Organic Farming in the Mountains! (part 2)

The third organic farmer that we got to meet in La Trinidad, Benguet isn't afraid to tell to us that he learned from Mr. Pat Acosta, and with his interest in alternative medicine, he was able to put up a farm that helps cancer patients in the metro - The Garden of Life.

With mostly crops dedicated to help sick people, Garden of Life was established out of an incident. Mr. Felix Tan, owner of The Garden of Life shared to us that this garden started when this piece of land was getting infested by some local squatters. To avoid more conflict, instead of hiring security guards, he studied about organic farming, and then hired some local farmers to cultivate the land and take good care of his crops.

"It was a good decision," he added, because with this organic farm, he gets to plant most of the medicinal plants he needed for his alternative medicine business. And the best thing about it, according to him, "Everything is organic," meaning free of pesticide, animal manure and etc, which is the best help to give to the patients.

Garden of Life is currently plowing lettuce, wheat grass, tatsoi, magic beans, carrots, broccoli, celery, cilantro, basil, sugar beets and spinach. I also saw some herbs and fruit-bearing plants that can excite guests to this fine spot. Garden of Life is also a champion of Gawad Saka Search, which highlights the government’s objective of producing safe and nutritious food. 

Garden of Life was our last organic farm here in La Trinidad, Benguet, but our trip didn't end there. It took us another 6 hours to reach the last organic farm we have on our list, and after millions on zigzags and rough roads, we found ourselves in Sagada, Mountain Province checking out one of the organic coffee farms in the area - The Sagada Organic Coffee Farm.

Owned by Mr. Osenio Lay-os, Sagada Organic Coffee Farm has been in the business for quiet a while and been producinng the world famous Arabica Coffee the organic way.

Unlike the other farms that we visited, this one by Mr. Lay-Os offers a more traditional, by-the-backyard type of farming. With less than a hectare of land, the Sagada Organic Coffee Farm is producing a high quality of Arabica Coffee Beans that's being hailed not only in the province but also in the metro.

Serving as a good example to the neighboring coffee farms in Sagada, Mr. Lay-os Organic Coffee Farms practices the very essence of organic farming style, which is non usage of pesticide, animal manure and other. And because of that and many more innovative farming style, he was awarded with the title Magsasakang Siyentista for Cordillera Administrative Region.

On our visit in his farm, he toured us around and let us know how he maximizes his property, which is in the top of the mountains too. From the fruit-bearing to ornamental plants, Mr. Kay-os and his wife are working hand-in-hand to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

We were able to taste some of their freshest fruits too that made our afternoon there more exciting and fun, and yes, nothing beats an organic produce fruit!

Sadly, our time has come to leave the place, but all of these were indeed a fun and learning experience that we will take through our lives. More than the smiles and warm accommodations that we received from our hosts, the knowledge that they imparted not only to us for the for the future organic farmers in our country will definitely a great addition to this booming healthy industry.

I just hope that they'll get more support not only from our government but from us too, for organic farming doesn't only possess a good source of income but it also gives a good health and a more beautiful and safe planet.

Thank you, Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Training Institute, for this wonderful opportunity of letting me experience the grace of the Lord through farming - the organic and healthy way! Kudos to all of you! You are giving me an exciting reason to live longer and enjoy my retirement! Hahaha! 

Happy ORGANIC farming, Philippines!

1 comment

Ruth said...

Aside from Sagada's organic coffee, I miss the passion fruit! :)