Monday, 17 April 2017

Open Farm Day 14 Apr 2017 - Post Mortem

At the end of every event we have, I will always hold a team meeting where we discuss the feedback from visitors and how the event went.  There were a few differences that we had this year compared with last year's event, most of it due to feedback from our visitors last year.  I find getting feedback is very important and our team meetings are useful to help us in improving.
Our first visitors for the day, also a regular customer at
our Sunday morning market stall
Our visitors visiting the farm.  At one of the sections.

Our food sales area.
Feedback 1 2016: Too bad you didn't have any food for sale
This year, we had a small menu consisting of chicken or fish with rice and a kerabu, durian ice cream, roselle and jambu madu ice cream, a section of drinks all based on our produce from our farm - soursop leaf tea, roselle juice drink, lemongrass and calamansi drink, roselle tea, calamansi and blue pea flower drink, and our only unsweetened drink - missy kucing tea.  We do not use white sugar in our drinks.  We also had 2 types of jellies: roselle jelly and jambu madu and blue pea flower jelly.

Our produce and products sales area
Feedback 2 2016: Difficult to see plants for sale and need to be labelled with variety and price clearly.
This year, we placed the plants for sale on racks and floor in one section, all clearly labelled with plant name and price.  Although we still had a couple of people wanting to take plants from my greenhouse especially the plants that I was doing my research on :).

Feedback 3 2016: Difficult to find the place as there wasn't any signages
We placed a sign indicating the farm name at the junction on the main road as well as at the farm gate.  I had also updated the "Pictorial Guide to Suria Helang Lui Farm" with the latest photos and posted on the event page which many found useful this year.

Feedback 1 2017: "How come the chicken wasn't soft?".
We had one person that complained "How come the chicken wasn't soft?".  As we had indicated prior to the event, the chicken was from our farm, organically reared "kampung" chicken which meant that it was organically reared, free from GMO feed, hormones and antibiotics, and free range.  These chickens are not like your hormone-chicken which are reared to be soft and fluffy.  The meat will be firm.  Judging by how the rest of the visitors that had it ate, it was not an issue that we will worry about.

One of the groups that I took around the
farm for a tour.  Really enjoyed the discussion
Feedback 2 2017: This farm is small.  How come you invite so many people?"
This to me is an interesting feedback from one person.  I have always indicated that I have a small farm of 2.5acres or slightly more than 1 hectare.  This is an event when I open to public for those interested in seeing what we do.  At any one point in time, there was around 50 people at the farm, which is not that many.  Visitors came and went throughout the whole morning and early afternoon.

Feedback 3 2017: The drink is sour, I don't like it.  I want a different one.
The same person who complained about the chicken complained about the soursop tea.  Maybe she didn't realise but soursop has a slightly sour taste - just the name should give an indication.  She just returned the half-consumed drink and took another one without paying for the second.  That's ok, we know we will encounter should people.  Maybe she thought that she was coming to farm that she can treat us farmers with this arrogant attitude which she wouldn't at an eatery in KL.

Feedback 4 2017: How come you don't have proper sitting areas for people to eat?
Enjoyed seeing this family enjoy the day out at the farm
with their children,  They found a spot they liked.
Again, this is a complaint from the same person.  We had indicated that what we prepared was packed lunch and people can choose to picnic anywhere on the farm.  We had a few tables situated in different areas where people can sit as well chair for people to sit.  She and her group finally sat in one area near the barbecue pit and pond to eat. Our other visitors had no problem and found places to enjoy their meal.

Feedback 5 2017: Why is your food ready so late?
I got this feedback at 9.45am.  We were preparing packed lunch so I wasn't expected a visitor to be irritated that it wasn't ready this early.  We had the food out at 10.15am so I guess we could call this a brunch.  Next time we have it, I will have to decide whether we will do brunch or lunch and repeat the announcement of the food a few times.

Feedback 6 2017: "I come so far, so you must get me what I want"
Not sure how we have to respond to this.  I had announced what we have for sale and available.

All in all, I consider the event went well as we had many positive responses from our visitors and they enjoyed the morning out at the farm, discussing issues they had with their gardens, seeing the animals and enjoying the food and drinks as well as the opportunity to buy farm-fresh organically grown fruits and vegetables as well as organic products.  Many also liked that they were able to see for themselves where the produce and products came from.

To the many that asked what is the next event?  The next one, inshaaAllah, will be the Durian Fest which will be organised around July 2017, in a different way from previous years based from the feedback and lessons we learnt from the previous years.


  1. Assalamu'alaikum. The durian fest should be interesting. I hope I'd be free on that day to have a taste of your durian. The walk around the farm however should be even more interesting. Where are you located?

    1. Wa'alaikum salam. Looks like this year no durian fest as the all-natural non-injected fruits didn't come to fruition. In shaa Allah, next year.