Monday, November 7, 2016

Authentic Farm Experience at the Costales Nature Farms

Our last leg of the 7th Bloggers' Event for Organic Agriculture tour was Costales Nature Farms. It is a 5-hectare land that is a few minutes away from the Majayjay Falls and sits at the foot of Mount Banahaw. I was glad to finally had the chance to go and visit the first Organic Farm by certified by NICERT (Negros Island Certification) making it an idea destination for agri-tourism in the country.


Costales Nature Farms was established in 2005 as a leisure farm to grow organic produce for family consumption. It gradually came to be known for its  healthy, organic vegetables as the Costales  family acquired additional land area. Costales Nature Farm eventually began its commercial operations in 2009.

Now, Costales Nature Farms hold workshops on sustainable organic farming and farm tourism being an accredited private extension service provider for the Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Tourism (DOT).



Agri-Tourism at its Finest

Tourists have been staying at Costales Nature Farms  in order to  sample the day-to-day lifestyle of the people who tend the crops and livestock there.  Like any other agriculture-oriented property, relaxing at CNF is a  unique vacation that fosters a deeper understanding of organic farming through education and hands-on experience.  Visitors can try their hand at planting or fishing,

At the site, they have nipa huts or "Kubo" to accommodate tourists who want to spend the night at the farm.  These huts are built on the farm's high grounds to provide scenic views of Mount Banahaw and a hilltop view of the  green landscapes below it.






They also have villas  for bigger family accommodations  that can accommodate up to 8 people.  Each villa is equipped with  a master's bedroom for privacy plus 1 restroom. The simple amenities at each hut or villa is a reminder of  the beauty and serenity of farm living.




CNF gets over  4,000 visitors each month.  A day tour at the farm stars at P 260 pesos and above for individuals who'd like to taste the organic farm's produce and food specialties.  Guests can gorge on bottomless servings of chemical-free vegetables, fresh seafood and organic meat options.

Their organic salads, and organic juice/tea concoctions are a must-try!




Urban Organic Farming Techniques

Costales Nature Farms is a testimony that sustainable agriculture is possible using economically viable, farming practices.  They make us of  eco-living as a way to make their outdoor space  more plant-friendly and  biologically diverse. They even practice zero waste management to cut down on waste and  put the brakes on climate change.

Everything in the farm is integrated because they not only grow plants. They also raise and nurture animals (pigs, chickens, rabbits, buffalos), fish and worms (for composting). They also practice a Zero Waste Policy. When done properly, Zero Waste resource management results in zero greenhouse emissions.











Costales Nature Farm harvests  several organic produce  on a a daily basis. These include naturally grown and pesticide-free vegetables, edible flowers, herbs and spices.  They grow high-value crops like as Aruguia, Lettuce, Chinese Upland kangkong, Radish Sprout, Baby Carrots, Spinach, Cabbage, Pak Choi, Celery, Brocolli, Cauliflower, Sweet pepper, Zuchinni, French Beans,  Alfalfa Sprout and Fresh Oyster mushroom.  Moreover, they sow oregano, thyme, sage, basil, rosemary, spearmint and other aromatic plants.

And in every harvest they make, the  excess  harvests and rejects are fed back to the livestock.  It was amazing to learn that CNF feeds its fowls, fishes (tilapia / cream dory), rabbits and pigs with  lettuce and fermented organic feeds.

Vermicomposting is also an integral part of Costales Nature Farm.  They utilize earthworms  in horticulture and agriculture to enhance crop yield.  Aside from the important role of  Vermiculture  in improving  soil nutrients, I also learned that it is vital in  turning various residuals into beneficial composts. Worm  manure makes a viable organic fertilizer.












They also have fruit-bearing trees and shrubs like Cherries, Dragon Ftuit, Lanzones, Calamansi and Star Fruit,



Their livestock makes use of the Japanese agriculture technology called EM probiotic (Effective Microorganisms, which makes their set-up smell-free despite having the highest hog production.
Their free-range chickens and birds produce tastier white meats since they have  a lot of room to wander in their cages.

CNF raises rabbits to generate  manure that is used as a fertilizer.  Rabbit manure has been known to have the highest nitrogen content needed to replenish depleted ans eroding soils.














Bring your family over for a day of  relaxation at the farm. Getting to know the farmers behind the food that we eat is a good way to jumpstart your children to switch to healthy, organic food.   Our group had so much fun at CNF and I'm sure you will enjoy it too.



Costales Nature Farms
Bgy. Gagalot, Majayjay, Laguna

www.costalesnaturefarms.com




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