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Jakarta Post

Ni Luh Kartini: The Secret Life Of Worms

  • Trisha Sertori


DENPASAR   /   Tue, March 17 2009   /  11:56 am

Ni Luh Kartini (right) and her husband Made Agustini grow worms and teach farmers across Bali how to again farm organically as they did in the 1960s. JP/J.B. Djwan Gone are the lands of rice and honey remembered from childhood. The earth lies desolate, exhausted and barren after a 40-year rape by chemical fertilizers, DDT and nutrient-hungry Green Revolution rice strains. Little grows in the Balinese village of Bulian in Singaraja’s sunburned hinterland. The earth cracks like rusted iron under the hoe and farmers are grizzled with worry and memories of welcoming soils. One woman is trying to restore this acid ground to its remembered fertile richness. Ni Luh Kartini, born in Bulian in 1960, remembers a green landscape of rice fields, honeycomb, fruits, ducks and vegetables – a land brimming with life. About the same time, thousands of miles and a universe of ed...