This week Dajuma had the privilege to welcome a delegation of the Ministry of Finances of Indonesia, who came inaugurating a “Banana Farm” in the 1200 ha Pulukan state plantation, close by Dajuma. Initiated by the Governor of Bali, this project is aimed at producing the Cavendish banana specy which is particularly appreciated by export markets. All conditions for getting the best quality are fulfilled in this part fo the island: a rich and fertile volcanic ground, a hot and humid climate and a good irrigation system. But it is also a challenge because this specy is threatened since the early 90s by the “Panama disease”, unfortunately all around the world now. Hopefully this one will not hamper this beautiful project. On the picture the representatives of the authorities ready to plant the first specimen.
This year again, we had the pleasure of welcoming at the beginning of September, 3 groups of the famous french chocolatier Valrhona bringing together chocolate masters from the Asia-Pacific region. Aimed at exchanging experiences and recipes and visiting their cacao producers of West Bali, the gathering was also the opportunity to spend some good time at Dajuma and practice some activities such as massages, stand-up paddle and surfing. They also invited the representatives of the cacao farmers to come and taste the delicious chocolate creations made from the West Bali cacao, particularly some chocolate mousses. Everybody was so happy.
Many people knowing Bali feel suprised when they discover Jembrana Regency, the West wing of the island where Dajuma is located. Here the nature is preserved. In and along the West Bali National Park, the farms grow corn and high quality rices, coconut, rubber, clove, coffee and all sorts of tropical fruit such as mango, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, watermelon, mangosteen, not forgetting, of course, the famous « Durian ».
It is also the place where more than 500 farmers collect cacao beans. Not suprising that the Valrhona company, the famous French provider of the best cacao nibs and chocolate required by professionals since 1922, get involved. After 3 years co-working with KSS cooperative (Kerta Samaya Samania cooperative), Valrhona has launched “Cuvée Sakanti Bali 68%” in 2016.
Last week, Dajuma had the pleasure to welcome 3 delegations of Valrhona customers and employees, totalizing one hundred people. Pastry Chefs of their partner companies made a presentation of their chocolate products. They also practiced with the farmers to make a delicious dessert using the West Bali chocolate and some local fruits and herbs. Pastry chef of the first group came from China, Singapore and Taiwan second group from Hongkong, Korea and Bali and the last group from Japan.
Following human values in the heart of the company, each delegation had the opportunity to visit the plantations, look at the harvesting process, taste samples and cook some delicious cakes. A wonderful moment of sharing experiences and know-how, crowned at night with Balinese dances accompanied by a Jegog orchestra under the stars.
This emblematic animal from Bali is used to take a bath every day in the river close to Dajuma. Driven to the river by our neighbor farmer they spend quite a long time in the water with their babies. Just by looking at them, we can see how good they feel. The farmer says that « it is a tradition in Bali to bath the buffalos because they like it and feel good after. And a buffalo feeling good is a buffalo who works well ». Next time you go strolling on the West beach in the direction of Medewi surfing spot just before sunset, don’t miss this spectacle : it is really something to see !
Rice paddies are for westerners just fascinating. Probably because they are the perfect expression of this so rare harmony between people and nature. By shaping, generation after generation, these beautiful curves perfectly integrated in the landscapes, with volcanoes on one side and the sea on the other, Balinese farmers are the worthy heirs of a long tradition of rice cultivation.
We regularly invite our guests to live a unique experience by sharing the life of one of our neighbour farmer and learning how to plough the rice paddy and plant the rice. On the picture a family from Switzerland is getting acquainted with the way to drive the cows during the preparation of the land and plant the rice just after. But you need to like to have the feet in the mud!
Dajuma is located next door the Pulukan State Plantation of 1180 ha where a lot of flora species such as coconut, rubber and clove trees, cocoa and vanilla plants, banana flowers are grown up by local and skilled farmers.
For western kids, the way these species are grown is just mysterious. For example who knows that peanuts grow underground ? Or that vanilla is a variety of orchid ?
And what about chocolate ? Where does it come from ?
One of our guests, Rev Martin Bieler, was shown on one of our tours a fresh open cocoa pod and decided to bring back two pods to Switzerland, to a local school where the children had been learning for some time about the origin and the production of chocolate. Now they finally got hold of two real cocoa pods! From the original fruit brought back by Martin, it was explained step by step to the children how to extract cocoa beans from the fruit, how to dry and roast before grinding and mixing them with a little fat to finally get the delicious chocolate which delights our palates.
What’s an experience for them!