The opportunity to visit a farm, pick their products, and then consume them at their on-site restaurant is usually a pretty fulfilling experience. It hits you with a sense of appreciation for the food like no other.
An organic plantation is hidden in Kampung Pulau Meranti in Puchong, offering you the experience of going from farm to table. Known as Bug’s Paradise Farm, this is where you can plant, pick, and enjoy your vegetables in a plant-based steamboat restaurant.
You eat what you choose
You pick it and then you eat it / Photo credit: Bug’s Paradise Farm
Most of us can recognize organic vegetables by their labels, neatly stacked on racks in a supermarket. We know their names from their packaging, but how many times have you wondered how they were grown?
So Bug’s Paradise opened its gates and allowed tourists and locals to tour the farm.
During the tour, the General Manager, Zhan Hui, will talk about growing the vegetables and the team’s experience with growing them. Visitors can also grow vegetables on the farm and return regularly to watch them germinate.
“And the farm tour ends with a special lunch box (because our cooking principle is plant-based, organic and original). We hope everyone can try fresh vegetables because they are much more nutritious and taste better than others, ”Cheo Yee Jing, sales and marketing director, told Vulcan Post.
After a month or two, visitors who have planted a seed can visit the farm again to harvest their vegetables. You could also head to the farm’s steamboat restaurant to enjoy the fruits (or, in this case, vegetables) of their labor.
Partnership with a known player
The plant beds / Photo credit: Bug’s Paradise Farm
The reason for the Bug’s Paradise concept is that, according to the team, organic products taste best after they have been picked from the ground. “At the same time, you’re shortening food miles and making them environmentally friendly,” said Cheo.
Dictionary time: Food miles are the distance that food is transported from the time it is produced to the consumer. Food miles are a factor used in testing the environmental impact of food, e.g. B. the carbon footprint of food.
To bring this idea to life, the team from Kluang joined forces in a startup competition who held a senior position at BMS Organics and shared the same vision.
“Why don’t we just join in? [BMS Organics] in the capital of Malaysia, which has more resources to start a business than a small town? “Cheo remembered him and said,” So we joined him in Puchong to work this project out. “
They also have a goat / Image Credit: Bug’s Paradise Farm
Together, the team found a small 2 acre farm hidden in town and reminded me of the petting zoo our team had recently visited: Farm In The City. Bug’s Paradise actually shares some similarities with the zoo in that visitors not only come for free time, but also want to learn about the animals and plants around the country.
“We don’t just grow vegetables to sell. We grow a variety of crops and bring more people closer to nature in the hope that more people can come to us as organic farmers and increase the volume of organic vegetables in the market, ”shared an avid Cheo.
“We hope that one day most people will be able to consume more organic vegetables and live healthily while at the same time being able to treat our earth well.”
You start with a seed
Your plants are marked with your name so that you can find them again. Photo credit: Bug’s Paradise Farm
Cheo explained that it takes 60 days for a seed to ripen into a vegetable. Germination in Bug’s Paradise nursery takes approximately 20 days before planting in plant beds with healthy soil, enough sunlight, and water. There the plant will grow and be tended by her small team, consisting of a full-time employee and Zhan Hui, who will harvest the vegetables after 40 days.
Some of the vegetables grown at Bug’s Paradise include leafy greens like siow pak choi, kangkung and choi sum, as well as some fruity vegetables like long beans, lady fingers (okra) and eggplant. Cheo informed that these are vegetables that grow well in lowland atmospheres.
“We plant them directly under the hot sun or in heavy rain without greenhouse protection. It can make vegetables stronger and the taste is more complex as the vegetables have to compete with wheat and still stay strong in the harsh environment, ”she explained.
In order to maintain a healthy and sustainable environment in the soil of your farm, various plants are planted and crop rotations carried out at the same time.
In contrast to a buffet line
Families on tour / Photo credit: Bug’s Paradise Farm
Since customers are free to choose which vegetables to pick from the farm and then enjoy them in the Steamboat restaurant, this poses an inventory management problem. Bug’s Paradise is not like a normal steamboat restaurant where the kitchen staff can only stock up the buffet. These vegetables need at least 60 days before they are harvested for consumption.
I asked Cheo, “What if customers picked so much of a certain vegetable that there weren’t enough for others? How do you manage the inventory? “
“Actually, we can’t really continue this vegetable-picking program. Just like your question, we’ve had quite a few customers with this type of behavior. And our team is really small, we still don’t have enough staff to do this, ”she replied defeated. “In the future, however, we will continue this program as soon as we are ready.”
While this type of defeat defeats the purpose of a customer-centric farm-to-table experience, the team could potentially have more stringent picking terms in the future. For example, limiting the volume of each type of vegetable a customer can choose. This could work as a short term solution while they find a more sustainable settlement.
So Bug’s Paradise Farm plans to work with more parties over the next 3 years to build more organic farms. They also want to encourage more young people to join them in organic farming.
“We believe organic farming is the future of farming as many climate change issues are afoot and more people care about our living planet,” concluded Cheo optimistically.
- You can find out more about Bug’s Paradise Farm here.
- You can read our other Agritech pieces here.
Featured image source: Jia Hui, General Manager at Bug’s Paradise Farm