ORGANIC FARMING PROJECT

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Introduction

Background

Organic farming has gained popularity in Malaysia, partly due to the effect that CETDEM’s Organic Farm which operated for some 10 years at Sungai Buloh, near Kuala Lumpur (CETDEM started its 1st Community Farm in 1986 in Subang New Village).

What began as a one-acre experiment in 1987 grew well enough to be a proven venture. The small farm was growing vegetables and fruits, without the use of any chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. The farm concentrated on a variety of local vegetables including cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, long beans, radish, eggplants, mustard [sawi], and spinach [bayam]. It was also growing tropical fruits like papaya and banana.Within a few years, possibly much to the surprise of some cynics, the farm was flourishing enough to be doing direct sales and even retailing its produce through two supermarkets in Kuala Lumpur.

Today, the farm is closed. But only to launch a new beginning. CETDEM decided that with its limited resources, it has to spread the good philosophy and practice of organic farming and kitchen gardening. The practical experiences learnt need to be shared, more so when there is an urgent need to increase the quality and quantity of organic produce in the Malaysian market.

Objectives

The main objectives of the Project are to demonstrate the viability of organic farming in the Malaysian environment and to promote public appreciation of environmental issues including:
- The conservation of resources
- The need for changes in lifestyle

The current phase of the Project focuses on sharing our experiences with farmers, trainers and individuals so that more organic produce is available in the country

Specifically, from 1986 to 1996, the CETDEM organic farm:

1. Sought to cultivate an appreciation of farming [especially organic farming] while being a practical contribution to the national effort to be self-sufficient in food;

2. Allowed the development and application of ecologically sound agricultural practices as well as the utilization of renewable energy systems; and

3. Enabled both interns and volunteers to improve their own skills through participation in farm activities while allowing them to provide a practical learning environment for children who spent weekends and school holidays at the farm.

Funding

In the early years, the Project received financial support from Bread for the World (1988 – 1992) and HIVOS (1998 – 1999). In between that period and until now, the Organic Farming Project has been funded from income from the Organic Farm itself.

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Perspective

Brief Organic History

(Source: Article by Nuria Alonso in the international magazine of IFOAM No.36)

The spread of organic ideas started in the 1920s and 1930s with the publication of books by the pioneers from Europe and the USA. Those publications expounded more an ideology and a way of life than technical guidelines for producing food organically. The time for standards came later, preceded by a period on which the organic producers started to organize their first associations and in several countries of Europe, the US and Australia developed a voluntary system of inspection.The first organic label was probably Demeter, the biodynamic label.

After that, the British Soil Association published its first standards in 1967. The modern, more structured system of inspections, in situ as known nowadays, started in the 1970s. During this period the development of organic certification in some states of the US, mainly in California, was particularly relevant. These initiatives by existing groups of organic farmers led to the development certification bodies such as the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

By the 1980s other European organizations, such as KRAV in Sweden and Skal in the Netherlands, had started to develop their standards and certification programmes.The organizations founded during those decades were usually and still are dedicated to several other activities related to organic production in addition to certification.By and large, governmental legislation started in the 1980s; California and Oregon, with state legislation dating back to the 1970s, being the notable exceptions. This development was in response to governments recognizing the emerging importance of organic markets and wanting to organize and regulate that kind of production. In Europe, 3 countries – Denmark, France and Spain – had national legislation in place within that decade.

A very significant step was the implementation of the EU Regulation 2092/91, which took place in Europe in 1991. This Regulation, which covered all EU Member States, meant that more countries than ever before, including some that had shown little interest in organic production became governed by an organic regulation.

13 years later the Regulation is still in force. Throughout that time a total of 25 amendments and new standards, proposed by the Committee that represents all the EU Member States and approved by the EU Commission have been incorporated, so that now it has grown into a much more extensive document than the original one in 1991.

In 2000 Japan published its Organic Regulation (JAS) and the final regulation for organic food in the US, the National Organic Program (NOP), came into force in October 2002. Several other countries throughout the world now have a national legislation that regulates their organic production, and many others are putting the necessary resources into developing legislation.

