Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences has been on temporary hiatus due to travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. But while tourists have been locked down at home, a bounty of juicy fresh fruit and veg has been proliferating on the island, ready for returning guests to get their teeth into later this summer.
The Amilla Islanders decided they should turn the absence of guests due to global travel restrictions into an opportunity to put their green thumbs to the test. Their aim was to ramp up the amount of super-fresh ingredients the resort can offer to its guests. It was also to help make Amilla Maldives even more eco-friendly by expanding the amount of fruit, vegetables, and herbs grown on the island rather than imported from overseas, thereby reducing its carbon footprint.
It’s part of the luxury resort’s garden to table projects, Homegrown@Amilla and Homemade@Amilla as well as its pioneering Wellness Your Way programme. These initiatives were created in recognition of the fact that the Islanders feel the definition of luxury resort cuisine today should encompass fresh, organic ingredients and a range of dishes to suit every dietary requirement or ‘eating lifestyle’.
Various enclaves around the resort have been cultivated thanks to the Islanders’ hard work, which ranged from planting fruit trees to experimenting with hydroponics and aquaponics. Since Amilla is so spacious, the majority of it still looks like a jungle paradise – but now the island is even more sustainable than ever.
The beautiful Mystique Garden, a spot where guests can enjoy private meals, is now bursting with organic superfoods like purslane, moringa, dandelion, and spinach. A mushroom hut named The Pentagon has been constructed and will shortly be producing its first harvest from its cool, damp interior. The Sweet Spot is the newly-constructed sweet potato garden and its purple crop is multiplying deep in the fertile soil. And a stone’s throw away, banana palms are growing in the shade of the jungle.
An aquaponics system is up and running with tilapia fish happily swimming in their new pond and eating up mosquito larvae. They then fertilise the water which is pumped through the six hydroponic houses growing fresh rocket, lettuces and the like. The fish pond is also for growing kangkung water spinach, thereby maximising the island’s growing areas.
Amilla is also utilizing its 2,000 or more coconut trees in new and interesting ways. From fresh coconut water and coconut milk to make the dried coconut flour, every part of the coconuts is being used. This even includes the “mudi” (the inside of the young coconut tree), which has a slightly salty and sweet flavor and is surrounded by coconut flesh rich in coconut oil.
Amilla is a naturally lush and spacious island which makes it perfect for growing an abundance of fruit and vegetables. Uniquely in this secluded coral archipelago, Amilla is blessed with nutrient-rich soil. The Islanders have improved the quality of the earth even more by composting food waste which is used to help fertilize the fruits and vegetables.