In 2022 we had the pleasure of hosting Ridho Bilhaq from the beautiful archipelago, Indonesia. He was selected as a “Sustainable Development and the Environment” fellow of the State Department’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). Over a month, Ridho shared his business expertise and agricultural experience while working with FAB members and staff. We submitted a proposal to reciprocate those gains and it was accepted. In June of 2023 Farm Alliance staff Denzel and Alison participated in the reciprocal exchange in Indonesia!
During our 2 week trip we visited 6 urban farm sites, each one unique and beautifully cared for by the community, much like our Baltimore farms. At each site we were welcomed by the community with a spread of delicious local cuisine and even had opportunities to harvest and plant together. We discussed growing, marketing, composting techniques and shared about our work at The Farm Alliance of Baltimore, especially the benefits of working collaboratively with other urban growers.
Many of the urban farm sites utilized raised beds, vertical growing towers and hydroponics to maximize their production space. We saw many familiar crops in production such as chili peppers, bok choy, lettuces, ginger, corn, squash, bittermelon, eggplant and learned some new crops such as Kangkung “water spinach”. We also visited the East-West Seed Company Cap Panah Merah Campus where we toured the seed factory and were inspired by their demonstration gardens, research farming plots, beautiful landscaping and cafe.
While in Indonesia we were also featured in the local press , Denzel did a television interview and we participated as a speaker at the Cap Panah Merah Urban Farming International Seminar at the Prasetiya Mulya University.
It was such a joy to connect through food and farming with growers across the country. We are extremely grateful to The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program @ysealipfp , Putra of the US Embassy @usembassyjkt and our gracious hosts Ridho, Elvira, Fathur, Heldy, Sayu and the rest of the East West Seed Company @cappanahmerah for making this trip possible and making this such a spectacular experience for us!