Find Yourself in the Cordilleras: The Farming Communities of Benguet and Mountain Province

Home to a magnificent set of picturesque highland countryside, the region of the Cordillera features an abundance of wonders. From its cool weather all year long to its majestic set of nature, fascinating culture and mouth-watering local cuisine, an all too familiar feature of the region is gaining much needed attention today. These are the fruit and vegetable farms of Benguet and Mountain Province. 

Mujee Gonzales, Christian Sangoyo, Gretchen Filart, Celine Murillo and Levy Amosin

Spread across the intertwining mountains of the two provinces, are colorful fields of blooming flowers, lush green vegetables and seasonal fruits best typifying the ingenuity and hard work of the farmers of the Cordillera. 

Marjorie Duran

As the growing movement of choosing healthier food options such as farm-to-table expands, visiting these farms will also give us an opportunity to show gratitude to our farmers by including their source of livelihood as a vital element of the tourism industry. 

Kay Sison

To help you plan your farm-hopping trip to Benguet and the Mountain Province, here are some farming communities you can visit.

Northern Blossom Flower Farm in Atok, Benguet

This 3-hectare farm that spreads over the scenic mountainside of Atok, Benguet, is where one can regale at the sweeping scenery of colorful flowers that bloom all year-round. 

Jeni Cabacungan

Different variety of flowers such as matthiola, rice flower, larkspurs, snapdragons, cabbage roses and more, are harvested here and reaches the many flower shops of Metro Manila to as far away as Mindanao. Owned by Mrs. Melany Ganayan and her husband, Northern Blossom Flower Farm has embraced its ‘rock star of all flower farms’ status by welcoming visitors who wanted to stop by to snap some photographs as well as to pluck and buy some flowers. 

alek dela cruz

A few homestays are now operating near the farm while a small café located within the farm offering a sweeping view of the farm and the mountain ranges of Cordillera—you can even see the peaks of Mt. Pulag and Mt. Timbak on a clear day—is set to open soon.

Buguias, Benguet

The town of Buguias is said to be among the top vegetable producers in the country and where 80% of the town’s more than 40,000 population are farmers. Farms spanning throughout the mountains and plains of the town are covered with lush vegetation consisting of almost every vegetable you can name. From chopsuey ingredients (potatoes, carrots, broccolis, lettuce, pechay etc.) to beans, eggplants, okra, sayote, and even strawberries, one can visit the vegetable farms here and easily fill up a truck of fresh produce.

Marky Ramone Go and Marcos Caratao

Other interesting places to visit in Buguias are the Veteran Memorial Marker which marks the liberation of the town from the Japanese Imperial Army on July 27, 1945 and the World War II 66th Infantry Shrine along Halsema Highway. The town of Buguias is also the site of a 12th century burial site that includes the mummified remains of Apo Anno—who was believed to have been originally buried in the 16th century. 

Paoay, Benguet

Another easy to access farm—by Benguet standards—are the vegetable farms in the town of Paoay, Benguet. Aside from buying fresh produce and various succulent and snake plants from the farmers here, you can proceed on foot to nearby Bosleng Lourdes Grotto found sheltered under a huge boulder on stony peak surrounded by vegetable plantations. 

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A few steps from the grotto, you can find a protruding rock that offer magnificent view of the surrounding mountains and on a good day, a sea of clouds.

Bauko, Mountain Province

Benguet's neighboring province Mountain Province is also dotted with lush vegetable and fruit farms. With an elevation rising above 4,100 feet above sea level, the topography of the mountain range on this part of the Cordilleras is perfect for planting and harvesting fresh yield. 

Levy Amosin and Kara Santos

In the town of Bauko, one can visit one farm after the other from potato farms to lettuce farms to strawberry, kale, pepper just to name a few. This is also an idyllic place to learn more agriculture from the local farmers themselves, as they are very friendly and accommodating in answering all your questions regarding their own farming techniques. Plus, you can always buy a few kilos of freshly harvested farm goods from them afterward.

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Tadian, Mountain Province

Half an hour from Bauko, in the town of Tadian, one can find another lush farm but this time laden with turmeric and ginger plants which the farmers—comprising mostly of local mothers—harvest to produce ginger and turmeric tea. With the help of a social enterprise called the Local Goodness PH, the farmers here are now planting and harvesting an increased production of turmeric and ginger because they are now able to market it directly to consumers in Metro Manila. 

Kay Sison

"Today, after the Local Goodness started taking orders for is, it motivated us to keep planting turmeric and ginger. Turmeric farming isn't easy because it takes almost a year to cultivate it. With the help of the Local Goodness we cannot stop now" said one of the mother farmers Theresa Farnican.

This article first appeared on the award-winning travel blog Out of Town Blog.