Just recently, I was invited once again by Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) together with other bloggers to visit 4 organic farms in Southern Tagalog area, particularly in Laguna and Cavite to observe and explore about their organic farming practices. Our first stop… Terra Verde Ecofarm in Brgy. Pantihan, Maragondon, Cavite.
Every organic farm that I visited for the past years has a very inspiring story to share. From their humble beginnings and how they become successful and established in the long run.
Imagine how a 15-hectare raw land bought in Buy and Sell turned into a beautiful and productive organic ecofarm.
It all started when one of owners, Emerson B. Atanacio, President and CEO of Terra Verde Ecofarm was diagnosed with a thyroid condition triggered by stress. His doctor advised him to go into farming which can help him relax and be away from stressors. Leaving the very stressful life in the corporate world, Emerson organized, conceptualized and developed the place together with his brother, Ericson (President of TVE) and the whole Atanacio family, turning it as a family retreat place.
At first, they only plant organic crops just to produce safe and healthy food for their family’s consumption. But later on, they found out that there’s more into farming and developed the place into a full-bloom organic farm which they named Terra Verde Ecofarm.
The ecofarm is implementing their 3-E advocacy as follows:
- Entertainment through Agri-tourism(Farm tour, accommodations and other farm activities like vegetable picking, animal feeding or encounter, etc.). The Atanacios are also planning to set up soon some attractions such as children’s play area and a zipline as part of their effort to promote the tourism of Maragondonl
- Education where they offer training to farmers about organic farming practices. Plus raising awareness for consumers about visiting and building a personal relationship with the farmers if they want safe food. The reason behind it is if the farmer has a close relationship with you(consumer), they will never do anything to harm you. Thus, giving you safe and quality produce. Theecofarm also wants to educateconsumers about food safety to reduce the current high demand for commercially produced food that is filled with pesticides.
- Enterprise Development by finding other means of income through product development.
Terra Verde Ecofarm prepared a sumptuous boodle lunch for us. We had Chicken and pork adobo, Enseladang mangga, and Galunggong. BURP! Thank God it did not rain, but the clouds are quite dark already.
After our lunch, we toured around Terra Verde Ecofarm and rode this cool jeepney. Guided by farm manager Jerick Gempesaw and agriculturist Joshua Campos, we explored the ecofarm and learn about their farm practices. As the farm gains it popularity which attracts tourists and health concious crowds, the farm recently got accredited as an agri-tourism farm site by the Department of Tourism.
For P299.00, visitors can enjoy a guided tour inside Tera Verde Ecofarm with a very refreshing welcome drinks.
Awww… Just look at the Terra Verde’s animals. They are so adorable. Each of these animals are actually Filipino breeds and not imported from other countries. At first, the Atanacios started growing farm animals like chickens, ducks and pigs forw own consumption. Eventually, they expanded and started raising other animals like deer, goats,horses. Some of the animals were given by their friends.
An albino carabao. This is just one of the animal encounter experience that I had during our farm tour.
Terra Verde Ecofarm is an Extension Service Provider (ESP) of Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) which practices integrated diversified farming system. One good example of this is Terra Verde’s “Bahay Kubo” farming concept, where every vegetable, fruit and herb mentioned in the song “Bahay Kubo” were planted and grown. I cant help but sing the song while looking on each crop hahaha.
Just a few steps from the Bahay Kubo Planting area, we saw the ecofarm’s Packing area where they bring their freshly harvested produce. In the Farm Implements area you will find different tools that are being used in farming. And lastly, The Organic Fertilizer Area where different farm-produced organic fertilizers are being displayed such as Fish Amino Acid which provides nitrogen supplement to the soil. There’s also Fermented Fruit Juice with Molases and Fermented Plant Juice with Molases which are being sprayed every 8am and 4pm to which during those time, the plant’s stomata is open. Thus, better absorption of the organic fertilizers. Vermiculture is also available. The ecofarm also uses vermicompost and prepare their own vermiculture.
Too bad we had to cut out trip short due to heavy rains. But I think we already saw the main points of the tour. While on our way back to the jeepney, I saw a lot of Makahiya plants which really amazed me. It was a long time ago since i saw one back in my childhood days. Yes. That long. hahaha. That’s why I stopped and captured this moment with the Makahiya plant hahaha.
We then headed back to the main hall and had some yummy merienda. Palitaw and Turon!
Since we are going to spend one night in the farm, we stayed at their kubo cabins or “kubins” which can house a total of 27 persons. These Kubins used to be just plain Bahay kubo. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by a typhoon few years back. So the owners decided to build these kubins for a more sturdy place to sleep on.
By the way,if you want to stay in these cute and modern type kubins, you need to reserve your slot and it is strictly by invitation only. Contact Terra Verde Ecofarm for inquiries.
The ecofarm also offers All-day breakfast meals just in case you get hungry.
To grab some snacks or something to munch on, Terra Verda adopted the Honesty store concept where you get what you want and drop your payment in the payment box. The price is indicated on the food container so you will know how much are you going to pay. Be honest. 🙂
It was a very nice and relaxing farm tour experience. I’m really considering coming back to this place in the near future with my family and definitely, I would recommend it with my friends.
Terra Verde Ecofarm
Address: Km. 89, Alfonso-Maragondon Road, Pantihan 2, Maragondon, Cavite.
For more information about Organic farming, you may visit:
Agricultural Training Institute | Home of e-Extension in the Philippines
Elliptical Road, Diliman Quezon City 1100 Philippines
Trunkline: (63-2) 9298541 to 49
1800-10-982AGRI (or 1800-10-9822474) -for provincial toll-free calls
02-982-AGRI (or 982-2474) – for Metro Manila
Fax no. (63-2) 9209792
Department of Agriculture www.da.gov.ph