Until recently, countries from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe did not have an internal market for organic produce. Any certified organic production in these countries was to supply the international markets of the richer countries of Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. These organic enterprises were managed according to the standards of the importing countries, and were mainly certified by certification bodies from the countries where the Organic Movement started.But things are changing, especially in Latin America and Eastern Europe. In Latin America the situation has developed from the first national organic legislation being implemented in Argentina in 1992, to the current scenario, where several countries have recently published, are drafting, or are discussing the drafting of national standards. At the same time some accredited local certification bodies are also emerging.

In Eastern Europe several countries joined the EU on 1 May 2004, and big developments are expected regarding their organic production and legislation.At the international and global level, the role played by IFOAM should be recognized. Founded as in International Federation for Organic Agriculture Movements in 1972, it has published basic organic standards since 1980. These standards, continuously updated and enlarged, are used as a reference, a common point and a guideline for the development of many new and different organic standards throughout the world.

The IFOAM Basic Standards (IBS) have thus provided the basis of standards and regulations in regions of the world with very different climates, cultures and agriculture practices. Parallel to this project, was the development of Codex Alimentarius (or food code), which was drawn up under the joint FAO/WHO food standards programme. The purpose of the Codex Alimentarius was to act as a guideline on the production, processing, labeling and marketing of organically produced food. They were finally adopted in 1999.

Role of Standards in Organic Trade

The current net of organic standards available worldwide has a fundamental influence over the market of organic products. Nowadays private standards belonging to individual certification bodies, are very common, but every decade governmental standards are becoming more relevant. Generally speaking, an organic organization is allowed to keep their own standards if they are in compliance with their country’s national regulations.

In the case of the EU Member countries private standards must be compliant with the EU Regulation 2092/91. An exception is the US, where since the implementation of the USDA programme (NOP), private organic bodies in the country are not allowed to use their own standards or any others that differ to the NOP, except for meeting exportation requirements.What happens in practice is that the main importing countries are the ones that impose their rules in the international organic market.

Therefore, the world’s three dominant regulations, the EU Regulation, NOP in the USA and JAS in Japan, have the largest number of organic producers that must conform to them. In addition, the stronger private standards have an added influence on many producers within both their own countries and importing countries.Closely related to the standards that organic producers must conform to is another important marketing element; that of the seal or logo used. As with the situation with standards, there are governmental seals and private ones.

In France, the most recognizable and influential symbol is the national government seal called AB. In Germany the national Biosiegel is well accepted. However, in many other European countries it is a private symbol that is the most influential and in many cases is what consumers associate with the word “organic” when looking at a food label.The different standards at national or private level and the different seals enrich the concept of “organic” with their differences, but sometimes represent a barrier for trade.

The organic sector is continuously searching for greater harmonization. The importance of this issue was illustrated at the IFOAM Conference on “International Harmonization and Equivalence in Organic Agriculture”, held in Nuremberg, Germany in February 2002. There was much discussion and it was clear that all sectors involved need to make every effort if any degree of harmonization is to be achieved.

International Development of Organic Standard

(Source: Article by Nuria Alonso in the international magazine of IFOAM No.36)

Initial Development of Organic Standards – Ideology & Principles

1928 The Demeter Symbol, based on Rudolf Steiners philosophy, introduced and the first Standards for Demeter Quality Control formulated
1940 Sir Albert Howard, British agronomist working in India published An Agricultural Testament
1942 First issue of Organic Farming and Gardening by J.I. Rodale (US) published
1943 Lady Eve Balfour published The Living Soil (UK)
1946 Foundation of the Soil Association (UK)

Early Development of Private Standards & Government Legislations

1967 First Organic Standards published (by Soil Association in UK)
1972 Foundation of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM)
1980 First publication of IFOAM Basic Standards
1990 Organic Foods Production Act passed in the US

