I received an invitation for an overnight stay in a farm somewhere in Majayjay Laguna. The visit aims to teach us about Organic Agriculture in the Philippines. Familiar with organic produce which I often see in the market, somehow I became interested how it become sustainable despite of its price in the local market. Aside from out-of-town adventure,curiosity made me decide to join the trip.
It was raining in Manila when we left Makati around 9am with less than 20 of us inside a big bus joining us was Ms. Niet of the Department of Agriculture. Most of us occupied two seats to make ourselves comfortable - to sleep after days of hard work.
We arrived just in time for time for lunch! Costales Farm is located at Brgy Gagalot, Majayjay Laguna. It's the last municipality of Laguna before Quezon province.
The 5-hectares sustainable, integrated organic farm was acquired by a man who used to live in a corporate world. In search for real happiness he found life and contentment in the soil where he started to be an ordinary farmer.
The farm aims to promote a sustainable agriculture, environmental diversity and healthy lifestyle through integrated natural farming.
Costales farm believes that organic farming is a continuous process, the more they recycle the more they become sustainable.
Their kitchen waste are recycled - from garbage to fertilizer where crops are grown using kitchen wastes and animals are fed with kitchen wastes and vegetables that are grown in the farm.
Costales farm produces variety of greenery and organic food such as the following:
- High Value Vegetables: Arugula, Lettuce, Spinach, Cabbage, Pak choi, Celery, Brocolli, Cauliflower, Sweet pepper, Zuchinni, French beans, Chinese Upland Kangkong,
- Lowland Vegetables: Ampalaya, Okra, Tomato, Upo, Hot Pepper, Patola, Sitaw.
There are herbs and spices too! Tarragon, Sage, Sweet Basil, Holy Basil, Purple Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Lemon Grass, Pandan, Kaffir Lime, Thyme, Thai Basil,
Aside from the human effort, there are “farm helpers” working 24 hours without pay! They are called the African Night Crawlers, an effective microorganism.
From organically raising various livestock and gathering their manure to become the best fertilizer by feeding them into African Night Crawler (ANC) worms. Then the worm’s manure also called vermicast becomes the primary fertilizer for the crops.
In a cool-weather afternoon we started our farm tour and discovered the beauty of Earth’s healthy bounty – the start of a real “farmville” adventure.
They have organic livestock that are odorless, no bath and no wash pigs such as wild boar, free range chicken, ducks, goats and rabbits.
Excess vegetable farm and farm rejects are fed back to their livestock.
You might say that organic vegetables are too expensive but, have you considered the amount you spent on medication and doctor’s fee with the illnesses brought about by chemicals we ingest from inorganic food?
Why not taste both organic and inorganic produce? I do! and there’s a huge difference both in taste and appearance. The organic vegetables are naturally sweet while the other is bitter probably because of the chemicals. The organic vegetable are greener and crunchy too! Meat are tender and no foul odor! So, why not consider organic food? No need to travel all the way to Majayjay to get them, there are supermarkets such as SM supermarkets and restaurants serving organic produce.
However, you may want to consider visiting Costales farm and enjoy an overnight stay just like us. The farm has several rooms to accommodate you. It’s open for day tour and overnight. The tour includes sight-seeing around the farm and nearby tourist spot such as Majayjay falls; lecture and presentation about Organic Farming. For more information, you may refer to the contact details at the end of my post.
My lungs got to breath fresh air, happy tummy with all the organic food I consumed. My well-being renewed as I enjoyed nature’s wonder and simplicity. My body was detoxified with the fresh, organic vegetables they served us the whole day, not to mention the fresh fruit juices and refreshing hot tea the group loved so much!
Thank God there’s an intermittent internet connection! All of us had a break from the cyber world, from too much exposure to radiation!
Most of all, we enjoyed each other’s company! We chat all night outside the nipa house and sung on top of our lungs with the videoke they set-up for us. Though girl’s room are separated from the boys still, we can hear each others’ laugh. It was fun!
What happen the next day? Read my next post, click here!
It was a great farm tour, worth visiting and spending time learning about organic agriculture. I can’t get over with the organics, so I took home upland Chinese Kangkong, some lettuce romaine, a bottle of honey and a pot of Spearmint!
Thank you Costales Nature farm for the warm accommodation!