A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Bumi Langit (Earth Sky, in English), a closed loop living space that emphasizes the importance of the relationship between man and nature. The farm has a biogas digester on-site, so I was especially interested in how the people there operated the digester and incorporated it into their farming system. This counted as my research-related field trip during the final week of my intensive language training at Wisma Bahasa in Yogyakarta.
Some of the animal husbandry structures on-side at Bumi Langit.
What Is Bumi Langit?
Bumi Langit, in short, is a 3-hectare sustainable farm which seeks to contribute to the development of sustainable and loving societies through food, energy and financial sovereignty. Their main focus is on permaculture farming, where technology is part of the solution toward a greener future. The farm is influenced by Islamic ideals and ethical values as the foundation of humanity’s attitude toward the environment.
Bumi Langit is open to the public so that all communities can learn together through mutually beneficial relationships. The farm seeks to convey the need for environmental stewardship and sustainability, offering courses to the public regarding permaculture, cooking classes, and field facilities. You can utilize their space for events, volunteer with them onsite for a minimum of two weeks, or even secure an apprenticeship. Bumi Langit offers workshops such as kombucha and soap-making as well. Just make sure you register with a minimum of eight persons!
Bumi Langit nurtures both produce and livestock. If you’re interested, you can register for a tour of the facilities and see the activities first-hand like I did!
The main focus of the farm is permaculture: a creative science which incorporates wise planning, smart natural resource use, and ethics to create a balance in farming between humanity and nature. Permaculture fosters the concept of closed-loop farming so that agricultural wastes are repurposed into a new source for other life. This alters the farming system and transforms it from a consumptive model to a creative one. All liquid waste from the farm is treated and used to benefit the various ponds and gardens on the grounds. In terms of energy, Bumi Langit hopes to one day be entirely self-sufficient. They already use a hybrid source of diesel and solar power rather than electricity from Indonesia’s energy supplier. As Bumi Langit hopes to be free from fossil fuels and rely upon renewable resourced instead, there are several solar panels on-site, as well as biogas digester measuring 9 cubic meters in volume. The digeser has a Chinese design and was constructed by professors and students from the nearby Gajah Mada University. However, it requires waste from 14 cows, and currently the farm only houses seven.
Nonetheless, the energy for all cooking on the premises in accomplished using the gas produced by this digester, which comes from a mixture of human and animal wastes. The digestate from the digester (the solid effluent) is used for vermicompost, which is then used to fertilize all on-site crops.
Warung Bumi is the on-site restaurant at Bumi Langit. It serves as the information center for the farm as well as an eatery and shop. All of the products which are sold at Warung Bumi are produced on the farm grounds from the local produce and livestock. At the shop, you can purchase goods such as apple vinegar, honey, tea and coffee, jams and peanut butter, and more. You can also buy utensils and other items made from the horns of the farm’s cows. Bumi Langit holds an organic market every Sunday morning to provide organic foods and crafts to the local population; some of the most popular products sold include local flour breads and cakes, dairy products, such as kefir, yogurt, milk and cheese, and assorted jams. During my own visit, I made sure to pick up a jar of natural peanut butter! One of the goals of Bumi Langit is to reap the economic benefits of creative food processing and to use the resulting revenue for operational costs.
Some of the products available at Warung Bumi, including jams, black garlic, and cow horn utensils.
Getting There and Away
Bumi Langit is located in the hills of Imogiri, east of Kota Yogyakarta. You’ll need to get there by vehicle, whether private or otherwise. The area is known for its long dry season. Located 350 m above sea level, Bumi Langit offers amazing views of the surrounding lowlands on a clear day.
Warung Bumi is open daily from 9am – 4pm, except for Mondays, during which it is closed. It’s definitely worth a visit, even if only for lunch, to learn about sustainability on a local scale.