By the way, meet Engineer Heru D. Wardana, the chief of Kampung Djamoe Organik
The ten-hectare “Kampung Djamoe” (Jamu Village) is located near East Jakarta Industrial zone, a one hour drive from Central Jakarta.
It was created for conducting research, testing and training to develop methods for sustainable supply of medicinal plants (about standardization problem in traditional medicine I shall write soon).
Bapak Heru says that at this moment in Indonesia there exist about 900 big jamu companies, and they are all seeking for raw materials, without thinking how to sustain it.
It is right that Indonesia has a colossal biodiversity, but it doesn’t mean that we can neglect its conservation. Our ancestors long time ago used plants for curing illness and for beauty, he says. And now it’s about time to think about its conservation: sooner or later it will run out.
Just one example: from some of the plants we need bark. For that, they have to be grown for 15-20 years. But when we cut the bark, when will the tree grow again? In another 20 years?
Our ancestors were wiser: they took advantage of the nature only in a small amounts, only for personal use, not for commercial… But now we scrape off everything! And many of them are now on the real brink of extinction…
- That’s why we solve another very important task here: we learn how to breed plants, which grew only in wild nature before, now we learn how to cultivate them.
First, cultivated plants are sustainable, and second, they will have standard features. We have to think about the conservation of the nature: in this way, we may never disturb their natural habitat again…
There are only few buildings in “Kampung Djamoe”
This small house is used for conducting seminars.
This is the place where peasants are trained (an installation showed by bapak Heru with pride is a model of a river which is divided into three levels: it is needed for with three-times washing)
Peasants need to be trained not only how to breed wild plants, but also – the method of collecting harvest, its storage, package… and then new problems come up…
- At first we tried to train peasants for free, — recalls bapak Heru. – But… imagine if you were a peasant from a remote area in Kalimantan, suddenly given free a training in the capital city… Won’t you be a little lazy? Won’t you take a tour around the capital or simply have a rest in a comfort? That’s why now we take a fee – any fee, it may be just symbolic — for it. We try to make them think sacrifice something in order to start learning seriously. Thus, their attitude changes: “I have paid for it! I have to gain something?!”
Kamung Djamoe is an island in a miniature: there is a small lake with fishes, pastures, fields… and of course, there is a rice field, too:
Of course! Because rice’s husk are used to compose one of widespread Javanese scrubs for skin:
- But it is not only peasants who come here, tells bapak Heru. As you see, there are many things we can grow here even in a small garden, so many of our students are housewives… Many of them are surprised: “So, I can use betel in that way, too?! Betel, apparently, has antiseptic advantages… well then why should we buy mouthwash after all?”
All kinds of ginger – one of many plants that is frequently used to prepare jamu:
And this one is the vetiver that I would also tell you about soon: