Alomah's Place EcoTrail Farm Tour in Dahilayan, Bukidnon!

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.

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I couldn't believe I woke up at 4 a.m. before everyone else!

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Yes, I was tired from the early trip the day before and all the travelling but here I was, thrilled to watch the sun rise and go on a walk in this family farm before breakfast! I cherished the time I was at our octagon house tent floor balcony just watching the midnight blue sky turn into full color.

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I must say, I liked this darker color better actually because of the silhouettes created before me :) Soon, they would be calling us to assemble and I would have to start moving some muscles instead of just staying here comfortably haha.

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Our 5-ish tour started at 6am - still pretty early and not that hot outside. It's pretty easy to just stay at the starting point overlooking the farm they've created or simply to spend a la prenup photoshoot time together ;) While waiting, I also took some time looking around for interesting things just outside the octagon house =)

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The ecotrail started from the right side where there's a path leading down. From the start, I fell in love with the ferns and pine trees found all over the place. I had to split my time looking up, down and around me while catching up haha. I believe they did contour farming here where they plant according to the natural slope, do zero waste management, container gardening, recycling and chose edible landscaping :) Their potted herbs nursery can be found under pine trees along the trail.

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You can easily do this on your own slowly and tread carefully, and probably when the ground is not wet. You can also opt to go full circle and come out on the other side, not worry about going up this way.

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When you see the lake, just go to the hanging vegetable area to visit their lettuce production.

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They have culinary herbs like dill and sage here, and other plants from all over the Philippines ;) They do experiment from time to time like when they planted the teeny carrots.

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Their main production for selling is 4 kinds of lettuce, up to P250 per kilo and romaine fetching the highest price! Their mixed pack (at P150) is also a good deal if you want a little bit of everything, including the expensive one. They said that it's not hard to go natural when growing lettuce because it has no pests. It only takes 60 days to grow iceberg lettuce.

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They also have kale (the one that looks like an overgrown bush that's smack in the middle of all the lettuce haha)

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 and this big flower-perfect bunch of pakchoi! They can produce 100 to 150 kilos a week.

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If you look at the markers closely, you can see the short amount of time you need to make money haha. They do practice crop management like planting by row at different stages so they get a steady supply according to their market orders. Don't be fooled by the empty patches they just harvested ;)

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This is what happens when you don't have rain shelters yet put up and La Nina comes.

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They are not worried though because they have vegetarian tilapia fish (seriously) in their ponds :) They feed the fish the bushy top part and feed the humans the ball of lettuce inside hehe. We quickly reached the boundary from here. Since the family members are champion rodeo riders, they buried their super horse in this area and hopes to construct a statue here someday of Speed. For now, potted plants cover the area for easy transport.

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They have another pond up here with fish and we came to the steepest part of the farm with citronellas and this overgrown pathway that seemed to swallow my feet as we walked haha. 

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I considered myself lucky when Mr. Benjohn said to just help myself to some baby rockets (arugula) right then and there. I immediately popped a leaf into my mouth and savored the subtle nutty bitter flavor (my favorite, especially when fresh and when i picked it haha!).

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We had some free time to go back on our own after. I saw sunflowers, mushrooms and more lovely giant papyrus, took more photos of me, the bamboos and the ferns (err... landscape haha).

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I was seriously considering a fern-and-papyrus-themed wedding and inspired to go for a natural theme after haha. Alomah's Place prides itself for embracing the Inato way - using what is available in your area to create, decorate and develop their farm in an inexpensive way. You can also see this in their accommodations and activity areas. 

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The others, in the meantime, did some balsa bamboo rafting. Not only is this another farm activity being offered to farm guests, Mr. Benjohn said that you can do A LOT with plenty of water for irrigation.

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 The path up is an easy winding road lined with more greens.

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Finally, the others did some horseback rounds (you can also do river trailriding, hiking and trekking by appointment) before breakfast while I looked for a charging station haha. The horses are important to their farm as a source of leisure, manure and for grass-cutting. I took so many pictures and couldn't actually put them in one post so the next one is for the edible ones and flowers I found on my own near the tents and accommodations :)

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What a GREAT way to start the day!

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Farm Details:
Dahilayan 8703, Manolo Fortich,
Bukidnon Province, Philippines

To visit the different ATI-assisted projects (Organic Farming Learning Sites), you can drop by or ask the ATI Regional Training Center nearest you or inquire through:
Call -
982AGRI (982-2474) for Metro Manila calls
1-800-10-982AGRI (1-800-10-9822474) for provincial toll-free calls using PLDT landlines
Text -
For Smart and Talk & Text Subscribers, send a message to 391-DA (391-32). 
For non-Smart Subscribers, send a message to 0920-946AGRI (0920-9462474).

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