You will be picked up from your hotel and do the herb walk, it takes about 3 hours, with time out to stop at an organic restaurant. In addition to discovering herbs that grow along the edges of the sawahs, you learn of the methods the farmers use to cultivate rice. Although it doesn’t seem obvious how ownership of the sawash is established, narrow irrigation channels and different ground levels apparently delineate who owns what patch of land. Lilir believes it is crucial for young people to spend time working in the rice field to get a feel for their land and to learn about how they are connected to it. Unfortunately, many are reluctant to embrace the old ways when new technology beckons. Similarly, when it comes to treatment of ailments, most young people seek cures through modern medicines, eschewing traditional methods.
The older generations have used traditional medicines all their lives and for them, it is natural to harvest what is needed from their own backyards. Farmers in the sawahs have long used body scrub such as boreh at the end of a long backbreaking day. Used to help prevent rheumatism, the boreh scrub is made at home using a mix of cloves, ginger, red rice, galangal and temu lawak(Javanese turmeric), pounded to a thick paste and applied to the body until the paste dries, before being washed off.
The wide variety of plant life that grows together along the edges of the sawahs providing food and medicine is a revelation. Turmeric whith roots and coconut palms, taro plants and banana trees, lemon grass and citronella, soursop, jackfruit, pineapple and breadfruit grow side by side. Lilir pulls, picks and crushes roots and leaves so we can smell the strong fragrances. We stop to taste edible leaves, to suck the nectar out of the red flowers of the ”closed”hibiscus tree, and to drink fresh, young coconut juice.