In early June of 2000, we dug deep into rich volcanic soil and pulled out a handful of our creamy white new potatoes. It was the first harvest for Big Tree Farms, Bali.
Since those early humble beginnings starting on just under 1/8 of an acre, Big Tree Farms has grown to become the premier producer of sustainably grown crops here in Indonesia with over 40,000 acres of certified organic land under our farmer-relation management. We are now Indonesia's largest organic food company, supporting thousands of family farms across 10 islands.
On our own organic veggie farm, over ten acres of land yields more than 80 different crops that are harvested daily beginning just before the break of dawn, when ghostly clouds roll through the mountainous forest and the night crickets fill the air with a melodious symphony. From old favorites such as heavy heads of Broccoli, and crisp Romaine to more exotic heirlooms like French Chantenay Carrots, D’avignon Radishes, Pennsylvania Brandywine Tomatoes and Italian Chiogga Beets.
Vines of succulent passion fruit envelop 30 year-old coffee and cacao trees, vanilla orchids trail up the trunks of shade producing gamal and dapdap trees and among it all are the lush beds of organic vegetables. Situated on the verdant slopes of Bali’s second highest volcanic peak, Big Tree Farms’ hand-carved terraces of produce flow seamlessly with the meandering contours of the jungle highlands.
Having a vegetable farm was our first dream, however, we soon realized that supporting ourselves through planting carrots here in Bali was as limiting as the sky was vast in our new island paradise. Out of that realization came some bold new ideas.
We expanded our vision from our own organic farm on Bali to broader Indonesia, the world's largest and most diverse archipelago. We knew that there were traditional farmers on the islands that grew an abundance of health supporting ingredients, waiting to be supported through a transparent and ethical partnership.
We quickly expanded into working with traditional salt farmers on Eastern Bali, cashew farmers on Flores, coconut farmers on Java and cacao farmers on Sumatra. We now endeavored to truly represent to our customers and supporters our vision to transcend the status quo of farming. We needed a place that reflected our ethos, both inside and out.
Boldly it was decided to build our new global headquarters out of BAMBOO. There we would expand into our new primary focus coconut, cacao and select super nutrient dense raw products.
We knew, from the beginning, that our new headquarters must be built of bamboo, one of the world’s most sustainable building materials it grows abundantly in the tropics. We handpicked local artisans to work with architects and structural engineers to craft a structure that is modern and forward thinking, but rooted deeply in a reverence for place and culture – a true extension of Big Tree Farms’ business practices.
Today, the "bamboo cathedral", nicknamed for its sweeping lines and cavernous interiors, is complete and fully operational. It is considered the world's largest commercial bamboo structure. It houses our offices, event center, retail space, commercial kitchen, chocolate factory, production facilities and our warehouse. It is a marvel of architecture, construction and art, none of which would exist if not for the extremely gifted and talented crew of traditional bamboo builders that help to realize this masterpiece.
It’s big, beautiful and so beguiling to behold that CNN even sent a crew out to cover the construction and unveiling.
We look forward sharing more about all we do at Big Tree Farms!