Saturday, July 30, 2011

Checking Out the Kusuma Agrowisata, Batu, Indonesia

I had my virgin trip to a prime commercialized agrotourism destination in Batu, west of Malang called Kusuma Agrowisata in July last year. My parents brought me, my husband and in-laws there because Batu has long been famous for its apple orchards. I personally always feel that my hometown doesn't offer that many interesting outdoor places nearby to check out. I literally had to scratch my head really hard when my husband tasked me to create a 'Malang Tour' itinerary for our bunch of Malaysian guests last week. In the end, we decided to showcase the same places that we felt worth showing to them such as the Kusuma Agrowisata and Jatim Park II in Batu.

Last year, when we came to this place, we intended to pluck apples right from the trees. However, our timing was no good back then. The apples were already harvested before we came so we're made to pluck oranges instead. When we came over again this year, the apples were not ripe enough for us to pluck just yet. We came there one week earlier than the apples' harvesting schedule. Once bitten, twice shy. Seemingly we were really not that fated with harvesting apples. Too bad, eh? Not really. Last week, we got to harvest strawberries in place of apples, which was quite fun too.

 The massive strawberry farm in Kusuma Agrowisata, Batu.

Nothing much had changed in Kusuma Agrowisata Batu since our visit last year. Nevertheless, we noticed some improvements developed in this relaxing agrotourism spot. With mere Rp. 29,000,- (or about RM 10) entrance ticket per pax, each of us was entitled for a guided group tour around the farms (Strawberry and Apple Farms), a license to pluck 5 strawberries from the plants (free plastic bag was given), a glass of yogurt drink and waffles.

The ripe strawberries lurking around.

Jennifer was busy choosing her next targets.

Lovely day out: Jennifer, my Mom and I.

A tip in harvesting strawberries - choose the mature ones that are hanging from the plant, not those that are laying on the soil as they are likely to be (half) rotten/spoiled.

Pluck the hanging ripe strawberries.

Right after each of us got 5 strawberries in our plastic bag, we could consume the fresh strawberries on the spot. BUT, we have to wash them first. This farm also provides a designated place for us to wash the fruits with mountain water.

 Me and my Auntie: Washing the strawberries from the water coming out from the pipe.

Isn't it cute?
*Photo credit by SYH*

Surprisingly, the strawberries were not sour at all. 
They were so sweet.

Before we moved on with the apple farm tour:
Family photo with my Mom, husband, cousin, auntie and niece.

Moving forward, we also had the chance to briefly walk around the apple farm which was yet due to be harvested. They look as pretty as usual. Oh, I just discovered from my husband that visiting apple farm was quite an appealing activity for our Malaysian guests because people don't or are hardly able to grow apples in Malaysia due to the country's hot climate. Interesting.

 Apple trees covered with limestone to prevent fungus.

Green apples: Not quite ready yet for harvest.
*Photo credit by SYH*

Our guide explained an interesting fact about growing apples - the farmers prune and remove the leaves from the apple trees regularly to create 'Autumn' effects for the trees as Indonesia has no Fall Season. By doing so, the trees would look healthier and respond in growing bigger leaves, new apple blossoms, bigger and luscious fruits.

Trimmed apple tree with apple blossoms on it.

Before we concluded our visit at Kusuma Agrowisata and said Sayonara to this place, our guide led us to a cafe where we claimed our waffles and yogurt drink. Then, we waved goodbye.

By the way, other than growing fruits, Kusuma Agrowisata Batu also keeps various domesticated animals too. I found these two photos taken by my husband and brother-in-law when we were checking out some animals during our visit there. I couldn't help but smiling when looking at them. *funny memories strike*

Photo no. 1: A conversation in front of a rabbit cage. 

Jennifer: "Ini kelinci ya, Ko?" 
Zhi Heng: "这个是 Rabbit."

My niece in Indonesia, Jennifer, was talking in Bahasa Indonesia and Javanese to my nephew from Malaysia, Zhi Heng, who replied her in English and Mandarin. I think their conversation about rabbits ended almost immediately.

Baby talks: Lost in translation.

Photo no. 2: An owl that I met in the same place last year. 

This bird obviously didn't change much since the last time I saw him. This year, he looked a little bit older perhaps but definitely was still smoking hot and dapper as usual. Awwrrr!!

  A handsome wise looking bird domesticated at the Kusuma Agrowisata, Batu.
*Photo credit by SYH*

What a lovely day out! Hope in a one fine day, we could harvest the apples.

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