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Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 in Featured, Special features | 4 comments

Natural Demo Farm in Tarlac City

Natural Demo Farm in Tarlac City

There is an increasing awareness that conventionally grown vegetables and fruits are given so much chemicals nowadays that it might be safer to just skip them all together.

But then again, where in the world do we get those little packets of vitamins and minerals we usually only get from fresh produce? Well, you have three options: one, depend on drug manufacturing companies for supplements; two, go for organically grown vegetables at double the price and a few kilometers farther from your usual seller: or three, drive by Don Palilio Subdivision in Tarlac.

The Farm

A few kilometers off Marcos Highway, after the town proper of Tarlac City, is a farm that has foregone all sorts of harmful chemicals and instead utilizes nature to nourish and protect their crops.

Part of the Natural Farming System and Technology or the Brgy. Gulayan Project, the demo farm is a government initiative to provide chemical free produce and employment as well as education applicable to farmers – cheaper inputs, better yields, higher profit margin.

They also have a mushroom house where they grow the oyster variety.

THE DEMO FARM: A Virtual Tour

The farm uses two and a half hectares of productive land for their crops. There are talks of expanding to accommodate livestock such as naturally grown pigs and chickens, an idea I personally support.

For now, the area is dedicated to growing all sorts of produce including regular lowland crops, high value crops, mushrooms, and culinary herbs.

High Value Crops

You’ll be surprised at how crops that are generally thought of as solely cultivated in highland areas such as Baguio and Tagaytay are also found at the demo farm.

Some high value crops available at the farm are asparagus, carrots, and several types of lettuce such as Romaine and Fanfare lettuce.

Soon to be available in the farm is fresh asparagus.

Romaine and fanfare lettuce are widely available and can be harvested daily.

The lettuce beds are shaded with nets to protect the lettuce from the intense heat of the sun.

Herbs

Culinary herbs are also abundant in the farm. Sweet basil, Thai basil, dill, fennel, coriander, arugula, parsley are just some of the herbs that they grow here.

The herb bed complete with dill and fennel

Natural Repellents and Attractant Plants

One of the secret techniques the farm applies to the crops are the use of natural repellents and attractants. By intercropping them with the rest of the plants, zero chemicals enter the soil and the plants.

Marigold plants are abundant in the area and are used as natural repellents for harmful insects.

Dill serves as a good attractant for beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies, both of which aid in the pollination process.

Products available at the farm

So where do the crops go?

If you’re in Manila, you’re in luck. Most of the produce from the farm goes directly there and can be easily sourced at the Got Heart Shop.

Tarlacquenos are even luckier as the farm happily accepts orders from walk-ins and would harvest the produce right at the minute of request. There is absolutely nothing fresher than that!

Aside from the usual produce, you may also purchase Natural Farming inputs or concoctions which you can use for your own plants.

FFJ, FPJ, and IMO2, are produced in partnership with the Got Heart Foundation.

Seedlings are also available at the shop.

Unless you are content with whatever’s in the seedling bank, you will need to order ahead as they still need to prepare them from seeds. Give about a week or two for the lettuce varieties and a month for the rest.

Community and Farmer Trainings

As mentioned earlier, the farm is also an educational facility wherein anyone is welcome to visit and learn the techniques of Natural Farming.

Tours around the farm can be entertained daily for free while seminars and trainings needing board and lodging will require a small fee.

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those who are having challenges with their start-up capital, worry not as the farm lends concoctions and seedlings. The value of which can be paid back upon harvest.

For more inquiries and orders, you may contact Ms. Connie, the farm’s Community Development Officer, at 09196816122.

View shell mcarthur highway to demo farm balibago II in a larger map

4 Comments

  1. Great to learn that marigold is a natural repellant. Would love to stop by sometime.

    • Hi Cleo, glad you learned something from this little post! Please do visit the farm and look for Ate Connie or Ate Ellie so they can take you around :)

  2. are you selling mushroom spawn? if you’re selling, where and how to buy your mushroom spawn?

    • Hi Dhey. Sorry we just featured the farm, it’s not ours.