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Organic Farming: Knowing Nothing, Diving Right In

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Organic Farming: Knowing Nothing, Diving Right In Organic Farming: Knowing Nothing, Diving Right In

Organic Farming: Knowing Nothing, Diving Right In

By Aiman Azri
If you had the chance to run your own farm, without knowing anything about the business, would you" That's exactly what Jesenpal "Jay" Singh did when he started Organic Brother's, an organic farm that began mostly with chicken.

In this interview, Jay explains what it takes to break into the industry, and the harsh lessons he experienced on his journey.

EDKL: Let's start from the top. Tell us what you do. 

Jay: My name is Jay. At the moment, I'm working with an organisation where we help communities engage other communities - food, arts, drama, anything.

Before this, I used to run an organic farm in Gombak, Organic Brother's, which started in 2014.

I ran it with another partner; we were very close friends, like brothers. We started off with chickens, then we had turkey and tilapia fish.

I had no knowledge in farming, but the passion was always there. When I got into it, the first one year was purely trial and error. We did a lot of research - online, reading, videos, talked to a lot of people, visited a lot of farms.

What we learned was: It's really hard to grow or breed chickens if you don't have any enhanced chemicals or antibiotics, because the chickens will naturally die.

We had to actually create our own natural antibiotic. You know how Vitagen is an antibiotic for your stomach" Same concept. Using milk, molasses, and letting them ferment.

EDKL: What did you think you had to do when you started the business"

Jay: In every business you start, you'll be optimistic for everything, but the reality is, getting into a new business without any knowledge has its own pitfalls. Spending a lot of money on areas that you didn't have to spend on.

We never had the idea of coming up with a big organic farm though. We just thought, 'hey, let's buy a couple thousand chickens and see how it goes.' That's how we learned. Our techniques and knowledge grew, our chickens got better, of higher quality. It took us a long time. Almost two years.

The first year, a lot of issues came up. We didn't know how to handle the weather, or the bacteria in the area and the wild predators.

We built everything on our own. The shed, all on our own. The thing is, we didn't complete the entire 100-foot shed. We probably completed about 20 feet. And we bought over a thousand chickens. During that time, it was the rainy season, and it was pouring. Our land was by the side of a waterfall and river, so water started overflowing.

Our workers called me late at night. My girlfriend and I used to go down at 1 am to dry the chickens, keep them warm.

That was part of the process of learning what to do. That's when it started getting better.

We then had our shed done properly. We never had issues with chickens becoming wet anymore. Our first issue was always chickens getting wet and cold. That was the first trouble - the biggest trouble. It costs a lot of money to keep them dry and warm.

Chickens are highly, highly sensi...
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Organic Farming: Knowing Nothing, Diving Right In Organic Farming: Knowing Nothing, Diving Right In


Source of news: Eat Drink KL
Source of publication: 06-01-2018 16:05
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