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Thursday, October 13, 2011


When Frank Swettenham had just became the Resident of Selangor when William Cameron, a government (Scottish) surveyor came to see him and asked for "... a roving mission to go with a party of wild people whom he would collect, and explore the depths of the jungle ..."

A Kulup Riau was amongst his party when they discovered a plateaux on the border of Perak and Pahang in 1885 and now known as Cameron Highlands.

The mists and clouds were still enveloping Tanah Rata (1430m a.s.l.) in 1973 when I was first posted there. Now at 1600m at my farm near the summit of Gunung Brinchang the clouds will surround you. It is the highest farm anywhere else - Fraser's Hill, Bkt Larut, Kundangsang,  in Malaysia perhaps.

You have to past Pak Itam's house and the BOH Plantations as you wind up along the narrow road to G. Brinchang.

I have stayed a few nights alone in the hut before before but not lately. Years ago I did 2 seasons of cabbage, the price came down to 50cents/kg and didn't make money.

It has been being rented out to grow cabbage for a long while. They employ Bangladeshi workers.

By Najib's definition I'm a rentier.

At that high altitude cabbage grows well without much watering because it's always misty and moist plus the frequent rain.

Leaf pests are less severe because of the lower temperature. This means less pesticides are needed.

These cabbages are half mature and in another month will be  harvested. With increase in demand locally and export markets (mainly through Singapore) along with more efficient maketing infrastructure the ex-farm price has stablised somewhat allowing growers to get good income.

I've planted dahlias, purple grass, yellow trumpet flower etc by the cement wall of the 2-storey hut. Persimon (pisang kaki) fruit trees brought from Florida were planted along the slope but were stolen!

Could it become my last bastion before oblivion? Or just a dream!


  1. Salam SAVE,
    Perhaps you'd like to give your readers tips on how to start an urban farm to combat rising food prices? Here's an example:
    Have a great weekend!

  2. Salam Baiti,
    Urbanites are more hardhit by rising food prices whereas in the rural one can still live off the land to some extend. The former have to use whatever little spaces to plant more of hardy kitchen crops - terong, cili, serai, pandan, kacang panjang etc instead of ornamentals. Serai wangi is of medicinal value apart to deter mosquitoes. Such crops can add colour from their fruits, flowers, leaves and greening effect. Perhaps I could elaborate this later on.

    Thanks for the info. Happy weekend to you too.