What is 5 eyes farm?
“5 eyes” (translated Mata Lima) is the name for an ancient planting pattern used in Indonesia. The name has agricultural meaning and we have adopted it for our project.
The 5EyesFarm has started from a blank canvas in November 2016. On the foot-hills of Gunung Salak (a dormant volcano) in West Java, we have a few acres of beautiful soil with a river running across the top and some established tropical fruits like banana and coconut. About half of it used to be rice paddy’s and more recently they have grown sweet potatoes there. We have been using some of our Melbourne garden experiments and implement them in similar ways on 5EyesFarm.
Our main purpose is to create integrated farming systems to showcase for schools, universities and development organisations. We would love to help create small systems in local communities everywhere to help with food security and teach people how to grow super healthy food 100% organic and very fast. We are developing aquaponics as one integrated system because it is a future technology for overcoming water use issues (using less than 10% of water used in traditional growing); off-setting ocean fishing by providing organically grown freshwater fish for eating; build sustainably using recycling and local materials – 12500 recycled tyres used on the farm so far!
In our aim for integrated farming, we will also breed ducks and chickens up for eggs as well as growing some exotic and wonderful foods like medicinal plants and pepper, keep making compost and natural pesticides from plants and grow food to feed the animals and to sell. We hope to start an organic small restaurant (warung) and grocery store where people can eat fresh cooked organic food or buy their own organic produce to take with them.
There is more to 5EyesFarm than farming! We love empowering people, working together to create something unique that can be used in practice as a show-case, an education forum, a training ground for all of us in developing organic, self-sustaining wonderful foods.
Vision: To produce high-quality organic food using aquaponics and other integrated systems to enhance local farming practices, offer practical education and empower communities.
Mission: To develop 5EyesFarm as a showcase for training & education, enterprise, empowerment and development through partnerships and the use of innovative growing techniques.
Values: Shared learning – Empowerment through inclusion – Integrated systems – pioneering spirit
Focus: Aquaponics and other integrated organic production systems. Integrating women into the workforce and giving women responsibilities, opportunities and equal status is an important social integration and an important focus of our vision.
5 Eyes Farm (Kebun Mata Lima) is an ambitious project for us. We have found land in West Java in a small village 16KM South West of Bogor. It is perfect for farming at about 375 meters above sea level, very stable temperatures, volcanic soil and relatively consistent water. The systems we are creating require a lot of initial infrastructures but once they are in place they need much less ongoing maintenance than traditional farming. Aquaponics: Imagine growing super healthy organic fruits and vegetables 3 times faster than traditional methods without the need for compost, fertilisers, tilling soil or weeding. In fact, without using the soil at all and with only 10% the amount of water used in normal farming. This method is called Aquaponics and is relatively new, especially in South East Asia where we are establishing our first prototype on a medium to large scale.
Our project also focuses on “integration” as a guiding approach.
Integration is about how systems, people and communities work together for one ultimate purpose with each part helping each other part.
Integrated farming is a holistic model that seeks to incorporate the main elements of organic farming with all the related environmental, social and economic considerations in place. This is widely used throughout Europe.