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May’s Organic Garden and Restaurant – Bacolod City

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May’s Organic Garden and Restaurant is a fruit of conjugal dream, passion and labor. In what could have been a misfotune, turned out to be an opportunity in disguise. May’s Organic Garden is a part of a 4.4 hectare property of the Uy’s that I find both fascinating and inspiring,

Husband and wife tandem Ramon and May Uy did not just thought all these overnight. Ramon Uy took a hard hit on his business, , in 1997, after his P30 million business loan in 1995 ballooned due to the effects of the Asian financial crisis and had a property foreclosed by a bank.

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Ramon Uy’s business, RU Foundry and Machine Shop Corp., was almost down and out when Ramon took the risk of shifting in making shredding machines for organic fertilizers. With determination, gut feeling and faith, Ramon Uy found a “goldmine” in the organic industry. He then veered away from his company’s focus before on sugarcane-related machineries to full focus on inventing and manufacturing for organic farming.

It’s like being given second wind, Ramon and May found themselves back in financial shape and built things from ground up, this time, focusing on organic agriculture.

IT’S PAYBACK TIME

As a way of giving back to organic agriculture, Ramon Uy dedicated his time and resources in providing support for local organic farmers. First, he made his inventions more financially accessible for farmers.

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Second, he pushes and teaches organic agriculture to farmers who still use chemical fertilizers.

Third, he motivates the farmers to look at farming merely on just planting, but more so, on an entrepreneurial level.

Fourth, he buys or help farmers get buyers, on a very competitive and lucrative margins. Thus, giving organic farmers a good profit margin – a reward that farmers should be reaping from their hardwork.

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Ramon Uy encourages farmers to be entrepreneurial.

He cited that Philippines being 60% agricultural, yet, ironic that the country imports from other countries. Studies show that an average Filipino farmer can only feed five to six people.

While other progressive countries, that only have five (5) percent agricultural sector, can already export their crops to other countries, like the Philippines.

There is a big productivity gap from farm to output of it. This is why Ramon Uy, together with like-minded individuals, continues to educate Negrense farmers to convert to organic farming and to be more “educated” in their approach on farming.

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For decades with farmers, Ramon Uy has seen Filipino farmers as exploited. That’s why he is trying to “reinvent” the wheel for farmers and not just seek for dole outs or reliefs. Farmers, he says, need to have a sense of pride and dignity of what they do. This is why when Ramon deals with farmers, he considers them as partners.

AGRI-TOUISM

May’s Organic Garden is a living proof of how to maximize a property dependent on organic agriculture. The Uy couple partitioned the whole 4.4 hectare property to different sections. Parts of it are divided into:

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  • Organic Farm with plants such as organic rice, vegetable, herbs and fruits

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  • Livestock with ducks, hogs, chicken, turkey, goats, sheeps and horses

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  • Two-storey building that can accommodate 60 people in 12 rooms

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  • Man-made lake that raises different fresh water fishes and act as a spot for boating

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  • Manufacturing facility for RU Foundry and Machine Shop Corp.

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  • Restaurant, garden, events place and reception

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  • Pool for swimming

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  • Facilities for producing farm-output conversion (coffee roasting and packing, distellery for lemongrass, etc.)

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INVENTOR to FARMER or FARMER to INVENTOR

Ramon Uy continues to invent machineries that are helpful to farming and recycling. I find that his inventions, which are all labeled with “Proudly Negros Made,” very useful especially at a time and age that we need to take more means to take care of our environment. Some of which were showcased to us are the:

  • Shredder (different sizes) for fast biodegradable decomposition intended for organic fertilizer

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  • Plastic Shredder  shreds non-biodegradable materials such as plastic. Shredded plastics can be sold to higher price for furniture and stuff toys filler

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  • Hammer Mill is a glass crusher or pulverizer converting glasses to small pieces that can be used for other things

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  • Eco Charcoal converts used paper to charcoals for cooking. This can help in saving trees and producing cheap charcoal alternatives.

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  • Rock Mincer that converts big river rocks to smaller sizes that are more profitable for countryside dwellers.

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The machineries can be bought directly by farmers, cooperatives and local government. RU Foundry and Machineries Shop give special terms to cooperatives and farmers.

THE UY’S WAY

Looking at the Uy couple, who are in their 60s already, is quite a delight. An inspiration to business people, farmers, and more importantly, to families.

Amidst the hardship that the whole family encountered that resulted to foreclosure of properties in the 90s, the Uy husband-wife tandem just went through it all. With God’s grace on them, trust on each other, you could see that the real “fruit” of the years of their involvement in organic farming is the family they both able to raise through time.

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