One of Manengkel Solidaritas project is to help Desa Tumaluntung Village, an eco-farm runned by Mr. Winny Maramis, located next to Klabat University. The goal of this place is to help students who comes from low income families and who can’t afford the price of their studies. Winny offers them a place to sleep and eat, in exchange of their help with the farm. They learn how to become self-sufficient, to grow their own vegetables by doing sustainable farming, to build houses and to take care of the place.
After one hour drive from Manado, we arrived at the farm, and we were stunned to discover a little piece of paradise in North Sulawesi. Winny welcomed us with a big smile, happy that we will help his project to be known. The farm is really huge (13 hectares), and is composed of some ponds for fishing, some areas dedicated for plantations of vegetables, and a big house at the end of the domain were all the students live together. The place is surrounded by nature, birds, dogs, and is animated by the joy of the students who seems to really like our arrival.
While we were walking through the domain, Winny related his history. In fact, he used to be a businessman in Jakarta, but he really wanted to help people and to give back to the world what he has. He built this place in only 3 years, and he chose to help students from Klabat University because it’s where he has been studying himself.
During our visit, we passed in front of a big greenhouse, where some vegetables were growing. This greenhouse was built with the help of Manengkel Solidaritas. They have been helping Tumaluntung Village since 2019, by teaching the students how to do sustainable farming, to grow organic vegetables, they helped them with the facilities and waste management by showing them how to do a compost.
Manengkel Solidaritas teached the students of Tumaluntung village how to produce their own natural fertilizer, and we had the chance to observe the process of its making.
First, you need to chop off some banana tree and put it in a big plastic pot (1). Then, you place 6 corks of fermenting bacteria solution into 3 liters of water (2), to which you add natural sugar from Arenga pinnatae (3). Arenga pinnatae sugar palm grows almost everywhere, even on poor soils and steep slopes. But, more importantly, the sugar palm grows best among other trees in the forest, making it unnecessary to remove neighboring species, on the contrary necessary. So this recipe uses the best ingredients to make it the more natural and best for the environment.
You now have your fermenting solution. Then, you mix the fermenting solution with the chopped banana tree (4). The fertilizing solution needs to rest for 14 days before using, and it needs to be mixed daily. It is used as one liter for ten liters of water, and it helps to grow vegetables really fast, in a completely sustainable way.