Developments in the 1990s

1991 EU Regulation 2092/91 was adopted
1992 The NOP Proposed Rule (National Organic Standards of the US) published
1992 The National Standard for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce implemented in Australia
1994 The Chinese National Environmental Protection Agency established the OFDC, currently the main certifier & a standards setting organization
1998 IFOAM developed Organic Textiles Standards, since then other private organizations have developed their own textiles standards
1998 The Swiss Regulation on Organic Faring came into force following the legislation in the EuopreanUnion
1999 Guidelines from FAO/WHO, Codex Alimentarius adopted
1999 EU incorporated regulation for livestock production

Recent Developments

2000 Japanese Organic Regulation (JAS) published
2000 The NOP Proposed Rule (National Organic Standards of the US) published
2002 Two new fair trade standards, published by the Soil Association (UK) and Ecocert in France (Bio Equitable)
2002 National Organic Program (NOP) Final Rule (US) came into force
2002 FAO and Tropical Fruit Network prepared the Technical Guidelines on Organic Cultivation of Tropical and Sub-tropical Fruits
2003 IFOAM and some certifying bodies over the last few years developed Organic Aquaculture Standards
2003 New addition to the EU Regulation 2092/91 to implement standards on the manufacture of livestock feeding stuff.

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Members

Click on below links for the memberships form

Organic Farming Member Form Page 1

Organic Farming Member Form Page 2

There are 3 categories of Organic Farming Project membership:

1. Kitchen Gardening Group (KGG)

KGG membership is open to all healthy-living enthusiasts – whether office-workers, homemakers, students, or even retired persons.

2. Farmers Group (FG)

This informal group was set up in 1998 as a platform for farmers to network and exchange information and experiences, knowledge & problems, and more importantly, their ability to work as a group. It tries to create opportunities for the farmers & NGOs, both locally and globally, through study visits, seminars, workshops, & conference.

CETDEM would like to see the farmers formally organised and acting as part of an integrated O.F. system. In order to safeguard the interests of genuine organic farmers and consumers, CETDEM has successfully been working with the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant agencies in developing a national standard and certification system. Membership is open to all potential organic farmers who are committed to O.F. practices.

Click here for FARMERS GROUP list

3. Friend of CETDEM Organic Farming Project (FCOFP)

This category caters to businesses which are not Organic Farmers.

Click here for Friends of CETDEM OFP list

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OFCC – Organic Farming Community Centre


Front view of Organic Farming Community Centre

The CETDEM Organic Farming Community Centre (OFCC) opened in January 2007. OFCC will serve as a working model of a learning centre for ecological sustainable living for the local community. It is run based on the ethics and design principles of organic farming and gardening. It also promotes energy and water efficiency. The aim of OFCC is to demonstrate that the community can adopt sustainable principles into their daily lives to illustrate minimum negative impact to the environment in urban housing.

Information on the Organic Farming Community Centre

Support the Organic Farming Community Centre

Major Objectives

A platform to
- exchange basic organic farming information;
- develop skills and knowledge in organic farming / gardening;
- meet like-minded people and make positive impact on the environment and personal development;
- serve as a seed ‘bank’;
- foster a greater community spirit of volunteerism within the local community;
- host study visits for interested individuals and groups, especially school children;
- experience a holistic lifestyle for the improvement of our well being.

The community will also
- learn about energy and water efficiency, besides waste reduction;
- learn and help with the running of the Resource Centre;
- learn and share healthy food preparation/cooking.

Vision

The CETDEM Organic Farming Community Centre will be a working model of accessible, ecologically sustainable living and a dynamic learning resource centre for the local community. We will follow the ethics and design principles of organic farming & gardening, and at the same time promote energy and water efficiency.

Mission

We aim to show how an urban community can adopt sustainability principles into their daily lives, and illustrate the least environmental impact in urban housing for the greater community to make their own homes more environment friendly.

