It’s easy to romance the relationship of man to soil, the seasons and the secret lives of plants. But how many of us truly know these sensations? As the organic farming movement grows, few of us partake in these rural pleasures, preferring to see the final farm-fresh result on our plate. The Kul Kul family farm in Bali provides this missing link, bringing the table back to the farm, and in doing so teaching us the importance of being connected to the land as well as our food. We at Roam Bali were happily surprised to find we share many of the core values of an organic farm. Living in community, unity in diversity, and improving the lives of all are keys to its success.
Founded 7 years ago, Kul-Kul refers to the hollow rapping sound the bamboo makes when tapped. The Kul Kul vision was created alongside mentors who have worked directly with Bill Mollinson, the reigning grandfather of tropical permaculture design. The farm layout is dotted with open-air bamboo structures, providing dreamy spaces that allow hands-on learning to take place. Workshops range from permaculture courses to bamboo construction, all based around sustainable and regenerative living.
Located next to the renown Green School in Bali, Kul Kul was founded by Orin Hardy, who also happens to be the son of Green School founder John Hardy. Many of their course programs are mentored by IBUKU, a sustainable bamboo architecture studio directed by his sister Elora. IBUKU’s cutting-edge bamboo workshops places Kul Kul as a leader in experimental bamboo construction. Kul-Kul creates programs that focus on innovation and leadership, often solving real-life problems. Take their recent workshop on bamboo craftsmanship, which had the task to innovate a design for a coconut sugar processing plant that would be built on the property. After presenting a brief with a to-scale conceptual model for the judging panel, the two winning selected designs were combined to create a expansive floor plan with leaf-shaped roof. The building was designed within budget and could be easily built with the 37 workshop participants. Courses such as these, which combine theory, practice and investigation distinguishes the farm’s style of teaching.
Permaculture is another important ethos at Kul Kul, and it influences their gardens, housing and layout. Permaculture is a design practice that imitates natures own intelligent design. This means that gardens are built with collaborative species that protect each other, and that “flow” of any design must be holistic and support all life that it is connected to. For example, traditional landscaped gardens can be replaced by edibles for the home, as well as fauna that attracts desired wildlife. The permaculture programs at Kul Kul offer a way of seeing and thinking that can be applied to all aspects of everyday life, and not only farming. This magical farm provides the perfect respite from the big city, slowing down the pace and making space to focus on what really matters- wholesome nourishment and community. Thank you Kul-Kul!