Re-flight of the Winged Bean

16 Nov 2010

With his round, smiling and peaceful face, Terra Madre 2010 delegate Adi Kharisma seems to be the personification of Tri Hita Karana, the Balinese philosophy of living advocating for harmony with nature, humanity and spirit. After first attending Terra Madre in 2006, Adi returned to Turin this year to share the work he has been doing to develop sustainable agriculture opportunities and safeguard food traditions on the island of Bali.

In 2007, Adi began the Winged Bean Project, a children’s education course dedicated to this nutritious tropical legume with a long history in traditional Indonesian cooking. The wing bean has long been called the ‘one-stalk supermarket’ as the entire plant is edible: the pods have a flavor similar to asparagus, and can be harvested within two or three months of planting; pale blue flowers are used as coloring; the young leaves are prepared as a leaf vegetable, similar to spinach; the roots have a nutty flavour and are used in a similar way to a potato and the dried beans are similar to soybeans in both use and nutritional content and can be used as a flour or made into milk, tempe or tofu.

Run by the newly created Ubud Slow Food Convivium, the project teaches school children to grow and harvest the beans, nutrition, and entrepreneurship by making milk and snacks for sale (70% of the soya beans used for milk and tofu are imported into Indonesia). The children also interview their elders to learn about their culinary heritage – traditional foods and growing techniques that are already disappearing. “Education is an important part of our mandate,” points out Ubud Convivium Leader Mary Jane Edleson. “Our current wing bean project introduces a valuable traditional vegetable with huge potential for improving nutrition and reducing soy bean imports.”

Already active in two schools, the convivium aims to extend the project to three or more schools in the Ubud region in the future. The project was presented by the community during the Asia regional meeting at Terra Madre.

For more information:
Ubud Slow Food Convivium
www.slowfoodubud.com

Source: Ubu Kat in the Bali Advertiser

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