“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
Kadazan Dusuns people love to grow our own crops. We enjoy the arduous process of watering, de-weed, fertilising, basically; everything. My dad is an ardent example. Our backyard and frontyard are full with flowering and non-flowering plant. I could not blame him. It probably traced down to his roots.
Kadazan Dusun culture is heavily influenced by the farming of rice, vegetables and also culminating in various delicacies and alcoholic drinks prepared through differing home-brewed fermentation processes.
Ranau’s (where I grew up) diverse flora ranges from rich tropical lowland and hill rainforest to tropical mountain, sub-alpine forest and scrub on the higher elevations and particularly abundant in species with examples of flora from as far as China,Australia and the Himalayas, as well as pan-tropical flora. The soil’s mineral content is just perfect for gardening or farming on a small or big scale.
Our Pasar Tani in Ranau (equivalent to Farmer’s Market) had wide array of vegetables to choose for. Until now, mum will still ask my brother to stop by Pasar to get some Ranau vegetables.
Vegetables in Ranau is not only fresh and healthy, but somehow the farmers and the stall owners have the ability to mix-and-match Sayur Campur (lit. Mix Vegetable) to cater to everyones tastebuds.
My family and I have moved to the town so somehow Dad can no longer do his extreme sports; gardening. But Dad still do though.
I believe that people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without a root. Although its a healthy habit, I used to abhor and protest Dad’s decision to make a mini garden at the backyard because it was a haven for pests (mosquitos, snakes, etc.). But pest-haven or not, now I kind of understand the real reason why he does.
In other words, my dad coined the term organic waaay before hipster does.