Sri Mulyati, co-founder of Permaculture Lombok

#WomenWe&EarthLove 5th Edition


Growing your own food is one of the living ways to cut your carbon footprint and provide more sustainable resource of foods. It is also believed as one of the ways to address hunger issues if being done by every single family in the community.

One of the rising methods of farming that currently we often see is Permaculture which is “ a philosophy of working with rather than against nature, and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system” (Mollison, 1991). Through this, we are encouraged to think carefully they way we use resources, if possible to use less to get much more by cooperating with nature and caring for the earth and people.

One of our nearest circle that inspire us to learn more about permaculture is Ibu Sri, the co-founder of Permaculture Lombok that is located in the middle of the city (Mataram). We got to know each other in 2018, meeting in an eco-festival then we continuously visit Ibu Sri’s place to have herbs and fruits that she and family grow for our daily consumption. A lot of things are learned from her, and here is our last week conversation with her 🙂

Q: Halo Bu Sri, can you tell us more about yourself before starting Permaculture Lombok?

Hi Gumi Bamboo, so if I have to tell you my personal journey before starting this. Mmm, I originally came from Borneo with a family background as farmers and my ancestors in Borneo have a culture to make herbs for healthy purposes. I like travelling and see nature a lot thus I chose to study at Agriculture Vocational Senior High School to learn deeply about the environment. I even continued my university in agriculture study as well since I wanted to learn more.

After graduating from university, I worked as a teacher then married to my husband, then we both worked as lecturers in the agriculture field. Even though I worked in a formal institution, I still did farming and sells some vegetables too. In 2009, my husband who was working as a lecturer in forestry was assigned to teach in Mataram University thus we moved to Lombok.

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Tamarin

Q: Interesting, then when and how Permaculture Lombok established and why did you and your husband start this?

In 2009, we did grow some plants in our own land as well as started working together with farmers to process herbs that they harvest but at that time we have not apply permaculture philosophy yet. It was started in 2011 when we found that Permaculture is a way more sustainable and organic method in farming that we learned from other environmental activist named Els from Yayasan Lingkungan Tanpa Batas.

We started by regenerating the soil, then grow the plants as a whole ecosystem that supporting each other without using artificial fertilizer, as a whole ecosystem we also raise goats, chicken and surprisingly other animals such as bees and birds start living on our land too.

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The permaculture garden has attract birds surrounding to lay their eggs too

Besides growing plants and raising animals, we also produce many products such as tea, coffee, essential oil, soap and honey from our land as well as farmers who come and sell their corps.

We try to add value to their corp by utilizing processing machine and teach them about organic farming. In addition, permaculture Lombok has a mission to be an educational centre for the community to learn about plants and farming as simple as that. Some people from the nearest houses often come and learn from us then when their plants are ready to be harvested they use it for their own consumption or even sell it to us. Sometimes, we also barter corps and processed product, it becomes an alternative of economical activity without using money/cash.

Basically, besides farming our main activities are mostly :

  1. Processing corps received from farmers, a community surrounded and ourselves.
  2. Educate and assist farmers about organic farming and conduct quality control.
  3. Educate the surrounding community to start growing their own food at home.
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Rossella

Q: As an empowered woman, what does happiness means to you ?

I feel happiest when I am able to benefit not only myself but also for the community and earth. Personally, doing farming and in touch with the environment already make me happy. But what makes it better is having a community that can be healthy by utilizing herbs or plants that they can grow by themselves as well as supporting the farmers to be economically empowered too.

Q; After these 8 years what is your planning for Permaculture Lombok in the future ?

I personally do not have high ambition and usually live in line with the flow. My plan so far is keeping this place running even though this place right now is not having many visitors. But, I hope permaculture can be learned and conduct by more and more people in the future.

Learn more about permaculture lombok here or follow the Instagram here.
#womenWe&Earthlove is our first series edition where we want to share the stories of 12 women in Lombok who promote sustainable living and yet empower their community, knowing someone that people should know about? let our team know and email us in info@gumibamboo.com

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Gumi Bamboo

Gumi Bamboo

Gumi Bamboo is a Lombok based Social Enterprise working closely with women group (previously employed as stone miners) to produce earth friendly product sourcing bamboo materials from their Community Forestry, providing them leadership & life skill through Bamboo craftsmanship.

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