Kampoeng Djamoe Organik (KaDO) by Martha Tilaar Group is an oasis in the industrial area of Cikarang, about 45-50 km east of central Jakarta. It functions as an environmental education + conservation centre and makes a great destination for a day trip out of Jakarta.
We left Jakarta on a Thursday morning at 0730 and reached KaDO at 0930 (with smooth traffic, the journey should take less than an hour).
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the friendly people of KaDO and served a welcome drink (a refreshing herbal concoction meant to warm the throat). As our group was pretty big, we were split up into two smaller groups with separate guides.
Our guide brought us on a tour around the Herbal Garden and introduced some of the plants that grow there. KaDO consists of 10 hectares of green land that is home to 650 species of plants, all of which are grown organically. The entire place is very well-organized; the plants have tags with information on their names and uses.
The plants at KaDO are grown for 3 main purposes — medicine, aromatherapy, and cosmetics. Did you know that…pineapple is good for the hair; lavender is good for the skin; teak leaves help prevent obesity?!!
Our guide jokingly told us to breathe in as much of the oxygen-rich air as we could (I personally took loads of deep breaths during my time there). According to him, the air we usually breathe in Jakarta is mixed with pollution and of much poorer quality than that of Kampoeng Djamoe’s.
After the Garden tour, we visited the Martha Tilaar Training Center where young girls from rural villages (some sold by their own parents sadly) are taught skills to make a living.
They are offered free boarding and meals with a small allowance and learn treatment techniques for the body, face, hair, hand and foot.
Upon graduating, they get sent out to the Martha Tilaar Salon Day Spas around Indonesia. (I had previously wrote about my Peach Delima Body Treatment here: Of Spas in Jakarta: Martha Tilaar.)
I went on this day trip with the ASEAN Women Circle (AWC) and we got to plant our very own tree on KaDO’s grounds. Please grow well, little one. Perhaps I’ll come visit you some years later.
Following which, we proceeded to Kedai Sehat Alami for a snack break.
There was a short presentation on the benefits of herbal plants followed by interesting live demonstrations such as making healthy juices/herbal drinks, getting chlorophyll direct from leaves, etc.
A buffet style organic lunch was included in the day tour package. The food was prepared fresh, using herbs from KaDO’s garden.
One highlight of this trip was meeting the woman behind all this, Martha Tilaar herself. She shared about her infertility journey of 16 years, where reputable doctors/professors around the world told her she would never be able to have children of her own. But her mom, a herbalist, decided to use herbs to treat her and she eventually conceived at 41 years of age (three years later).
Speaking of herbs as an alternative medicine, KaDO has their very own resident doctor within the compound (with a Bachelor of Medicine from University of Indonesia and Masters degree in Herbs). The KaDO clinic takes a holistic approach to diagnosis and prescribes herbs instead of western medicine. The doctor is trained in techniques like acupuncture and acupressure as well. Instead of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), you might want to consider this. 🙂
After lunch, there were more live demonstrations on makeup application and body care. Everyone danced to traditional music before departing KaDO, which was a really nice finish to our visit.
Each of us went home with a generous door gift from KaDO. I was given one packet of red ginger tea and one packet of Java tea + Martha Tilaar beauty products including a bottle of moisturizer + a REAL plant in a pot. It’s my very first plant in Jakarta and I hope it doesn’t die on me!
To sum up, Kampoeng Djamoe Organik Garden is a place that focuses on organic cultivation and conservation; it also functions as a center for environment education and training. It is their hope that they will be able to raise awareness on the importance of protecting our environment, conserving indigenous plants, while implementing green technology.
KaDO is a lovely green respite from Jakarta and would make an ideal weekend trip for families with children (especially if you want to educate them on the environment).
It is open Monday to Saturday from 0800 – 1630 (entrance fee of IDR 20k). They also have day tour packages ranging from IDR 95k – IDR 150k per person, inclusive of lunch. (Their website was last updated on 29 Apr 2014 so prices may have gone up.)
Drop by their website for more information: http://www.kampoengdjamoemarthatilaar.com/