Petra | Jordan. A rose-red city half as old as time
San Vicente | Palawan. Counting solitary strides.
Taj Mahal | India. A teardrop on the cheek of time
Catanduanes Island. Postcard-pretty slideshow.
Keep Kalm (at Kalanggaman Island | Leyte).
Nikko | Japan. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil in this UNESCO heritage town.
Counting temples in Bagan | Myanmar.
Chasing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.
Where to Stay? | Luxury, Backpacking & Glamping
Inaul Festival | Maguindanao. In homage of a weaving tradition

The Blooming Organic Farms in CALABARZON

 

A couple of months removed from a travel writing assignment covering the vegetable farms of Cordillera, another opportunity to visit more agricultural destinations came to my inbox from the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). It was to join their first regional bloggers/vloggers event that aims to promote Organic Agriculture in the CaLaBarZon region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).

 

Valerie Faye Bautista


As we spend our first day and night at the DA-ATI's office in Trece Martires, Cavite, we had a preview of what the program is all about, during a short briefing discussing the programs of ATI especially in promoting organic farming in the Calabarzon region. 


Sandra Santiago

The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) is a training arm of the Department of Agriculture tasked to manage and provide "agricultural extension services" to farmers and farm owners all over the country. Established in 1987, the ATI has been steadfast in creating learning modules, crafting training programs to equip agricultural workers with best practices and up to date knowledge of achieving maximum agricultural harvest in a sustainable manner. 


Agricultural Training Institute

To get a running start of what we're about to learn on our trip, we were shown the various organic farming methods one can apply in a limited space most common in urban areas, at the ATI's Techno-Demo farm found inside their office compound. 


Here's a brief rundown of every organic farms we visited in Quezon and Laguna. 


Uma Verde Eco Nature Farm Inc.


This organic farm located in Candelaria, Quezon is classified by the DA's ATI as an SPA (School for Practical Agriculture) and a DOT accredited farm tourism site. It means, the farm is accredited to conduct trainings and hold courses on the basics of organic farming principles and practices to anyone willing to learn.


Anne Gumiran

We were welcomed by the owner Engineer Edelissa Ramos with an inspiring talk about how she found fulfillment in life when she started farming. After hosting us to a healthy breakfast, Mrs. Ramos’ son-in-law Arnel Marasigan toured us around the farm as he explained to us their organic farming practices.


Organic farms in Quezon

This includes using natural fertilizing process like vermiculture and creating other non-synthetic fertilizers such as bokashi, mokusaku (wood vinegar), fermented plant juice and zero-waste practices. Other than growing vegetables and fruits, Uma Verde EcoNature Farm also raises livestock animals—all in the organic way.


Yumi’s Farm


This organic farm situated on the foot hills of Mt. Banahaw in Tayabas, is classified by the DA's ATI (Agriculture Training Institute) as an LSA (Learning Site for Agriculture). Yumi's Farm was named after the owner Melo and Alice's only daughter Yumi. 


Organic Farms in Quezon

The idea to build and manage an organic farm came from the suggestion of the family doctor who told Mrs. Alice "If you want your husband to beat diabetes and live longer, make him eat healthier food".


Organic Farms in Quezon

Today, Yumi's farm has grown to become an organic farm producing a variety of vegetables and fruits as well as serving as a location for conducting trainings and seminars about organic farming.


Cortijo De Palsabangon


Aptly named Cortijo dePalsabangon as it stays true to what a farmhouse should be: set in a charming and scenic location surrounded by lush herbs, vegetables and fruits plantations—all grown organically.


Organic farms in Quezon

We were welcomed here by its owner, the very jovial Mrs. Ayrin Llorin and the farm's friendly staff. The farm is also accredited by the ATI (Agriculture Training Institute) as an SPA or School for Practical Agriculture.


Organic Farms in Quezon

According to Mam Llorin, the farm's restaurant was a favorite attraction among food enthusiasts pre-Covid days (we found out why during our sumptuous dinner) and a very in-demand wedding destination venue (having catered to more than 300 wedding receptions since 2015). Since the pandemic, they temporarily closed the farm's native-style restaurant.


Organic Farms in Quezon

Today, the farm is slowly re-opening as well as recovering from the two typhoons that hit the province last month. Despite the effects of the pandemic, the farm has harvested some good karma. "We're going to be busy until the end of the year holding organic farming trainings and that is always a good thing, to be able to share and promote organic farming" Mrs. Llorin shared.


Lukong Valley Farm

This LSA (Learning Site for Agriculture) certified organic farm is located on the foot of Mount Banahaw in Dolores, Quezon.


Anne Gumiran

Aside from the spread of various vegetable and fruit fields, a chicken park and other livestock barns, Lukong Valley Farm also have a farm to table restaurant and—drumroll—a rustic set of cottages perched atop a hill overlooking the farm.


Anne Gumiran
Photo credit: The Queen's Escape


Althea Aswani

Just imagine waking up in the morning and stepping out on the veranda being greeted by the early fog and the lush farmland below.


Valerie Faye Bautista

Gintong Bukid Farm & Leisure


The smallest but not the least among the farms we visited is this secluded agricultural oasis in Nagcarlan. Accredited as an LSA or Learning Site for Agriculture, Gintong Bukid Farm and Leisure doubles as a mini-hacienda where visitors can also stay in the farm's fancy bahay-kubo while learning basic organic farming principles.


Anne Gumiran

They market this experience as the "Buhay-Bukid" package where guests can enjoy the farm for a day (with option to stay overnight) on a guided tour complete with farm to table meals.


Valerie Faye Bautista

Gintong Bukid Farm & Leisure is currently undergoing expansion as they look to maximize more farm land to plant an harvest fruits and vegetables organically. 


Anne Gumiran