A Beautiful Homestay in Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm

Lily of the Valley Organic Farm and Homestay in Benguet is the first of four organic farms we visited for our Benguet-Sagada OABlogger's trip last July. The couple Mr. Jefferson Laruan wearing his boots, rip faded denim and plain white shirt and wife, Elisa wearing her Benguet costume warmly welcomed us.

Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm
Lily of the Valley Organic Farm and Homestay
Lily of the Valley is about 15 minutes drive from Benguet State University. If you're in La Trinidad, I recommend visiting Lily of the Valley Organic Farm, they have a huge organic farm and a lovely homestay with traditional Igorot home decor.

Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm

How about this brick wall living room with fireplace? Too bad we were not staying overnight so we missed the fireplace.

Igorot fireplace

Look how cozy Benguet house with balcony at the second floor. The blankets are sure to provide warmth during the cold nights. I felt at home around barefoot.

Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm

Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm

I decided to remove my shoes and feel the wooden floor inside the Lily of the Valley Garden. I like the windows that allows sunlight to enter the house during the day.

 Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm

The kitchen... you'll find interesting pieces and traditional Igorot decors.

I thought they only have a backyard farm where healthy broccoli and cauliflowers grow until they invited us for a short walk down the hill. Mr. Laruan said it will took us eight minutes to reach the extension of his farm, but it was a 10-15 minutes trail. We passed by wild plants and tall grass, huge trees and solid rocks along the way.

Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm

Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm

Sharing his story..

Farmer Jefferson used to do the conventional farming until he met an accident sometime in 1977. He was in the farm, alone and spraying synthetic chemicals on his crops. Without any protective shield the chemicals was easily absorbed by his skin. He started to feel dizzy but managed to crawl going to their resting area where he was found unconscious the next day. Two days later, luckily Jefferson woke up as if nothing happened even without medical intervention.

Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm

The tragedy taught him a lesson never to use chemicals or pesticides in farming.


He went to the farm and started growing china cabbages which did not lasted long because of infestation. He then decide to grow sayote instead. But frequent carrying of heavy sacks of sayote from the farm to the market caused him a medical condition called hernia (a condition wherein an organ displaced through the wall of the cavity). He undergone surgery and was advised to avoid carrying heavy objects.

Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm
Healthy Cauliflower
French Beans at Lily of the Valley Organic Farm
French Beans from Benguet
Fresh Broccoli at Lily of The Valley Farm
Fresh Broccoli at Lily of The Valley Farm
Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm

Benguet: Lily of the Valley Organic Farm
Berries 
In 2005, Jefferson started 100% organic agriculture producing healthy and beautiful broccoli and cauliflowers, some herbs, spinach and french beans.

He admitted that generating income took some time when they shifted to organic agriculture but it came along with good health and happier life for the entire family. They enjoy fresh, organic produce. Mr. Laruan and wife compares life not using chemicals on their crops - they became more energetic and healthier, very seldom that they get sick.

Using Mukosako to make Compost: 


The farm has its own compost area, farmer Jefferson gather wild plants and added mukosako (an innovation from Japan) which he sprays on the first piling or turning. It involves the production of a liquid substance which he calls wood vinegar produced from a composting mixture of grass and other plants. Mukosako helps in enhancing the production of beneficial micro-organism in the soil. Mr. Laruan said, the use of mukosako has been a long time practice in Japan.

Using Mukosako to make Compost:

Compost area with wild plants and grass
Compost area with wild plants and grass
Lily of the Valley Organic farm promotes organic agriculture for six years now. If there are challenges that the owners encounter it is about programming.

Using Mukosako to make Compost:


The farm has a website, check out Lily of the Valley here. For more information about organic agriculture, visit http://ati.da.gov.ph/

Lily of the Valley Organic Farm and Homestay


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Lily of the Valley Organic Farm & Homestay
La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines


Today, Lily of the Valley organic produces upland high value organic vegetables from french beans, broccoli, cauliflower, bokchoy, spinach, lettuce, camote, cherry tomato, radish, sugar beets, some herbs like mint, basil and rosemary. They supplies cancer patients from Metro Manila and teachers of Ateneo.

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