Making Black Bloody Rosella Jam

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Ili Farhana


The rosella (or roselle) plant originated in West Africa, but has been cultivated throughout Africa, Asia and Australia. Not only can rosella be used to make teas and jams, but every part of the plant is edible; the young leaves can be eaten raw and make great salads. Rosella is a type of hibiscus, and it has a beautiful pink flower. Although the whole plant is edible, it is the calyx (the bright red fruit) that is used to make syrups, teas or jams. If you eat it fresh, straight off the stalk, it has a sour taste. Inside the calyx is a round seed pod. If it is left to mature, it will turn brown. When dry it provides the mature seeds for the next planting. At Kebun Setaman Pejeng, our small-scale community arm and learning centre at Bamjar Panglan, Pejeng, on the island of Bali, we harvest rosella to make jam.

Article Details

Curated Works: Designing Futures in Indonesia
Author Biography

Ili Farhana, Banjar Panglan, Pejeng, Bali

Ili Farhana graduated in 2003, after majoring in Fine Arts, from the Universiti Institute Technology Mara (UiTM). Since graduating she has been active in organizing independent art programs and art festivals. As an active independent researcher and writer, Ili also has experience working in the issues of human rights and women rights. Ili is the co-founder of Pusat Sekitar Seni (PSS) in Padang Jawa, Klang, Malaysia, a community based space that promotes creative art activism and collectivism in community. She is also the co-founder of Sekolah Kebun Akhir Minggu (SEKAM – Weekend Garden School),  an independent citizen initiative to provide a basic education on gardening and life skills, by using creative gardening methods combined with permaculture principles and ethics.
A busy mother of 3, Ili has a passion about growing food, permaculture and agroecology -- especially around the issue of how community gardening can improve a community’s livelihood and contribute toward sustainable living. Ili is currently part of Lite Bali Institute’s working team and also dedicates her skills in growing food to the running of Kebun Setaman Pejeng.