Permaculture in Bali is developing quite fast; many recent projects are popping up everywhere. Often linking tourism with sustainable living and education. You also find some productive organic farms promoting local and environmental friendly products often sold to expats. Farming in Bali is an interesting mix of conventional use of pesticides and fertilizers with a remnant of traditional agriculture such as pluriculture, water holding earthwork and the use of renewable resources and services. Bananas and papaya surround Rice fields following the traditional Subak rice irrigation system and tomatoes are growing alongside onions. I also saw a great example of Permaculture in small grape farms. They used legume tree as poles grown a few meters apart to support grapes, providing support, mulch materials and nutrients. Below is a list of farms and interesting initiatives happening in Bali.
Bali Asli – Social Permaculture
Bali-Asli is an example of Permaculture applied to a social and economic context in the mountains of central Bali, in the rural village of Pupuan. 25 years ago, Maya and Richard started Bali-Asli with the goal of providing employment and support to the rural community of Pupuan to stop the migration of people to the city. They achieved their goal successfully as they are now the largest employer of this area with 40 workers. They do not only provide a healthy range of products such as jams and soaps but they also brought skills, strengthen community, helped the marginal and established an environmentally conscious business setting an example for others to follow. Here is an article I wrote about social Permaculture and how they apply its principle. The best way is to contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: Pupuan, Tabanan Bali
Tantra’s organic and Permaculture farm
This place is a productive farm designed using Permaculture principle, which produces a range of vegetables such as asparagus and greens. The farm doesn’t really have a name or even less a website. Iskandar started it and it is now run by one of his sons, Tantra. Both families, Richard and Maya at Bali-Asli and Iskandar and Tantra have been developing Permaculture in different ways next to each other in the rural mountains of Pupuan. I visited both place, they welcomed me as part of their family and taught me everything I wanted to learn. They are not part of the woofing and workaway program and are not officially taking in volunteer. Though if you just pop up one day in the hope of visiting the farm for the day, they might invite you for dinner. Plus the road trip is a great way to see beautiful, off the beaten track in Bali. You can also contact Bali-Asli through their Facebook page or their email address and get in contact with Tantra through them.
To find the place, you need to travel to a small village called Bangsing, Tabanan. If coming from Denpasar you will see a Police station on the right, and a road to the left to Padangan. Turn into this road, if you see the petrol station then you have gone too far and missed the turnoff by a few hundred meters. Follow the road for about a kilometer. Both Bali-Asli and tantra’s place are in the same street just after a small zoo. Though just ask the locals, they all know Bali-Asli.
Location: Pupuan, Tabanan Bali
IDEP – NGO
Idep is an Indonesian NGO started in 1999, which provide education program around Permaculture, and community based disaster management. They have a demonstration farm in Gianyar, Bali. I haven’t visited their farm but they are very involved in the Permaculture community in Indonesia. They published a few Permaculture guidelines and books for sustainable living and Permaculture teachers in English and Indonesian. These books are now the frameworks for Permaculture in the Indonesian climate and cultural context. Their volunteer program is quite organized and based on their need so it is often related to computer skills. Though it is only 30 minutes from Ubud so you can just rent a scooter and visit the site for a day.
Location: Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali
Taman Petanu – Permaculture community
This is a massive project because it encompasses all aspects of Permaculture with the creation of an alternative neighborhood for environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability. It is also deeply rooted in the Balinese culture. It is like an eco-village, providing 20 self-contained private plots and common facilities such as waste and water treatment, permaculture gardens and workshops. They are also building an eco farm next to the village. The goal is to be self sufficient in food and to contribute to the creation of an alternative food system in Bali. They offer many different volunteering opportunities from teaching English, to Permaculture and community building so you can get involved in their project and learn.
Location: Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali
Jiwa Damai – Organic, Permaculture education & retreat centre
Jiwa Damai is a Permaculture Garden and Retreat located in the heart of Bali. From encountering the tranquility of the natural surroundings, re-connecting to the Self through Heart Meditation, discovering the art of permaculture in its abundant tropical gardens to practicing morning yoga, Jiwa Damai embraces its visitors with personalized offers.
Throughout the years, Jiwa Damai and Lagu Damai Bali Foundation has worked to spread and support green practices both through its activities, workshops and seminars for guests, interns and volunteers and community projects. Thus, Jiwa Damai is as a center of learning for people wanting to change their lives. The internship is one of the programs which enables people to develop their own project in areas such as permaculture, transpersonal psychology and many others.
Set in a tropical region with much sun, surrounded by protective coconut palm trees, Jiwa Damai offers its fruits and veggies with high energetic-nutritional values to its visitors. All plants and trees are cared for lovingly by hand. Among its local products one can find cold press coconut oil, coconut flour, cacao beans and dried fruits and vegetables. Find more here: http://jiwadamai.net/
Location: Banjar Bindu – Mambal – Badung
Good Earth Farm Bali
Started in early 2015, Good Earth Farm Bali is a quarter acre plot of land in the middle of the rice fields in Ubud. The farm uses elements and principles of permaculture to create an abundant edible landscape, which is replicable small scale; so all families with a small garden can experience some degree of self-sufficiency. After only 1 year, the Farm already has 3 goats, 2 Bali heritages black Pigs, 2 rescue dogs, ducks, chickens and an aquaculture system with over 300 fishes. They are also building their kitchen garden and a beautiful mandala designed food forest. All of that on only a quarter of an acre and in only one year! The farm is located in Ubud, near the centre so you few passed by, go see Nathan, give him a hand and learn how to grow food on a garden scale. Good Earth Farm Bali can also be found through workaway.org
Location: Banjar Kutuh, Sayan, Bali
Other resources for Permaculture and Organic Farms in Bali
There are many other farms and Permaculture initiatives in Bali which I didn’t include in this list workaway is a good place to start as well as the Permaculture global website. Under project will find many initiatives per country.
I found another farm which I would have loved to visit in the Permaculture Global website called Four Hand Organic. You can find more information about them here.