NATURALLY GROWN APPLES
Apple (Malus domestica) is not native to Indonesia. The first plant was brought in from Australia, by the Dutch in the 1930s. It was planted at Nongkojajar, in Kabupaten (regency) Pasuruan, East Java.
In 1953, the government brought a few types of apples from abroad, including Rome Beauty. In the 1960s, apples were planted at Batu, Malang, East Java and thrived well. The locally grown apples in Indonesia are often known as Apel Malang (Malang Apples).
Not a native to the tropics, apples are vulnerable to many diseases, therefore it is a chemical intensive plant. In 1985, conventional apple gardens are 90% damaged due to pest infestation. And people began to look for alternative way to ensure sustainability of their gardens. Some of the farmers began to practice less chemical intensive method of cultivation, or switch to organic method.
Satvika Bhoga went to Batu in early October, to meet with Pak Kris, the apple farmer that supply naturally grown apples to the shop. We also visited the apple gardens. Pak Kris was inspired to opt for natural farming by the late Ibu Lily, who founded the Lily go to organic movement. This was about 15 years ago. He converted his apple trees to a more natural environment by first eliminating the chemical fertilizers, then reducing the pesticides and other chemicals. Since five years ago, the only chemical he uses regularly is a hormone to prevent flowers from falling off before their time.
He uses very simple method for pest management, by using manure and organic matter, he creates more healthy trees, and reduces vulnerability to pests. Then the light trap is used to trap fruit fly. And he wraps the fruits to prevent other diseases.
Currently he plants four varieties of apples: manalagi (sweet and crunchy), Rome Beauty or known as green malang apple (juicy, sour-sweet), Anna (sour sweet) and Hwang Lin (green, crunchy). Anna is the easiest to maintain using organic method. Rome Beauty is the most difficult.
We have brought to you the naturally grown apples for the past three years, namely Manalagi and Rome Beauty. We bring to you the anna apples now!. Please support the apple farmers who try to eliminate the use of chemicals.