Finance

The Centre is being funded primarily through sponsorships, donations, membership subscriptions, and grants. Where it enhances our core activities, we will also undertake ‘fee-for-service’ work, particularly on organic farming / gardening and baking / cooking, as well as waste reduction programmes. We will promote and practise a holistic approach to sustainability through integrating environmental, economic and social considerations. The support of well-wishers is greatly welcomed.

Activities

Activities include talks, courses and social gatherings or sharing sessions on health food preparation, seeds sharing, and other community activities. Besides the Organic Garden, the Centre also incorporates a Slow Food Kitchen where food will be served with vegetables/fruits freshly picked from the garden. Surplus vegetables/fruits will be sold to members at affordable prices.

Long-Term Objectives

To be a self-sustaining centre meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the local community with their support and participation. The Centre will serve as a model for other communities.

Organic Farming Community Centre is located in a corner lot double storey house at
No 29 Jalan 19/15,
Section 19, Petaling Jaya, MALAYSIA

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Seeds

Click on below links for the list of seeds available

List of Seeds

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Slow Food

Introduction

Amongst other activities, the OFCC also houses a Slow Food Kitchen where food will be served with vegetables/fruits/herbs freshly picked from the Centre’s garden. Slow Food Kitchen is to demonstrate and promote healthy food preparation with NO use of MSG and other food additives; use less salt / sugar / oil and less fried. Slow Food Kitchen also serves as a platform for health conscious yet creative people to share their ‘expertise and experience’ and develop together a new recipe book.

Objective

As more and more people are leading a fast life, we are not conscious of the kind of food we eat in terms of nutritional value, food/product consumption patterns, where and how it comes from, and how food choices and eating habits affect the livelihood of the native people, and the environment, locally and globally.

The primary objective of setting up of the Slow Food Kitchen is not to generate income for the operational cost of the Community Centre but to demonstrate to the diners the benefit of eating organic food and how it is being prepared/cooked/eaten in a simple but tasty and healthy way.

With that, we hope will connect food producers/farmers, consumers, advocators, cooks, and people like you who value the art of eating/cooking. Slow Food meals bring the joys of eating responsibly in harmony with the pursuit of pleasure.

Slow Food International

Slow Food International is a non-profit International Association with membership of more than 83,000 in 107 countries around the world. The events and projects the Association organises are Terra Madre (means Mother Earth) Salone del Gusto / Slow fish / Cheese / Taste education in school garden and children sensory classes etc.

Slow Food International is basically a foundation set up to defend world biodiversity through the Ark and Presidia products/projects to defend and promote traditional local products.In year 2004, Slow Food International organised its first Terra Madre (Mother Earth), world meeting of food communities, brought 5,000 farmers and food producers together in Turin, Italy.

For this 1st edition, CETDEM was approached to send 5 delegates to participate in the workshop held on 20 ~ 23 October. At the 2nd edition, year 2006, the CETDEM Organic Farming Coordinator led a group of 4 consisting of 2 farmers, one cook and a retailer that participated in the event from 26 to 30 October. This time CETDEM was asked to send a cook to demonstrate a recipe with use of black pepper grown in Sarawak.Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity`s mission is to organize and fund project that defend the world`s heritage of agricultural biodiversity and gastronomic traditions.

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Courses & Activities

Courses

There are 3 types of courses available targeting at different group of people.

1. Organic Farming Kitchen Gardening Partime Courses
2. Organic Farming Courses
3. Weekend Farming Courses on Organic Composting

These are some of the activities which are organised through CETDEM Organic Farming Project.

Activities

1. Hari Organik
The concept of CETDEM Hari Organik is essentially a blend of an Organic Marketplace incorporating Talks, Demonstations and Fun activites. The visitors (customers) and exhibitors (providers) are encouraged to interact beyond the usual buyer-seller framework, so that a better understanding can be inculcated between the parties, and networking can be facilitated. Having this in mind, the CETDEM Hari Organic concept was presented to the MBPJ Local Agenda Office. The inclusion of the Section 19 Residents Association and Slow Food Klang Valley Convivion created a synergy of NGO, Local Government and Community which unique to say the least.

