BMICH Model Farm.

The cattle are lowing… at the BMICH

There’s a farm in the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall grounds. I know that sounds odd as the BMICH is the nation’s principal conference center and located in the center of Colombo, so not really what you’d think of an as agricultural spot, but nevertheless someone has installed rows of fruit trees, vegetable plots and even a cattle shed with a few cows in it.

At first I suspected some particularly bold squatters banking on government negligence to allow them to claim squatter’s rights before anyone noticed or complained. Then we noticed the CIC (Chemical/Agricultural company) signs.

The mango trees, tomato vines, pomegranates etc are apparently a model farm which serves to demonstrate just what productive use Sri Lankans can make of their fertile earth. It’s actually quite impressive – there’s just so much growing in, at most, half an acre of land that you’ll feel like establishing a small plantation in your front garden.

More than any agricultural experimentation, it’s a lovely and slightly surreal space – this little farm in the corner of the BMICH. Even during the bustle of the book fair you just need to wander through the orchids, anthuriums and aubergines and you’ll suddenly feel like your ways away from central Colombo. Just pat one of the the cows in the cattle shed on the head for instant bucolic bliss.

Wonderful and typically Sri Lankan in its quirkiness – a farm in the middle of a conference compound. Do check this out the next time your in the BMICH grounds.

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