Kusamba Sea Salt Farmers

2 June 2017 - Salt farming in Kusamba, Bali is a centuries-old tradition where farmers use traditional technique to produce 100% natural salt by sun and wind evaporation. Located on a volcanic black-sand beach in East Bali, Kusamba is about an hour’s drive east from Sanur. The village earned its reputation as a traditional fishing village and natural salt production in Bali. Despite the intensive process of sea salt making, Kusamba’s salt farmers live in modest huts on the beach with shiny-black and mineral-rich sand. There are about 30 group of local people who earn their livings as salt farmers in Kusamba.

The salt farming process in Kusamba is a unique thing yet time consuming. Every morning the salt farmers make their way to and from the ocean with buckets on bamboo poles over their shoulders. They gather seawater and poured it over the raked sand in a rhythmic motion. The mid-day tropical sun bakes the sand into flakes and the salt is ready to be harvested by late afternoon. The farmers take the flakes to the salt making hut where more sea water is added to leech the salt over several days. The resulting brine is placed in long trough for further evaporation, leaving pure fleur de sel (flower of salt) with sweet notes, a dash of which is guaranteed to bring out the best in any dish -and due to its moisture content, the salt won't dissolve right away, allowing the taste to linger in our mouth.

On average, the Kusamba farmers yield the salts for a few kilos per day and the process is a sun-dependent, which means it can only be produced during the dry months. It is reported that these farmers might be the last generation of salt farmers in Bali since less people are interested to do the job. All in all, Kusamba farmers are willing to share their journey as seasoned tourist flock to the village to learn the salt-making process.