2. Farmer’s Corner
An event that happens every 3rd week of the month except on public holidays and when it does not clash with our major events. If you are looking for fresh, affordable organic vegetables and some delicious breads/quick breads, this is the place for you!

3. National Organic Farming Exhibition.

4. National Organic Agriculture Seminar.

Please visit the CETDEM website / FaceBook regularly for latest updates on courses and activities available.

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Diary

2014

Date Event
21 Dec Farmer’s Corner
9 Dec Talk on Kitchen Composting, Institut Latihan Perumahan & Kerajaan
4 Dec SOM Certification Ceremony, ESSET, Bangi, Selangor
29 Nov 16th Hari Organik – Bangsar, KL
8 Nov Talk on Kitchen Gardening and Composting Damansara Kim, PJ.
19 Oct Farmer’s Corner
12 Oct Bin Composting Class
8-10 Oct Visitor from ARI, Japan
28 Sept The Pure life Society Medical Camp, Puchong, Selangor
21 Sept Farmer’s Corner
15-18 Sept Agro-biodiversity & Agro-environment Symposium, Kuching, Sarawak
10 Sept Talk on Bin Composting / Organic Kitchen Gardening
7 Sept Community Wok
29-31 Aug FAMEX Family Expo, MITC, Malacca
23 Aug Luncheon Talk
17 Aug Farmer’s Corner
9 & 23 Aug, 6 & 20 Sep, 18 Oct Community Composting Group
20 July Farmer’s Corner
5 June Outreach program: Training in Christian Care Centre, Ulu Langat
21 June 15th Hari Organik-Taman Bandar SS2
18 May Farmer’s Corner
25 May Public Forum: “What is Happening to Organic Farming in Malaysia?”
11 May OFP Potluck Lunch Get-Together
24 April 14th Hari Organik – Klang Centro Mall
11-13 April STAR Health Fair
16 March Farmer’s Corner
23 Feb Talk / Demo on Composting & Kitchen Gardening in Penang
16 Feb Farmer’s Corner
12 Jan Bin Composting Class

2013

Date Event
21 July Farmer’s Corner
29 June 12th Hari Organik @ Bangsar
CETDEM’s signature event, Hari Organik, was held in Bangsar for the first time. The half day activity was held in collaboration with Persatuan Penduduk Bukit Damansara and DBKL
28 May Children’s Activity @ OFCC
> * Tour of the garden > * Simple/basic organic gardening skills: includes seeds sowing/watering /mulching etc > * Learning how to recycle kitchen & garden waste into compost > * Sensory Education: smell, touch, taste… > * Fun games related to organic farming > * Cooking experience ~ making own lunch
19 May Farmers Corner @ OFCC
28 Apr Bin Composting Class @ OFCC
Participants learned to turn their kitchen and garden waste into compost
12-14 Apr STAR Health Fair 2013 @ Mid Valley Exhibition Centre
CETDEM participated in the STAR Health Fair 2013. Our exhibit was housed at Hall 2, Booths B 050, 051 & 052
24 Mar Day Trip to Titi Organic Farm Resort
17 Mar Farmers Corner @ OFCC
19-20 Jan Weekend Organic Home Gardening Course @ OFCC
13 Jan Farmers Corner @ OFCC

2012

Date Event
16 Dec Farmer’s Corner
9 Dec Potluck Lunch Get-together
18 Nov Farmer’s Corner
21 Oct Farmer’s Corner
22 Sept 11th Hari Organik
15 July Farmer’s Market
2-3 July CETDEM National Organic Agriculture Seminar 2012
23 June 10th Hari Organik
20 May Farmer’s Market
15 April Farmer’s Market
24 March 9th Hari Organik

2011

Date Event
27 Nov Titi Eco Farm Observation Trip
11-13 Nov 3D2N Organic Farming Course
15 Oct 8th Hari Organik
25 June 7th Hari Organik
15 May Potluck Gatering
10 April Bin Composting Class & Baking Class
26 March 6th Hari Organik
20 March Children’s Activities
22 Feb Bin Composting Class & Baking Class

