The perfect garden- meeting the self sufficient gardener in Surbangsih, Simalungun, North Sumatra

By Nelly Andon 

I met Limantina Sihaloho on Facebook for the first time in 2008 and had spent some time communicating with her in cyberspace. Limantina is a dedicated Christian, highly educated and connected to the Catholic Churches in Pematang Siantar, the capital of the Simalungun region of North Sumatra.  I must admit that I am thoroughly inspired by some of her postings on Facebook, particularly her love for all things nature. I am a very keen gardener myself, so I love to see her shared some of her passion for plants, flowers and animal farms.

Limantina is also an environmentalist and a serious one too. I met her for the first time in 2009 during our fun bike ride in Samosir island and realised that we shared so many things in common about lives in general, though I know she is probably more fanatic than I am.

This year, Limantina has agreed to show me around her city garden and also at her farm, where I witness a very special life and the beauty of living surrounded by nature.  Surbangsing is located just on the shore of Lake Toba, a very fertile region, where farmers here grow vegetables and fruits for cash crops. We travelled several days around Siantar, Surbangsih and also the Kabanjahe and Berastagi, the Karo region of Lake Toba.

Visiting Limantina and her family at the farms had given me tremendous joy and was truly inspired that living surrounded by nature is probably the closest thing you have to heaven on earth.

My sincere gratitude to Limantina, who has very kindly spare some of her precious time to let me peek into her wonderful life.  My sincere gratitude to Alex Simare-mare who has very kindly volunteered to accompany us on this journey.

I truly hope that we can learn a lot from this journey and share this experience with those who might be able to benefit from Limantina’s garden and the way she manages her life.

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