Tag Archives: Organic farming

Live Simply vs. Simply Live

The beginning month rolls by ,uncaring whether or not I join in the mad rush to be productive or to be left behind.I decided I will take my time. This contemplative stance is doing me good though. I usually fill this month with the usual suspects- goals to achieve of which the central focus is myself- career, well-being , physical fitness, security. Not this time. I wanted to stand in this precipice , as if I am just a spectator , able to observe what my surrounding is up to , and living in the knowledge that it is in my power really to weigh my options. Do I really have to do what I supposed I need to do , and do I have to do it now? Do I need to be conditioned that I need to be buying all the stuff I supposed my family need to survive? Do I have to work really hard to achieve the sort of happiness I expect to get? I am led to postpone any screaming concern that needs my attention for now. It’s good to ponder . It exercises my God-given ability to rest my ambivalent mind , and receive the gift of silence for once.

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Eyeing the papaya already.One was felled by strong winds.

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Enjoying my daily inspection of veggies in my little untamed patch.

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Air-drying Italian oregano for an idea of making an infused oregano oil.

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Early morning gardening. What a surprise to see my bitter gourd finally fruiting.

 

And as I sit joyfully , doing nothing ..all sort of inspirations are visiting me like ripples in succession. For once , there is no to-do list , no time frame. I am just led to sow seeds, plant , prune, gather dead leaves..and naturally , the empowered self seems to show itself. I begin to see this unhurried self doing a lot more.

I hope to be doing this more often . To commit to be mesmerized by the quiet persuasuions of nature. Living. simply .

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A good year that was

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While my daughter Bella helps me with the mulching , I go about transplanting the okra.

I decided to chronicle my accomplishments as a novice farmer of 2015 not to boast but to boost my morale into moving forward. My love affair with the soil came in so slowly..but when it finally warmed up..Oh boy.. it’s unstoppable within me. Like a good read it keeps me in suspense. And like some comfort food , keeps me wanting to always go back to it to balance my rhythm. January was when the time I made a pact with myself to start sowing seeds and start baby steps in living sustainably.I ate everything along the way to help me in my quest for a natural brand of farming. I was led to attend 3 major seminars that shaped the way I farm now. Natural Building , Intensive Beekeeping and Natural Farming. All of which only made my thirst for knowledge become severe that I decided to make my own backyard my lab to experiment with plants , seed saving and soil-buiding.I made quite a lot of progress and quite a couple of mistakes too that enriched my experience even more..

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Frehly harvested ginger. I sowed them eight months ago.

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Native pigs are my newest addition to my farm. They eat taro leaves and banana trunks that thrive in the farm.

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Every week , I formed this habit to sow seeds. This actually paid off..for this allows a steady supply of harvest every season .Plus,you get to hone your green thumbs.

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I grow these kind of chillies called panigang( finger peppers) and the siling labuyo; combination of which become naturally processed hot sauce.

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When I have ample supply , my husband and I process and bottle to sell.

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A sampling of a variety of harvest on a weekly basis.

 

 

Of sun kissed farm and my quest for happiness

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Cassava plant (Photo credit: IITA Image Library)

Exactly 17 years ago, I dreamt of having a farm in Tagaytay , Cavite.One that was overlooking the sunken volcano.It was a crazy daydreaming that I and a friend would literally pull over in the side of the highway just to see the spot where the most amazing view of a house and the volcano beckon.I believe back then when I was broke that perhaps , someday, I will have the pleasure of enjoying the reality of this dream.

Fast forward to this present time and I still can not believe my eyes every time I go to this precious farm where the mountains greet me in such splendor.My eyes still turn misty and my heart never fails to skip a bit when I realize the graciousness of God.

Last Thursday, I went with my little daughter to personally harvest some cassava(kamoteng kahoy) and what other vegetables we can fill our baskets with.Thankfully, the bell peppers are still in fruition and the cassava are starting to mature.

For those who have stumbled just now in my blog. I am a weekend farmer. One who just enjoyed the learnings given me by kindhearted people who are willing to share their natural brand of farming and to which i lovingly applied to this hilly land.I consider myself to be an advocate of organic farming , but one that is more endemic to the land.So I have come to grow all things local like, tomatoes, saluyot, alugbati ,amaranth , oregano, eggplant, cassava, ginger, and now some peppers.

I also ventured into propagating ornamental plants . The idea of having cut flowers inside my house just by going out in my little garden gives me a thrill. Much like the thrill of seeing Barefoot Contessa on TV, getting her fresh ingredients and flowers right at her backyard. The passion did not come naturally . I once attend

Congo variety plant I bought in one of the horticultural shows in Qc Circle.THis has proved to be a very resilient beautiful plant for indoors.

ed a course on Tisssue Culture under the great Alice Acoba of Bureau of Plant Industry, and she then introduced me to the wonders of propagating rare ornamental plants . I was so enamored with the field trip to the house of Agnes full of anthuriums and other expensive plants which she then distribute to Manila Pen. Oh, that really started me.

And looking back , it might seem so daunting to even start. I am glad i took that leap of faith. Dear readers, whatever background you came from, you have what it takes.

Ps. If you are indeed interested to get started, want to take that step and commit to learning more? there are a lot of available help thats free. You may check out the Agrilink 2012 this coming Oct 4-6.There are a lot of free seminars there. You have a chance to see the players in the industry and get to meet like-minded people who can encourage you to move forward in reaching your goal.

Here’s to your daydreaming and quest for happiness!

Growing Vegetable in a Bottle

Doing my early Sunday round of stalls in the open market of AANI is not unlike biting into my favorite kakanin like my traditional goto and bibingka way back in my Bulacan days. It’s like a weekly ritual that if I skip it,expect a mild tantrum showing at mid afternoon. This is where I buy my fresh fish, seafoods ,rare veggies and  fruits for the week. And more than that, I relish weaving thru its nooks and crannies that reward me with rare finds like Japanese potteries at affordable prices, overrun clothes that are not so pricy at all but can pass off for casual trips to the malls.

Last Sunday was extra special.In my usual jaunt, I noticed this array of healthy-looking bitter gourds and cucumbers hanging in guess what?Coke 1.5 l.  bottles .I was pleasantly surprised to see the gentleman doing the watering and preparing .It turned out this man is Dr. Eduardo Paningbatan.

Dr. Eduardo Punungbatan attending to his customers in his stall.

Cucumber and Upland Kangkong thriving in his EPP( Enhanced Potting Preparation)

His brand of organic farming defies any argument that you need a piece of land to be able to grow your own food.I like this guy.I ended up buying.It’s no big deal, it’s less than 100 pesos but I got a free lecture and demonstration of his farming.