Grab that hoe! Now’s the perfect time to get into organic gardening, here’s how to start in Bali

A glimpse at Livingwell Bali’s organic gardening workshop. Photos: Coconuts Bali
A glimpse at Livingwell Bali’s organic gardening workshop. Photos: Coconuts Bali

While this pandemic life is no full-blown, apocalyptic Walking Dead situation and we haven’t seen a total collapse in the global food chain, it’s still a great reality check to wake up and take more responsibility over our food sources.

There’s really no time like the present to learn how to grow your own food and if you’re not able to get out and about much anyway, may as well cultivate a skill that yields healthy, ethical, and more eco-friendly, organic food (in our humble, practical opinion).

If you’re sticking out the ’rona times in Bali, here are some resources that can help get you growing—there’s even virtual options for those stuck in Denpasar.

Take a workshop and support the local community

There are a handful of workshops around Bali that offer training in organic farming, that you can take whether you’re a total newbie or a more experienced gardener. Jiwa Damai in Ubud offers seminars and workshops in permaculture—at present, they’ve taken their one-day interactive workshop on permaculture and meditation and made it available on Zoom.

The Bali Organic Center in Denpasar does an excursion program to an organic Balinese farm, but this is currently suspended. However, they do offer a course in organic gardening for up to three people at a time, and they sell seeds and seedlings online so you can start or expand your garden.

The Kul Kul Farm at Green School Bali is currently shut down to the public, but we think it’s worth mentioning so you can bookmark for later—they regularly host an introduction to permaculture farm tour with an organic farm lunch and for those interested in a more intensive experience, watch their space about information for a full-on permaculture retreat experience.

Livingwell in Bukit is doing a three-hour workshop on the basics of organic gardening and how to start your own at-home garden. We joined this last week on our own initiative and dime, and can recommend it. They limit participation to five people and it’s in a huge open space under the sun, so you can social distance, wear a mask, and even put on some gardening gloves.

Things start off with a lecture on the what’s and why’s of organic gardening, then go into a tour of a expansive organic-home garden (that’s serious goals), and then wrap up with an interactive seedling planting demo. The workshop is IDR300k (US$20) with half of it going towards the Seeds of Hope, a charity that Livingwell is behind to help educate locals on organic gardening and support Balinese organic farmers. You also get sent home with 10 kg of fertile soil (a big deal if you live in Bukit where the soil is dry AF), five seedlings, and five types of seeds as a starter kit.

Buy seeds/seedlings and teach yourself

If you don’t want to do a workshop and are more of a DIY-type, just watch some YouTube vids and buy some seeds and seedlings. And as mentioned, Bali Organic Center sells these, but you can also check out which outlets around Bali stock seeds from the non-profit, the IDEP Foundation. They’ve got a ton of stockists, but if none of those are convenient for you, they also sell online via Tokopedia and Bukalapak.

This is a *growing* list of resources and we’ll update it as more places reopen and more workshops become available in Bali.



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