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Projects

CHC@PJ

Community Initiative on Household Waste Composting in Petaling Jaya (CHC@PJ)

The Community Initiative on Household Waste Composting (hereon referred to as CHC@PJ Project) was a project managed by CETDEM on behalf of Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) and funded by DANIDA-Solid Waste Management Component (SWMC) Funds Management Group (FMG). The target of CHC@PJ was to attract and retain the participation of 50 households (living with the jurisdiction of the MBPJ) over 18 months in composting
efforts by these households.

The main aim of the CHC@PJ project was to reduce kitchen and garden waste through the good practise of composting at household level.

Methodology


Participants attending a composting demonstration


Participants learning to turn the compost

1. Recruiting Participants (briefing and selection)
2. Composting Demonstration
3. Baseline Data for Garbage Disposal;
4. Follow-up / On-site Visits to Participants’ homes;
5. Review Meetings;
6. Data for garbage disposal towards end of project.

Results

A majority of the project participants were able to record 40-60% reduction in solid waste disposal by the end of the project.

On the average, each participating household was able to reduce the monthly waste put out for collection by Alam Flora by 47%.


Participants pose with fruits of their labour

Click here to read more about CHC@PJ Project

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Newsletter

Members of CETDEM’s Organic Farming Project will receive a copy of the complete newsletter /news bulletin.


Click here on image to download an extract of the News Bulletin

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Articles

My Dream

Talking about ‘Dreams’ – well, I have always been dreaming……until today… I remember when I was in primary school and we were asked to write an essay on what we would do if we were millionaires. I wanted to help the poor and make people happy, I wrote. And when I was in the secondary, I would always cycle to the seaside at sunset and look at the blue sky and dream of being a bird….fly and fly with no worries but lots of freedom, and I remember I even wrote a very romantic poem (in Mandarin!) but the newspaper wouldn’t publish it because the editor said at my age I shouldn’t be writing love poems!

As I grew older, one of my dreams came through…..I wanted to live a meaningful life and here I am. I was given plenty of opportunities to learn, experience, acquire knowledge, discover my weaknesses and strengths and listen to my inner voice…..thus I want to share, utilize, disseminate and impart these ‘wealth’ with people and together we grow! For this the then CETDEM Community Farm was set up in September 1986 and later had the name changed to CETDEM Organic Farm one year after we moved to Sungai Buloh in 1988.

However, the ‘Dream’ of seeing a Community Organic Farm happening, the fire within me is still burning……goes and comes, even until today … The dream of people living and working together with a life full of challenges; people coming to the farm to experience and understand Man and Nature relationships, and find solace in the farm/community. The joy of eating healthy food and understanding how food are being produced, and how it helps one to develop one’s inner soul and shape one’s social faculty. I dream to see the farm as a platform for human development and not just produce and supply of vegetables. Like we always say – farming is an art – it is not just another way to farm but is a way of life.

As the soil is the foundation of any farming community, we need to understand the meaning of ‘agri–culture’ as it is ‘cultivation of land’ and not simply ‘cultivating dollars and cents’. Someone pointed out that the words of tillage and worship are ideas of culture rooted from an Indo-European, meaning both ‘to resolve’ and ‘to dwell’. To live, to survive on the earth, to care for the soil and to worship, all are part of a cycle. I always observe how soil and weeds are being hoed and farm tools maintained – these show the farmers’ love, pride and commitments towards the fruit of their labour.

I still dream of one day seeing an environmentally conscious type of organic shop run along the traditional concepts. I dream to see many more owners taking a very bold step and commit to organic principles, especially environmental protection and adopt retail code of practices.

I believe the day when I stop dreaming will be the day my Heart stops beating !
Have a Wonderful & Fruitful year 2006 and may your dream(s) come true !

