How would a fifth grade of elementary school children farm at an organic farm? It must be very nice. They do not only plant, but also experiment plants for different fertilizers, measure soil vertility level and humidity as well. Occasionally, they made a joke by throwing mass of soil mixed with water.
That was seen when 32 fifth grade students of SD Integral Luqman Hakim, Purwodadi, Central Java visited Faculty of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (FPP) of University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM) on Wednesday (3/29). They were accopmanied by not less than 20 teachers. Chief of University Farm UMM, Rahmad Pulung Sudibyo, stated it as "Farm Tourism", an educative tourism to introduce agricultural world and all its aspects to students.
Actually, the school just wanted to introduce university life to those elementary school students. “This is our annual agenda. This year we chose UMM because we are amazed with the achievements,” said the headmaster of SD Integral Luqman Hakim, Achmad Bashori, S.Pd.
However, UMM seemed not to introduce university to the kids earlier. “It is better to invite them play educative games, introducing them with world which feed us, agricultural world,” said Pulung.
Enthusiasm of the students appeared from their faces since they have come at 4 am. There were no tired or sleepy face even though they had just experienced an eight-hour trip. They are enthusiastic to take a bath and pray in Masjid of AR Fahruddin UMM. It could be imagined how cold was. They came from hot coastal area and had to take a bath before dawn using very cold water of Malang. It must be brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……. However, it became their unforgetable experience. Soon after they become adult, there must be some of them who want to feel their past experience.
At 7 a.m. the entourage joined the first program at Pusat Peragaan Ilmu Pengetahuan dan Teknologi (Puspa Iptek ) at UMM Dome. All the kinds of science and technology are packed into games. Thus, mathematics, physics and chemistry became interesting.
Dooorrr...Wussss......!!! A wind rocket highly rose in the air. Students' claps and teachers' as well sounded along with the exhibited wind rocket . “This is an air-powered rocket. It uses principle of impuls momentum or saturated air schock in an air storage tube from high pressure pump,” explained university student who exhibited rocket.
Then, they went to Green House of UMM. Students at the Green House had been ready to explain a variety of tropical flower plants. Various collections of orchid are available there. In the opposite of the Green House, visitors could see process of orchid cultivation through tissue culture. They also could bring a beautiful rochid home starting from Rp. 5000 per stalk. It is cheap, isn't it?
Pulung then invited them to see pride icon of UMM, Pembangkit Listrik Mikro Hidro (PLTMH). The generator which uses Brantas River stream which separates UMM Campus III is the only one generator owned and managed by a campus in Indonesia. The PLTMH is able to produce electricity up to 100 KWH. Thus, UMM can save 30% of campus electricity.
Finally, the top event was ready, Farm Tourism. Students went to experimental farm of FPP. There are organic vegetables and fruits. UMM Rector has declared that the farm would supply organic vegetables and fruits to UMM Teaching Hospital. Not like general garden, the farm is full of equipments to protect plants from pest without using pesticide.
After each kid held a polybag, field assistant of FPP taught them an how to plant properly. They began from level of fertilizer, water and soil. They planted chili pepper. This was the most interesting part for them because they could directly practice there.
“I have been able to plant chili,” said one of the students happily.
The Farm Tourism was finished with eating a bowl of mushroom meatball produced by FPP. The meatball was also produced through organic principles. The mushroom was the result of bio-technology developed by FPP.
“To have Farm Tourism, a visitor is only charged for Rp. 15.000. It is used to reimburse the cost for drinks, foods and plants to bring home,” explained Pulung. (ren/nas)