Farm Tour: 11 Year Old Child Leads Farm Tour In Bukidnon

How do we make kids stay away from gadgets? I've read an article that says 1 out of 3 kids can handle smartphones even before they reach the age two. Why is this happening? Come to think of it, how many gadgets do we have at home? How many smartphones each members of the family owns? 

11 Year Old Child Leads Farm Tour At Jaya Secret Garden
The beautiful landscape of Jaya Secret Garden in Bukidnon
My questions were answered when I visited a family in Bukidnon who owns a small farm. Jaya Secret Garden used to be a waste yard turned farm before it became a sustainable, beautiful, edible landscape growing lettuce, variety of herbs, different kinds of chili, fruit trees, animals like free range chicken and tilapia fish.

A 2,000 square meter Jaya Secret Garden is not a secret agri tourism destination in Northern Mindanao. Health enthusiasts even students had visited the farm. It's the home of variety of chili such as chocolate and the spiciest chili known as Carolina chili. But above all, it's the home of a little girl farmer name Jaya, an eleven year old girl who leads and provides farm tour to the guests including students like her age.

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Jaya Secret Garden in Malaybalay Bukidnon
Before we went on the usual farm tour, Jaya Secret Garden invited us to a delightfully tasty lunch set in an open air veranda. We had of chicken soup with chili leaves and Chinese malunggay leaves  (tinola), fried fish tilapia stuffed with tarragon herbs and blueternate rice. I like the chicken soup, comforting and very tasty. I never though tarragon leaves could be used as stuffing for meat or fish. They used it with the fish tilapia which adds more flavor and aroma. For the first time, I had rice cooked with blueternate flowers. Basically, it's a blue flower that gives natural coloring "blue" to the rice and it's known to have many health benefits including best memory enhancer and recommended for married women who wants to conceive, so I ate a lot, lol! A refreshing cold lemongrass tea was also served.

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upcycled fish pond. It helps eliminate mosquitoes
After the wonderful lunch, we went around the farm led by Juna's daughter Jaya, who loves farming just like his father. Albeit the sloppy land, Juna took advantage of using plastic bottles, tire and almost all types of recycled items that will help prevent soil erosion. What a wonderful idea to use an old, rugged rain boot for planting. It reminds me to use my head and imagination in developing my own little garden. Of all farms we've visited, I only saw variety of chili grew here. Carolina chili is said to be the spiciest chili. I did not try, I'm not a fan of spicy food and I usually cough every time I would eat spicy food. Juna also found a spring when he bought the lot and decided to develop it into a fish pond where tilapia are go We had them for lunch and it was good.

Edible Landscaping

Growing tilapia at their fish pond eliminates mosquitoes. Aside from tilapia, there's native frog, native crab and alimato. The stone path surrounded by lush green mostly edible are the main attractions here, truly instagramable and soothing to the tired eyes. The short tour provided learning opportunities about the crops and herbs they grow. It was an opportunity get to know the benefits of family gardening as well as the growing farm tourism in the Philippines. Best of all, the tour has taught me how to make edible landscaping.

Fish pond tilapia
Fried Tilapia with tarragon, blue ternate rice, chicken tinola with chili leaves, cucumber juice
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Organic Mixed vegetable

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Papaya, chili in vinegar and labong
"It is not what you see that matters but what is underneath" says farmer Juna. "Ecosystem is what we are applying" he added.

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May tatlong bibe
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Children are encouraged to plant or else these practices will be lost forever. Juna emphasized that adult farmers should allow their children to experience the benefits of farming and simple planting and let them earn extra money which they can use at school or personal items. At the same time, children understand the value of hard work and money even at an early age. Jaya was invited twice as a speaker in a national conferences about agriculture and received several recognition for sharing her experiences. Truly, Jaya should be known as a good example and inspiration to the millennials.

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Jaya Secret Garden applies diversified planting. Diversification refers to the addition of new crops or growing more than one plant for biological stability of the farm. This family organic farm is open to the public who wants to learn family gardening. Young farmer Jaya is also inviting children like her age to come and visit the farm, she will personally tour you around the farm.

Other travel-related articles and farm sites in Bukidnon


in Manila:


Jaya Secret Garden
Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Philippines
Visit their FB Page: Jaya Secret Garden Bukidnon

Interested in Agriculture and organic farming? You may also get in touch at
Agricultural Training Institute Central Office
ATI Building, Elliptical Road, Diliman
Quezon City 1100 Philippines
Trunkline: (63-2) 9298541 to 49
Fax no. (63-2) 9209792
http://ati.da.gov.ph/

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