“You can’t rush art.” This is what Geri the Toy Repairman said in Pixar’s Toy Story 2. Same thing is true with the Binahon Agro Forestry Farm that took some time to make the Binahon couple’s vision to work.
Husband and wife tandem, Henry and Perla Binahon, started their “project” in 1992. With both having environmental-related backgrounds, the couple purchased a 2.75 hectare property at Sitio Bol-ogan, in Lantapan,Bukidnon at the foot of Mt. Dulang-Dulang.
It was not an easy route for the Binahon couple as they have to endure the hardships of learning the craft, rehabilitating the environment and most of all, the long time to develop.
But all did not go to naught, as after sometime, their perseverance paved way to what now is a model upland farm to others.
In essence the Binahon Agro Forestry Farm abide by the three principles:
Soil and Water Conservation (SWC)
– contour farming and natural vegetative strips (NVS)
- Ensuring Food Security and Enhancing Food Chain
– multi-story and intercropping
– integrated pest management
- Organic Farming
– vermi culture and composting
The Binahon Agro Forestry Farm’s guiding principles are very evident in every step of the way during the brief tour in their property. Clearly, it shows that it is very much possible to “EARN while PRESERVING and ENRICHING THE ENVIRONMENT.”
Binahon Agro Forestry Farm shows guest how in many ways we can plant at any given area – that even old shoes can serve as containers for plants.
How more graphic can it be right? This only shows that if we are to be really resourceful and has willingness to plant, it is possible.
Henry also showed how the diversity of plants and animals help the balance in the environment at the same time ensuring the sustainability.
Nature, as we all know it, is at its best when God created it, it is only us humans who tipped the balance that resulted to its destruction.
But, with the example of the Binahons, there is still hope for many parts in the Philippines.
Utilizing the principles of nature, they capitalized on the propagation of different plants and trees that help each other in many different ways – like shade for other plants, pesticides for others, while being food as well for animals.
Not to mention that they sell seedlings, planting materials and used their harvests in producing by-products.
Knowing the properties of the plants, trees and animals that they are putting in the BAFF serves as key to what will prosper in the area.
It is essential to note again, that the diversity and the propagation of the Binahon Agro Forestry Farm did not happen overnight and easily. It took the couple time, effort and resources to generate what they are reaping now.
At the same time, they keep the environment in check by producing bio-pesticides and organic fertilizers. This way, they still use natural means to produce.
The Binahons earn from different ways:
- Selling planting materials and seedlings
- Selling by-products
- Tours and trainings
Currently, the Binahon couple grew their property to 8-hectares already and houses hundreds, if not, thousands of different variety of plants and trees – most of which are sellable in the market.
They have converted what is just planting area into eco-tourism, recreational (camping) and learning area as well.
In short, there is business in agriculture – specially in Organic Agriculture. I find the couple to be an inspiration, not just to me and my fiancee, but also to others, to keep going after your dreams and always be hungry to learn more.
I admire the simplicity of the two, amidst their success, and their willingness to share their knowledge to others who want to follow their system. It is no wonder they are successful, at the same time, happy at what they are doing.
You may contact them directly via mobile or Facebook or the Agricultural Training Institute for more organic agriculture related information.
Binahon Agro Forestry Farm
P-3, Bol-ogan, Songco, Lantapan, Bukidnon
0917 879 6880 | 0906-646-8573 | 0910-614-3237
Instagram: @ReyBelen and @LifestyleBucket