Forest Wood Garden: A Success Story

Forest Wood Garden is a 5-hectare property in San Pablo City, Laguna owned and managed by Joselito and Myrna Frago.

Joselito (a former OFW turned agripreneur) was always interested in plants. His wife, Myrna Frago (an architect), put her landscaping and lawn-care skills to work by starting a lucrative business that turned a simple plant collection into a renowned landscaping design and contracting company.

Myrna joined exhibits and competitions in order to break into a competitor market . Myrna ensures that their works will stand out from a other participating competitors who have decades of experience behind them. At times, Myrna would go home snagging the first prize and with a host of a new customers that would later form part of Forest Wood Garden's portfolio of accomplished projects.The competitions gave Forest Wood Garden the exposure it needs. Forest Wood Garden was eventually lauded as the best landscaper in the land, having won several awards in the past.

Today, Forest Wood Garden is a DOT accredited Agri-Tourism Farm Site that accepts walk-in landscaping projects. Aside from finding bliss in doing landscaping work they love, they practice agroforestry.

For the past 10 years, Forest Wood Garden has been practising natural farming. It maintains forest integrity by combining trees with crops and livestock. Its agriculture practices optimizes the use of on-farm resources and at a sustainable level. They cultivate non-timber forest products or niche crops, such as mushrooms, herbs and greens that have high market value.

Forest Wood Garden holds lectures on organic farming that includes application of organic liquid fertilizers vermicompost, sustainable pig farming, mushroom culture, utilization and marketing. The also teach making organic juices and indigenous food from organic produce.

Forest Wood Garden was registered with the Department of Trade and Industry in 2004 and it was opened to the public in 2009. It officially became an Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) learning site for farmers and stakeholders in 2013.

During our farm tour, the Fragos served us delicacies that Forest Wood Garden is known for. We had Pansit Kalabuko, Plantsado Lamang Lupa and Balol. The Pansit Kalabuko is their bestselling stirfry noodles up made of squash (kalabasa), coconut (buko), gotu kola, mushroom, papaya, and other vegetables that makes it a healthy, filling dish. "Kalabuko" has been widely featured in various TV shows and magazines, making it a byword among locals and visitors.

Plantsado Lamang Lupa on the other hand is a native rootcrop "Toge" snack, wrapped in banana leaves then literally flattened out using an old-fashioned iron that uses with charcoals.

San Pablo City's Balol

Balol refers to the native pig meat that is mixed with herbs and spices then smoked, giving it a distinct flavor.  We also got to taste "Ube Halaya",  completing our "farm-to-table" dining experience.

The Fragos encourage students and the local resident of San Pablo to adopt agri-preneurship as a viable source of income.  Like Forest Wood Garden, agri-preneurship will help draw tourists to the city who are keen on discovering healthy, organic food options.

Do visit the Frago's restaurant in Sampaloc Lake.  They serve enticing food selections made from mushroom, which is why they refer to it as "Kubo-te".

Forest Wood Garden
500 Bgy. Sta.Elena,l
San Pablo City 4000