Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bandung Countryside #2 and The Strawberry Story

morning in bandung 1

Text and pictures by Eki Qushay Akhwan

This is another photo I took at my morning countryside walk with some colleagues recently.

As I said before, Bandung may be a bustling metropolis, but the countrysides surrounding it are still very rural and scenic; better still, they are never far away. This scenic panorama of a village in Cikole area, for example, is located only 17 kilometers (about 10 miles) north of Bandung.

Being located on a highland and surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, Bandung's soil is very fertile. Combine that with the mild and cool climate, what you get is abundance of agriculture produce (I said here, Bandung and West Java in general have the largest and most productive tea plantations in the country). Bandung is a major producer and one of the largest suppliers of vegetables on the island of Java.

Bandung Strawberry



Strawberry, or more precisely garden strawberry (Fragaria X Ananassa), the most common variety of strawberry cultivated worldwide, is the offspring of the accidental cross between North American strawberry (Fragaria Virginiana) whose nice flavor is very well known, and bigger-sized Chilean stawberry (Fragaria Chiloensis). This plant was first cultivated in Europe in the 18th century. There is a large varieties of stawberry cultivated worldwide, but this garden stawberry is supposed to be their Adam and Eve ^_^, including those cultivated in Bandung.

"Strawberry Tourism" (my term) is now very popular in Bandung. A lot of stawberry gardens are now open for the sole purpose of entertaining visitors's curiosity about this non-native plant. In these places you can pick this savory fruit yourselves, then weigh your picks and pay them at the cashier. Prices range from about 20,000 rupiahs (about US$2.2) to 30,000 (about US$ 3.3) per kilogram, depending on size and ripeness.

18 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is one of the nicest posts I have seen recently. I like your two photographs and then I liked reading your narrative. It told me a lot about your country and how it looks. I liked the cool part you described. We had been cool here too up until yesterday when the heat began to rise. I think it is getting back to our normal hot and muggy August.

I now have 7 blogs. Each one is different. The newest ones are Sendai, Japan, Dances on Sunshine and Thunder Maker.

Curly said...

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Leora said...

Strawberries and mist--thanks for the delightful photos!

Virginia said...

The top photo is magical. I think your perspective looking upwards makes it so. Of course those fat red strawberries are lovely as well. You are fortunate to have this serence countryside so close to your city. Lovely.

mirage2g said...

Strawberries arent here yet, your photo made me want to have some!

The countryside is always a nice escape for having been on busy streets a whole week...

Petrea said...

Wonderful story, beautiful scenery, magnificent photos, Eki!

Blognote said...

These are excellent photos indeed! i especially like the one with the trees. What an atmosphere!!

Chuckeroon said...

No doubt an early morning shot in the highlands. At this time of day the light is good. Is it possible to produce and attractive image amongst so much greenery at, say, around mid-day.

Very appealing....a winner, Eki.

Dina said...

Two delightful pictures!
Thanks for your comment. Don't worry, you are not missing anything at the Jerusalem bloggers convention right now. It's not great. I even took my link off. My connection doesn't do the streaming fast enough either.
Shalom shalom.

Meead S. said...

Beautiful photos! I like to sit under those tall trees and eat a tastey strawberry and make a comment on your blog.

Carrie Hayes said...

Eki such a wonderful walk you must have had!! I definately would love to travel there!! Thanks for sharing your part of the world!

Hyde DP said...

I'm salivating at the mere sight of those strawberries

Rambling Woods said...

I love the first photo and the strawberries look delicious. Interesting how you have what we call "garden walks" where people may view other people's carefully tended gardens and you have a similar thing with the strawberries. Interesting history too. They test best just plain to me... Michelle..

pyo said...

i like the picture, really! so natural... I like the red colors on your strawberries picture... so red and red and red and red!
Which one do you prefer? North strawberries or south strawberries? I like the south strawberries, because they taste more sweet.

omami said...

what a beautiful photo, so soft and delightful!!

Hilda said...

I love the first image — so peaceful! And those strawberries look absolutely yummy!

And about the pine trees in Baguio: it's weird, but it really is the only place where they grow here. I'm sure they can grow in other mountainous areas, but they just don't. Lots and lots of other kinds of trees, but not pines. I have no idea why. But you got me curious, so I just might try to find out.

Tine said...

What a lovely fruit! I like strawberry much! It could help my diet ;p Nice photo sir, so fresh and natural...

Kelly said...

This is a beautful photo! The landscape is so calming, and you captured it at a perfect time of the day, I think.

Your writing is wonderful. A perfect pairing with your photos.