Bintari Wahyuningsih, skillfully installed a support for chili plants next to his house in Agus Salim Residence Housing Complex, Taman Baru Village, Banyuwangi District, Banyuwangi, East Java.
In front of the house, ginger plants are neatly lined up right at the bottom of the front window. Behind the house’s fence, various fruit trees, from longan, avocado, salam, to lemon, grow fresh.
“I have liked gardening since 2012. Organic gardening began to know about composting and making eco enzymes in the 2020s,” said Doctor Bintari, his nickname.
Not only chili, around his house there are various plants such as lemon grass, kaffir lime, curry, shallots, galangal, tomatoes, kencur, and ornamental plants. At the top, there are rows of used cooking oil containers filled with saladri attached firmly to the wall.
Everyday Bintari is a doctor at the Fatimah Banyuwangi Islamic Hospital. In addition, he is actively involved in environmental issues, especially regarding waste and organic gardening.
Organic farming, from planting media to plant care, Bintari does not use chemicals. For planting media, he uses the remaining compost, mixed with husk charcoal, soil and cocopit. For pesticides, he uses eco enzyme from an educational center to sort waste that he makes himself.
“I use natural materials to support organic gardens. Organic gardening is in harmony with nature. My hope is that we can use organic materials around our house.”
Initially, he planted ornamental plants. Later, Bintari began to try food crops. “Some of the media have used used cooking oil containers and paint containers.”
For food crops, he starts from kitchen spices, such as galangal, turmeric, kencur, ginger, grated orange, shallots, spring onions and others.
The harvest, he said, could meet kitchen needs and even occasionally share it with neighbors, such as pandan leaves and kitchen spices.
“Anyone can garden in the yard of the house. It doesn’t have to be much. The point is, you can use the rest of the land if you have it. Or the area around the house, even if it’s concrete. Can you use pots or polybags ? At least, they can fulfill food for their own kitchen,” he said.
Household-scale gardening, he said, does not have to be done by people who have a farming background. As long as there is time, willing to learn, and there is land or a place even though it is a terrace, people can do gardening.
To maintain health, he said, not only talking about keeping the environment clean but talking about the food consumed. Safe or not from toxic substances.
“Health workers are not only talking about efforts to treat patients from disease. No . Need to encourage people to live healthy. The invitation can be started by implementing a healthy life, both healthy living behavior, consumption of healthy food, setting an example of a healthy home.”
Currently, said Bintari, many people come to the doctor for treatment after being sick. While at home, there is no effort to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s simple, take care of your immune system, get enough rest, control your food, because eating doesn’t only talk about the taste of the tongue, it also talks about food and body conditions. What is clear, healthy nutrition and balanced nutrition, “he said.
Bintari hopes that more and more people will adopt organic cropping patterns. In addition to healthy food ingredients, it is easy and does not cost much to maintain and helps protect the environment.
Hayu Dyah Patria, researcher, food technology expert said, Doctor Bintari is an example of self-sufficiency in food and nutrition that can be created in a very simple way, namely gardening in the yard.
“This is a good example for the community on how to maintain and care for the body through good food. Good food comes from good soil. Land, water, food and the human body are one unit,” he said, who is also active in the Mantasa Foundation.
This action, he said, also proved food self-sufficiency could start from anywhere. You don’t have to wait to have large land and lots of money, he said, you just have to have the will. “The rest, the universe will help us on our way.”
He said anyone could be self-sufficient in food, they don’t have to be housewives because everyone needs to eat. “Anyone who needs to eat, they can take the initiative to grow vegetables, fruit, spices and whatever they need on a small scale, enough for themselves, their families and the surrounding community.”
Dyah sees, in a food system, women have an important role to uphold food sovereignty. “I see a similar pattern between Doctor Bintari and mothers in Ende Village, Alor or Papua, regarding how they share with the people around them,” he said.
In Alor, for example, every morning women or women go to their forests, fields, gardens or mamar (food forest) to take care of crops while looking for and gathering wild food plants.
They, he said, not only collected for their families, but also harvested extra food to share with neighbors. On their way home, they would stop by neighbors’ houses and offer food from the forest.
Gardening activities, he said, show acts of solidarity that women often have. They unknowingly become an important party in realizing food sovereignty.
” Very cool . Despite being busy as a doctor, I still want to plant,” said Betty Tiominar, National Coordinator of FIAN Indonesia, last January.
Bintari as a doctor can be a role model for local residents to grow and consume food from their own garden.
Planting food, he said, even though he could not harvest daily, could be the first step towards food sovereignty. “I imagine, if one complex did the same thing as him, growing a variety of organic foods. At harvest they can barter. Economically, it saves a lot and in terms of health it is much healthier,” said Betty.
In addition, Bintari’s action of sorting and composting waste has really helped reduce waste, which has always been an environmental and health problem.