Who would have thought that a garden intended for planting vegetables for family consumption would turn out to be an opportunity to be an organic producer for companies.
The humble beginnings of Ronald Costales is one of the popular success stories in the integrated organic farming in the country. In 2005, a 1,000 square meter family farm was bought in Majayjay, Laguna intended for leisure weekend farm of a family and for vegetation of their favorite – Pinakbet.
But forward 2009, Costales started supplying for a restaurant chain.
Today, Costales Nature Farms is a full scale 6-hectare integrated farm that produces for clients like restaurants, supermarkets hotels, and wellness stores.
One aspect of business that Costales Nature Farms is flourishing now is on farm visits. About 4,000 people visit the farm every month to take a day tour, wellness staycation or learning from the agricultural workshops. Enjoy the Costales Nature Farms, and its foods, starting from Php 260 pesos and above.
Like in our case, we went there to stay for a night and had a day tour around the farm to see the best practices of an integrated farming. We were toured to see the farm facilities and to try some of the farm activities for ourselves.
Costales Nature Farms has its own vermiculture, using African night to decompose farm waste at the same time source of vermicompost (organic rich fertilizer from worm excretes).
Plus, the farm also have the Vermisery, a vermicomposting area and plant nursery in one, thus saving time, money, space and labor.
JOINT FARM PROJECTS
I saw greenhouses in Costales Nature Farms that has different names into it. The names are after the OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) who partnered with them on certain projects.
According to Daisy, our guide, the Farm and the partner OFW splits the revenues 50-50, as the migrant worker invested money to build the greenhouse, while Costales Farms provide the manpower and technology.
Costales Nature Farms produce about 20 tons monthly of high value vegetables and herbs like lettuce, arugula, cherry tomato, kale, brocolli, cauliflower, beans, japanese cucumber, tarragon, parsley, dill, sage, oregano, onion, lemon grass, fennel, basil, mint, and spices.
Also, the farm raises different animals (fish, livestock, poultry) without application of any antibiotic, growth hormones or commercial feeds.
FARM INPUT TECHNOLOGY
Another attraction for farmers and agriculturists to come to Costales Nature Farms is their farm inputs that some want to learn or buy. Costales is known for their farm inputs like the: Bokashi Fertilizer and Effective Microorganism Technology both of which are natural that help improve the quality of farm elements.
Part of the 6-hectare facility is the section for the accommodations for the people who opt to stay in the farm for staycation or learning for days.
Costales Nature Farms is a good “escape” from the urban lifestyle that many would like to run away from. But other than that, it is also a learning site for people who would want to start their own organic farm – better learn from the people who has been there and done it.
Kudos to the late Ronald Costales for starting this one and to his wife Josie who is now leading the farm.
Costales Nature Farms
Brgy. Gagalot, Majayjay, Laguna
Phone: (049) 5763824
For trainings and learnings on organic farming, contact the Agricultural Training Institute for teaching sites near you.
Agricultural Training Institute
ATI Building, Elliptical Road, Diliman
Quezon City 1100 Philippines
Trunkline: (63-2) 9298541 to 49
Fax no. (63-2) 9209792
1800-10-982AGRI (or 1800-10-9822474) – for provincial toll-free calls
02-982-AGRI (or 982-2474) – for Metro Manila