Urban Hijau: Championing Sustainability in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur/Terra/Sustainability

Urban Hijau: Sustainability in the City Through Permaculture, Education

Urban Hijau Sustainable Farm

Kuala Lumpur is one of the fastest-growing multicultural cities in Asia. With its sky-high towers, beautiful colonial buildings, local markets, and various religious sites like mosques, temples, churches, and more, one would probably not expect to find a green sanctuary in the heart of the capital.

But it exists. Urban Hijau, located in the small village of Sungai Penchala, is not just any park or garden. An organic sustainable farm, this social enterprise believes that permaculture can bring people together. Coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, permaculture came from the words "permanent agriculture" and later on integrated Masanobu Fukuoka's ideas of "permanent culture."

As per Urban Hijau, permaculture is "the ethical design science to develop sustainable human settlements." Its director and co-founder, Irfan Mohamed, had shared his wish for his children to know where their food comes from. Thus, Urban Hijau's mission to produce healthy food for the community began.

Urban Hijau’s Activities and Programmes

Urban Hijau grows its own produce, which it sells every Sunday morning at the farm to its regular customers. Moreover, it delivers fresh vegetables to underserved communities every week and trains others on how to do sustainable farming on their own.

It also organises different events like workshops, tours, and talks for the public, and is working towards establishing a seed bank and nursery so others can get started on sustainable farming and their own permaculture journey.

To experience Urban Hijau's pesticide-free harvest showcase, you can drop by the farm every Sunday and choose among leafy greens like kangkung, bak choi, sweet potato leaves, kale, lettuce, various types of spinach and herbs. You can expect over 150 varieties of fruits and vegetables at Urban Hijau.

Urban Hijau likewise offers Guided Group Activities, which include an informational farm tour and a morning exercise that can range from compost preparation and mixing to seeding, planting, and harvesting. It also holds online sessions and workshops, which usually come with grow kits for participants or an NGO Impact attachment.

The beautiful, one-acre farm may also be used as a destination for retreats and team building.

One may like to apply for Urban Hijau's internship programme, which includes roles like farm apprentice (full-time, six months), sales intern (full-time, three to six months), and volunteer (part time for three months), to experience more hands-on work. If you want to help from the comfort of your home, you may intern for work that involves graphics design, video editing, website maintenance, and research. For more information about its internship programme, go here.

For Urba Hijau, "activating sustainability by rebuilding wholesome food systems with local integration is critical to move forward and make a long-standing impact."

How significant has Urban Hijau's impact been? Thus far, the sustainable social enterprise has trained more than 730 individuals, has over 400 active community and youth volunteers, and has processed more than 70 tonnes of waste into compost. It has also processed about 9.9 tonnes of waste this year.

To learn more about Urban Hijau and its activities, go here.

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