Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Grade A Vegetables for Free!

Grade B 'midin', sold at a local 'tamu' , jungle produce market at Bintulu town.

Living in an eco-farm can be extremely healthy and plain simple lifestyle. Just imagine that after every rain ( and during this months of November and December ' landas season' or monsoon rain season they are amazingly heavy and on daily basis) young fronds of 'midin ' the local jungle fern will exhibit themselves as young and succulent leaves. They mushroomed in abundance along the streams and wet basins.

Notice the 'midin' rhizomes in thickets and climbing big trees.

In our farm, there three small streams that merge into a bigger meandering stream and on their sides the damp and swampy areas are retained for a good reason. As you can see in the picture, the flat areas are fantastic grounds for the growth of 'midin' ( stenochlaena palustris).

This is a very common fern growing in sunny or lightly shaded areas. There are many names given by the local people here in Bintulu for this wild fern. The Malays call it 'lemiding' or 'rambai', while the Bintulu Melanaus call it 'jiyai'. This fern has been eaten as vegetables for generations. But with modernisation, it is harder to get them due to the disappearnace of its native growing conditions with the onset of urban sprawl. This jungle and wayside fern can now fetch good suplementary income for the local farmers who bring them to the local jungle produce markets called 'tamu' throughout Sarawak.

Grade A 'midin'

Being gathered from the wild, as a vegetable, it is not subjected to chemicals and thus very safe to consume. Today the ferns are served in 5 star hotels and ordinary restaurants and are becoming a delicacy at national level looking at its popularity among Peninsular Malaysian tourists and visitors who are slowly taking a liking to it.. This fern can be served fried with the local shrimp paste,called 'belacan' of which the Bintulu variety is most popular in Malaysia nowadays, thanks to the 'midin' phenomena. It can also be fried with oyster sauce and garlic. Some people like to eat them as salad( 'ulam'). However when fried it is best served hot.

Over at our eco-farm, you can see them growing in thickets. This is due to its creeping rhizomes. But they can be adventurous and will climb big trees.

'Midin' is a rich source of iron ( for low blood count) and vitamin A ( beta karotene, superb for night blindness). 'Midin' is an " in thing" these days to savour for it has gained reputation as a 5 star hotel offering . For us at the farm, it is a Grade A vegetable that is obtainable freely . The more we prune the thickets, the more young fronds will emerge and multiply and the lesser the unruly thickets get.


Holttum, R.E.(1982) Plant life in Malaya. Longman Malaysia SdnBhd.,KualaLumpur.

Hoe, Voon Boon, Sim P. & Hon, Chin Thim ( 1988) Sayur- sayuran dan Buah-buahan hutan di Sarawak. Deparment of Agriculture, Sarawak.

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