In my farm travels, I learned that citronella spray naturally keeps the mosquitoes away. We checked out the MKAETDC farm in Malaybalay, Bukidnon for this highly valuable product and had a lovely hike in a shared 22-hectare property of the Gawad Saka Awardee Benjamin Maputi and the Imbayao Multi-Purpose Cooperative (10 hectares of which is a protected area for eco walks). If I had more time here, I would love to hear about the gatekeepers KGV (Kitanglad Guard Volunteers) on horseback, the lumad community, the council of elders and how they manage this protected area of the Kitanglad mountain range and how they train farmers to do sustainable upland farming. MKAETDC was awarded as the "Most Outstanding Farm Family of the Philippines" in 2006. It's among the "renowned demonstration farms in the country" for its sustainable integrated farming with environmental protection and forest propagation practices.
Citronella Farming and the Maputi Preserve Eco Walk! An Afternoon at the Mt. Kitanglad Agri-Ecological Techno Demo Center in Malaybalay Bukidnon!
I'm starting to love the outdoors despite my aversion to the sun. A well-paced early morning eco walk around the Binahon Agroforestry Farm property with the Binahon mini forest did wonders no matter what I was going through that crazy day. I love the trees here most planted in barren land over 20 years ago. Coming here is an opportunity to marvel at how things heal, grow, and give back over time and look at your impact on your physical, social and cultural environment. The Binahons have created a lovely retreat place and a valuable resource center for researchers and forestry students in Mindanao. Our guide and owner Mr. Henry talked about us being stewards of the good resources and understanding the language of the ecosystems and the environment so that you don't go against nature while doing farming.
Binahon Farm Stay in Bukidnon - An Agroforestry Farm, Resource Center and an Agri Tourism Experience in our CDO-Bukidnon Adventure!
I thought I lost something very material on this day and amidst all the chaos, I found myself instead and an unexpected great way to conquer my inner turmoil in Binahon Farm. I cherished our morning forest walk the most so I suggest you try it out. We spent a night there so this post will come in two parts, an intro to the Binahon Agroforestry Farm and the accommodation options then a post on our farm tour the following day so that I can show more pictures. =) Binahon Agroforestry Farm (BAFF) is a farm enterprise that earns with (farm) technology and contributes to the conservation of a protected area.
When I see so many wonderful things over and over, I can't help but think , "What if I was exposed to nature earlier in life, instead of just reading about it in school books?" Or maybe I had just forgotten my childhood days... Now that I think about it - I used to enjoy smelling the champaca in the garden in our old house, sucking on that sweet dew at the center of a small red flower, checking out the calamansi tree regularly beside the mini pond, eating star apples freshly hooked using a pole and waiting for Indian mangoes to bear fruit from our big tree... This place at the heart of Malaybalay in Bukidnon surprisingly brought back these memories when I got to meet a lady more than half my age (younger) named Jayashree Bayag in her secret organic garden in the city, where almost a bit of a lot of things grow =)
Looking for an activity to add to your Dahilayan, Bukidnon or Cagayan de Oro itinerary? I would like to suggest 2 places near each other with accommodation options for a laid-back adventure :) Brgy. Manolo Fortich is known as a place for thrill seekers going to the Dahilayan Adventure Park. But have you heard of horseback riding, camping, river trekking and organic farm tour at Alomah's Place? For my two suggestions, the common activities involve leisurely strolls and communing with nature ;) I found myself smiling a lot during this day. Both entrance fees are at P100 per adult.
As I sit here now blogging, I am munching on lumpiang Shanghai and generously dipping each one into Alomah's very versatile garden salad dressing I brought home with me to Manila from our eventful CDO-Bukidnon farm trip. The taste is quite unique and still familiar, it goes well with both healthy and unhealthy food haha. Alomah's Place, like I told you in my previous post, is a serene and beautiful haven in Bukidnon. Their produce and products maybe we can only catch if they join some Region X (Northern Mindanao - Bukidnon) trade fairs in Manila. But for an all-out farmstay experience, I highly suggest going to Dahilayan in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon personally, after reading my sunrise ecotrail farm learning tour below ;) I loved the fresh air there and the edible landscaping most.