Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Minutes of the 6th Meeting

Meeting was held on July 15, 3-5pm at Warung Bambu, Pemaron, Bali

Present at the Meeting in Warung Bambu: Beate, Renate, Yuli, Burkhard, Burgel, Tilli, Evelyn
Absent: Brigitta and Silvia are very busy packing and moving their things to their new home in KEV. Gina is back in Bali, but busy with preparing for a guest group.

Next meeting will be an excursion to KEV. Details will follow when arranged.

As it is peak tourist season in Bali, everybody is busy taking care of guests in one way or the other. All the same we are glad we met and Beate provided again her cosy place for us. As there were no subjects on the agenda we just let the subjects arise and we ended up in a festival of the senses with lots of tasting and smelling and watching and touching. But first the more serious things.
  • Beate informed, that the organic rice which she and her husband planted on 30 are (1 are = 100 m2) is growing well. The price for 1 kg organic rice is 15'000 Rp., 3 times as much as for regular rice, which gives the farmer a better income and is more healthy and nutritious.
  • Some members made the experience that their gardeners don't water the vegetable garden properly, same amount of water for every plant or forgetting to water the seedlings regularly. It seems that Balinese gardeners are not used to tend to vegetable gardens. They usually plant rice or another crop and then leave it grow. Renate suggested to put the tasks in writing and hang them somewhere where they can be read every day. It also helps to set priorities. We need to understand how Balinese people think and learn in order to help them. Sometimes we just take it for granted that they think in the same way as we do and forget how fortunate we are that we were born in Europe and had access to a good education.
  • Beate reminded us about our goal to set up an organic market in Lovina until the end of the year. We talked about products to be sold and a good location for a start.
  • We found out how little we know about coconut oil. How is it produced? Yuli explained us how her mother used to make it by grating the white flesh, soaking it in water, pressing it and then heating the resulting coconut milk until the oil swims on top, skimming it and heating it again until it becomes clear and all the water is gone. Beate let us smell and taste the local made coconut oil she uses in her restaurant. What a delicacy for tongue and nose and fingers! We compared it to an older sample of cold pressed coconut oil from Bali Asli which smelled more like Bounty but also a bit rancid.
  • This led to the next question: What other oils are available in Bali? Luckily the kitchen was not far and one of Beate's lovely staff members heated a kemiri nut so we could experience the kemiri oil. Probably the most widespread cooking oil in Bali is palm oil like Bimoli made from oil palms which are planted in huge monocultural plantations.
  • From oil to water: Filtering the water or buying bottled water for drinking? What brand and what kind of filter? Tilli has a filter but can not buy the filtering replacements any more. Beate recommends the water filter from AMWAY, which is available at ABD Shop in Singaraja. Is there a laboratory for testing water quality?
  • From water to bread: Big issue for western people. Where to buy good flour for making bread? How to make good bread? Beate's bread maker just finished a loaf and she let us nibble on a slice. Very yummy! And later Beate's daughter Narayani shows us how simple the use of the bread maker is after the mother has read the instruction manual for all the different buttons. Reminded me of my old friend in Portugal who baked bread for the Saturday farmers market there. She just bought the grains. Thursday evening she started preparing the dough by grinding the grains in her mill. Have you ever smelled and touched freshly grinded flour? Then she mixed the different kinds of flour and added the sourdough and let it rest and develop for the night. The next morning she added the salt, some more flour and water and finished the dough by kneading it with her skillful hands. When the dough was finished it was cut and weighed and filled in the oiled forms where it rested again while she was busy making the fire in the oven. Sorry guys, just became a little bit nostalgic when I saw the automated bread maker. Different times, different places, different circumstances!
  • Probably no grains and no mills available in Bali, but you can get various flour mixtures from Prambanan Kencana, Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai No 99, phone 0361 288767,, recommended by Burgel.
Please add your comments and amendments to the posting. If you don't know how just send me an email and I will include them in the posting. Further research on the above questions is very welcome!

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