What seemed to be a diversion from a stressful corporate life before, turned out to be an opportunity to go into organic agriculture. This is what pushed the Atanacio siblings – Ericson and Emerson – after the latter was diagnosed of a thyroid condition – the Atanacios had a reason to go to farming that resulted to Terra Verde Eco Farm in Maragondon, Cavite.
Without any knowledge on farming, the siblings took the plunge into agriculture and consulted farmers and true enough their adventure for learning paved way to their entry into organic agriculture.
VISIT YOUR FARMER
One of the things that they learned on their farm visits was the reality that many farmers practice applying chemical fertilizers which might cause more harm to consumers than good. In one of their experiences, they saw how vegetables are literally soaked into chemical pesticides, not just sprayed on, just to prevent insects to fly into the vegetables.
These kind of practices made them realized that knowing and visiting the farmers you get your produce from can help you secure healthier food in the future.
CHANGE OF ORIENTATION
Knowing better, the Atanacios then learned how to farm to get the safest and healthiest produce for themselves, organic farming that is. Their 15 hectare property in Maragondon was converted into an organic hub and retreat spot for their family on weekends and holidays.
But it didn’t stay long enough that the produce was overwhelming than the family and extended family can consume, thus the invitation to close friends to visit the farm to buy some of the farm outputs instead of being just spoiled. This gave the notion of converting the weekend vacation spot for reservations to the public.
THE TERRA VERDE NOW
The 15-hectare Terra Verde property is now an agri-tourism spot in Maragondon offering day tours (Php 299 / visitor) and overnight accommodations. Terra Verde can house 27 people with their “KuBins” (Kubo Cabins) and additional 60 more on their camping tents.
Terra Verde is divided into sections that any individual or group would learn from and enjoy.
ENTERTAIN and EDUCATION
In the farm tour, any guest can definitely enjoy the attractions that Terra Verde has to offer. They have different local animals that they have in the farm. Terra Verde has free range chickens, ducks, turkeys, horses, carabaos (even albinos), pigs, wild boars, deers, monkeys and fishes. These animals play three roles: one to be an attraction to guests; two consumers of the vegetables; and the lastly, more important one, is to be another source of fertilizers for the vegetables.
Terra Verde also has an area for the DA-CARES (Department of Agriculture Cavite Agricultural Research and Experiment Station) area wherein all the vegetables in the song “Bahay Kubo” are planted. This is to prove that even in a small area, anyone who is determined to plant vegetables can never go hungry.
Plus, on the side, hobbyist can go for remote control enjoyment in the dedicated area for RCs.
And since the property is far from the urban areas, one can spend the night out and enjoy nature’s few of fireflies, outdoor camping with bonfire or even stargazing.
Terra Verde aims to encourage traditional farmers to shift into organic farming as the latter is more sustainable and far better in the long haul for the consumers, the environment and welfare of the farmers.
The Atanacios may have taken the long curve to learn the ropes in agriculture. But this proves to be a better path for them, as they get to learn the right way in farming – going organics. And now, with more people being aware of the benefits of buying organic produce.
Terra Verde is a place where one can relax, learn and enjoy. Though our tour was cut short due to bad weather, that’s why there’s another good reason for me to be back to the place and spend the night there again.
The best part of it all is that Terra Verde Eco Farm is being run by a family that is very much involved in the advocacy of healthy living. Thus, when you reserve and stay in the place, be sure to meet them, as they like the personal touch in their service.
They got the place, they got the knowledge, all you need to do is be there and experience Terra Verde Eco Farm like me and my fiancee had – maybe even better.
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
email: [email protected]
1800-10-982AGRI (or 1800-10-9822474) – for provincial toll-free calls
02-982-AGRI (or 982-2474) – for Metro Manila
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