Indonesia: Margo Utomo Agro Resort (b); Kalibaru

After breakfast, we went back out into the Margo Utomo Agro Resort’s garden with our guide.  We found several more interesting tropical flowers, fruits and spices… and a rather special animal.

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Hanging from a tree was a local bat.

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It was not particularly worried by my presence. Perhaps it was licking its lips in happy anticipation of some nectar from the nearby New Guinea Creeper.

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The New Guinea Creeper, (Mucuna novo-guineensis), has brilliant pendent bunches of pea flowers. They hang in the shade created by the plant’s own leaves.

Like other legumes, the plant produces it’s seed in pods. They are generally bat-pollinated and produce seeds that float.  The seeds can therefore be spread in streams and by the sea.

New Guinea Creeper has been brought into cultivation, although, at temperatures below about 10 °C ,they must be grown indoors. They’re grown as ornamental plants and, locally, for food. Interest exists in developing Mucuna species as a sustainable, edible green manure crop, dug in after the fruit is harvested.

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An unknown fruit with an attendant ant.

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Ripe, and not so ripe, coffee berries.

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These wonderful flowers, belong to Theobroma cacao, the cacao tree also called the cocoa tree. It’s native to the tropical regions of Central and South America. The flowers are borne directly on the larger stems of the plant. They develop into…

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…these wonderful fruits which, on processing, turn into CHOCOLATE!

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A white turkey wandered around the surrounds of the old home… he “owned” the place.

 

 

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Cattleya orchid, just growing in the garden.  I can’t get them to flower like this even with all the molly-coddling under the sun!

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At a tropical fruit tasting session, we tasted Star Fruit, Longan, Rambutan…

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… Mangosteen , Custard Apple and Dragon Fruit.

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This is the interior of a red-fleshed Dragon Fruit.

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A Custard Apple being cut open.

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A Custard Apple growing on a tree.

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One of the more unusual sights in the garden… Civet cat scats.

The Most Expensive Coffee in the World, Civet coffee (Kopi Luwak), is produced from coffee beans that have been eaten by the Civet Cat or Palm Civet.  In Indonesia these animals are called luwaks, hence Kopi Luwak.

Civet cats roam the ground beneath coffee trees and eat only the ripest of coffee beans.  During the digestion process the red pulp surrounding the coffee bean (seed) is digested during a unique fermentation process.  This gives the coffee its special flavour.  About 24 hours after the beans have been eaten they are passed by the animal and left on the plantation floor.  Farmers collect the faeces each morning.

The faeces are washed, dried, cleaned of any remaining pulp and finally roasted.  Kopi Luwak is brewed in the normal way but it is recommended that it be drunk without sugar or milk as these additives tend to mask the unique flavour of the product.

So… anyone for Civet scat coffee? On cup of Civet Coffee costs between $35 and $100… compared the usual $4.00 to $4.50… a bit of a difference in both taste and price!

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Also in the resort area, we went to a rubber factory. Our guide shows us raw rubber.

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The amorphous mass is rolled a number of times to create sheets of rubber.

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The still white sheets are washed before being cured in a smoke house… and that turns the rubber a very dark brown colour.

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Later in the afternoon we sailed across to the island of Bali. More anon.

David

All photographs copyright © JT  and DY  of  jtdytravels

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