It is always a relief when you know that what you are eating is safe and healthy. Not showered with pesticides or injected with hormones which can greatly affect your health in the long run causing sickness and diseases. This the very reason why I believe in Natural Farming so much.
And speaking of Natural or Organic farming, I was able to visit another organic farm located at Brgy. Sta, Elena, San Pablo City, Laguna as part of Agricultural Training Institute’s advocacy in promoting Organic Agriculture in the Philippines. Our 2nd stop… Forest Wood Garden.
Forest Wood Garden is a 5-hectare ATI Learning Site owned by husband and wife Joel Frago and Myrna Frago. Forest Wood started as a simple garden of ornamental plants collected and managed by Myrna Frago, an Architect by profession. A hobby which eventually turns into a landscaping business known in Laguna. Joel on the other hand, is an OFW working as a nurse with passion not only to take care and serve people but also in farming. After years of working abroad, Joel decided to do full time in farming adding other organic crops such as fruits, vegetables, root crops and many more aside from the existing ornamental plants in the garden.
Now, Forest Wood Garden is well-known for its Integrated Diversified Organic Farming System (IDOFS) in Laguna and other neighboring provinces and cities promoting natural farming practices to provide safe and healthy food.
In 2004, they opened the farm for public tours. Accredited by the Department of Tourism as an agri-tourism site, visitors can surely experience a relaxing and healthy environment freeing them from stress. Entrance fee is Php50.00 and for the Agri Tour Day Farm Experience, you need to pay Php100.00 for the entrance fee+ a guided tour to Forest Wood Garden.
Forest Wood also offers Farm to Table Dining Experience for only Php350(minimum of 10 pax. inclusive of entrance fee and guided farm tour), where they serve their famous and unique signature dishes such as:
Pansit Kalabuko, a pancit or stir-fried noodles kind of dish made up of all natural and organic squash, mushroom, coconut meat, papaya, wild boar meat and many more. Believe me, it’s really delicious. Plus you will never feel guilty of eating a lot because it is mostly made of organic vegetables. Even kids will surely like it.
Plantsado Lamang Lupa, is made up of a rootcrop called “Toge,”which is a relative of cassava rootcrop. This native delicacy is cooked using a hot old flat iron, that’s the reason behind the name of the this sweet delicacy. The taste is quite close to Tupig which is a native delicacy in Pangasinan. The Ube is not a side dish for Plantsado, but I did some experiment by spreading it on the plantsado and rolled it. The taste combination is really good.
Balol, a sun scorched and herb smoked wild boar meat. It actually tastes like a normal pork barbecue. You will never know the difference. Don’t worry the Baboy ramo is raised organically so it is guaranteed that no hormones or other chemicals used.
After a sumptuous brunch, me and my blogger colleagues toured around the place, and saw some of Forest Wood Garden’s organic farm practices.
The farm houses different organic fruit-bearing tress such as rambutan, coconut, lanzones, banana and many more. Bamboo is available. Organic Vegetables are also being grown like squash, pechay and even mushroom to mention a few.
Rambutan is in season when we visited the farm. It was really fun picking straight from the tree and eat it right away plus it’s FREE! You can eat all you want while you are still inside Terra Verde, but take home is not allowed. If you want to take home then you have to buy it already.
I mentioned earlier that Forest wood is also in Landscaping which explains the presence of ornamental plants. They also use these plants for showcase and for added beauty in the farm.
Amazing and very creative work. This “Bahay na Bunot” has garnered awards and recognition and has been featured by different TV programs and newspapers.
Moving on, Forest Wood Garden also raises livestocks and animals like chickens, pigs and wild boar. I saw a monkey as well.
Meet Mr. Judge. He is the resident pet of Forest Wood Garden. He even joined us in our tour. So adorable! I want one for myself. Mr. Joel said, Mr. Judge doesn’t want someone wearing black. maybe because he would think of you as a boar as well, imposing threat.
The farm usually transfers pig pens from one place to another. Since these pigs and wild boars are doing their “business” defecating straight to the ground making the soil rich and the farm process it for farming purposes.
Unfortunately, it rained so hard while we are touring. We cut our tour short and we decided to go back to the information center to rest and prepare going to our next farm destination.
By the way, Forest Wood Garden also conducts seminars about Integrated Diversified Organic Farming System (IDOFS) including workshops and talks about organic inputs, sustainable pig farming and agripreneurship. This is in line with the far’s advocacy to promote organic agriculture in the Philippines.
Tasting the goodness in natural farming is something that you and your family or even your friends should never miss to experience. Honestly, if I have a chance, I would want to have my own Organic farm as my family’s food source. In that way, I can ensure that what I will be eating is safe and healthy.
HOW TO GET THERE:
- From Manila via South Luzon Expressway(SLEX), take Batangas Lucena exit 41.
- Pass by the towns of Sto. Tomas, Alaminos, and San Pablo until you reach Brgy. San Ignacio(km 87)
- Turn left going to Dolores Quezon and follow the road passing by barangay Sto, Nino unti you reach Brgy. Sta Elena.
- Turn left when you see a road sign going to Forest Wod Garden
For more information and reservation inquiries, you may contact:
FOREST WOOD GARDEN
Brgy. Sta Elena, San Pablo City, Laguna.
Joel C. Frago(Natural farmer/Nurse)- 0917-5822-832
Myrna Katigbak Frago(Landscape Artist/Designer)- 0917-541-4124
Ephraim Joemyr K. Frago(Farm Tourism Manager)- 0935-545-2415
For more information about Organic farming, you may visit:
Agricultural Training Institute | Home of e-Extension in the Philippines
Elliptical Road, Diliman Quezon City 1100 Philippines
Trunkline: (63-2) 9298541 to 49
1800-10-982AGRI (or 1800-10-9822474) -for provincial toll-free calls
02-982-AGRI (or 982-2474) – for Metro Manila
Fax no. (63-2) 9209792
Department of Agriculture www.da.gov.ph