Resort guests taken on guided exploration of the island’s edible plants, vegetables and fruits
Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences’ zero-air miles project took another step forward this month with the advent of its brand new ‘Foraging Lunch’ activity. This new eco-adventure sees guests led by staff including the Chef, the Landscaping Supervisor, and the Sustainability and Wellness Mentor, Victoria Kruse, through the lush island to gather edible plants including indigenous varieties such as ‘kulha fila’ (Maldivian rocket). This fun and educational interactive tour highlights the island’s indigenous and island-grown herbs, vegetables and fruit. It culminates in a feast using the freshly-plucked ingredients.
Amongst the first guests to enjoy this new activity at Amilla Maldives was Amilla’s ‘Visiting Hero’, the Tennis Pro, Philipp Davydenko, and his new bride. Philipp, who is on hand to offer guests tennis clinics and coaching, said: “It was a very informative and exciting learning experience about the resort's sustainability, the gardens and the homegrown spices of Amilla. We collected and self-cooked a delicious lunch. We enjoyed our time and the food a lot”.
Starting out on the Sunrise Beach at the southeastern end of the spacious private island resort, the guests were guided to Amilla’s jungle-clad grove known as The Plantation, where local varieties of small, sweet bananas are cultivated, as well as chillies (a Maldivian staple), lemongrass and passionfruit. Then it was on to the resort’s new Hydroponics Garden, where they discovered a wide array of homegrown greens, before moving on to the UN (short for ‘UNdo the Harm’) where the Amilla Islanders make their own cold-pressed coconut oil from the island’s bountiful supply of coconut trees.
Amilla’s chicken coop, Cluckingham Palace, was the next port of call, to see if the pampered chickens there had any fresh eggs to offer. The ladies kindly gave up more than a dozen eggs to the group that day.
The next destination was the vast area of natural jungle that covers over 70 percent of the island. From this area, the group collected dry coconuts for coconut milk and young coconuts to make ‘mudi kashi’ (the flesh of young coconuts), with a little help from Amilla’s skillful tree climbers. They also helped harvest some wild breadfruit from 15 metres up in the jungle canopy.
Finally, the group circled back to Amilla’s beautiful Mystique Garden, where the hungry team collected even more salad greens as well as sugarcane and the traditional Maldivian staples of aubergines, okra, and sweet potatoes.
With the foraging complete, it was time to prepare lunch from the freshly-picked ingredients. A three-course spread was created under the supervision of the chef. It included a Maldivian vegetable curry slowly simmered to perfection and a fresh salad with boiled eggs on the side. The guests enjoyed the meal together with Victoria and Chef. It was washed down with lemongrass-infused water.
The new activity is part of Amilla Maldives’ efforts to use sustainable food sources on the island. The Homegrown@Amilla project means fewer items need to be imported, reducing the resort’s carbon footprint. It also ensures guests receive the very freshest of produce for optimum flavour and wellness benefits.