Other articles found in this issue:
Study Backs Operating Efficiency of Organic Sector
Soil Management: Know Your Soil
Insects that control Other Insects
Formaldehyde Removal by Plants
My New Compost Bin
Seed Saving of Melons & Cucumber
My New Compost Bin

A Day with an Organic farmer
Mr Loh Siew Fook of Loh’s Organic Veg-Garden
By Kenny Ng Khian Ee

Biodigesters in ecological farming systems
By T. R. Preston, LEISA volume 21

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My million apologies for the very very overdue Green Nest newsletter issue 23! So many things have happened and many tasks to be accomplished …. coupled with inability to get a Centre Coordinator (the right one!) and also someone to maintain the vegetable garden. Is always not easy to find someone who is willing to work under the sun and get his/her hands soiled….most importantly someone who is confident and believes that the activities carried out at the Organic Farming Community Centre (OFCC) would have the long term effect in creating environmental and social consciousness and not just awareness. Thus together we make the society a better place to live!

As for this issue, you will find that we have combined the unpublished issue for July – December`06 with this Issue January – June`07 for this year’s first half. I hope our dear members will bear with us for our dilemma … however we will try to get our July-Dec issue on schedule if everything goes well as expected.Note : OFCC (Organic Farming Community Centre) – a focus point/touch base in carrying out various activities organized by CETDEM Organic Farming Project (COFP) has been in operation unofficially since January 2007.

Though we are yet to get the centre launched, some activities have already been on going. We have planted the 1st batch of vegetables and been selling to our members, as well as fruits like banana and papaya. Now we are preparing for the 2nd batch. We have been selling breads and buns on special order and at events. We also cooked lunch for over 20 people on special request although we have yet to open our Slow Food Kitchen officially. A big thank to Mrs Y.H. Neo, who has been with us as part timer since March 2007. We were lucky to have her at that point of time not only to be responsible for the Slow Food Kitchen but also to help maintain the Centre as well as the garden, besides helping at the recent National Organic Farming Seminar and Slow Food Fund Raising Dinner!

By the way, on behalf of CETDEM, I would like to take this opportunity to thank whole heartedly many of our members, friends/volunteers and supporters who have contributed so much in this establishment of the Organic Farming Community Centre, Fund Raising Dinner and Seminar, be it in kind or cash, and their time and energy. Without their untiring support, the centre would not have been established and the OF Seminar and Slow Food Fund Raising Dinner would not have been possible! Thank you very much, it is people like you that keep CETDEM and especially myself spirited and more determined to get the OFCC moving!

In the next issue we will interview/ write about some of our long time CETDEM Organic Farming Project members/volunteers/ supporters who have been with us since the organic farm was established … hereafter the informal membership of CETDEM Organic Farming Project (COFP) and now the Organic Farming Community Centre (OFCC) – their untiring support….WHY & WHAT keep them doing?

For today, a special acknowledgement to Mr Choo Ghee Sek, a long time member of FCOFP (Friends of CETDEM Organic Farming Project) since 2003, has been very supportive of CETDEM`s activities. Mr Choo and his wife run an Organic Food Wholesale outlet in Taman Mayang, PJ .My special note today is to thank him for the TRUST he has placed in me. I feel so privileged and appreciated that on each visit to his shop I could just write down many items that CETDEM OFP members ordered and left without being having to be checked by him and his wife or any staff. He is so generous that I could just go to him for donation of items for our Organic Farming Community Centre (which could cost hundreds of ringgit). Whenever I ask him for donated items (though at times I do feel embarrassed to ask) he would just say: `No problem, just take it` and not even checking what I have taken! Thanks Mr & Mrs Choo, on behalf of CETDEM and myself, thank you for your generosity, trust and support given which I shall not betray and abuse.

Together we keep the organic flag flying!

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Contact

For further information on matters organic, kindly contact:

Ms. Tan Siew Luang, O.F. Project Coordinator

Address: No. 17 Jalan SS2/53, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

T: +603-78757767;
F: +603-78754039;
E: of@cetdem.org.my


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