were also organically grown and there were some whoppers that got dug up -- bigger than anything I've ever seen at our local markets. The champ was a monster that tipped the scale at 13kg.

Our last stop before arriving back home was a Malaccan dessert place in Kluang. We hadn't had anything this ice-cold for the last couple of days and this was a seriously welcome treat. The cendol was sticky, molasses-sweet, not overpowering with the lemak (coconut milk) flavour and most importantly, refreshing. Next stop: home.

Great little weekend getaway, though city-boy that I am, I doubt I could stay sane there for too long, starved of electronic entertainment. Nevertheless, it was fun to be out in the sunshine and physically interact with the environment: touching things, getting dirty, entertaining the possibility of encountering some unfamiliar, potentially dangerous critter residing in the murky, muddy depths... but nothing like that did actually show up.

Must thank Jojo for organizing this little trip. The company may not have been familiar, but proved to be quite comfortable and entertaining in their own way, anyway.

Lots more pix: click here.

No comments: