Hog Raising Sneak Peek at Teofely Nature Farms and Native Pig Lechon at the ATI Agriculturally Awesome Event in Teofely Gardens!

Our visit to Teofely Nature Farms in Silang Cavite last month was very timely for the African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic that already entered the country recently. Although ASF is not harmful to humans when ingested, it could potentially eliminate the entire hog industry here in the country. Imagine if they wipe out our very own endemic native pigs. Black native pig lechon is probably one of the best lechon I’ve had so far... Let me take you on a tour and tell you about some of Teofely’s tips on raising healthy and naturally farm grown native pigs and if you want, you can also attend their seminars on profitable hog raising that will teach you the basics, the best practices and even value adding like turning pork to longganisa. Teofely is DOT accredited as a farm destination, ATI accredited as a learning site and extension service provider and a TESDA farm school in one! You can also go to Batangas this month to join the October Blackfeast (October 18) where their best lechon masters are competing 😋

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Teofely Nature Farm started out in 2010 as a hobby and family farm of Sir Maximillan Ian Cabriga. As a pig raiser, they wanted a sure market for their native pigs and so the Philippine Native Pig Owners Association was born with him as the President. They established a standard of quality for pugon roasted lechon to raise awareness for their advocacy to patronize local and for people not to forget our very own native pigs.

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As a farm school for pig raisers and extension service provider, you can attend one of their courses and learn how to adapt “natural farming protocols” and learn about the standard in breeding, managing, feeding, housing, and caring for native pigs. You will also be taught how to produce safe food, the history of lechon, hygiene tools, how to choose the "right native pig for preparing lechon", basic equipment and ingredients and how to cook a perfect lechon. How's that for a business and grand Christmas idea? Maybe you still have time since a 5kg pig is best for lechon de leche hehe.

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Upon entry, you will come across their vertical garden.

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I noticed that this farm is not that big so you don't need a very big area to start and succeed! Theirs is around 1800+ square meters. They currently have around 35 sows (female mother pig) and 5 boars (male father pig) so around 100 to 250 pigs in residency.

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We were ushered in the simple welcome area where they conduct trainings. This and basic toilets are a requirement in general to be accredited by the agencies.

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One of the best practices for hog raising is the footbath for outsiders as a biosecurity measure. We saw a similar setup and even for cars entering over at Penalosa Farms in Negros Occidental. Basically, proper hygiene and restricting pig visitors entering the native piggery section is one way to prevent ASF.

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It was my first time to see a lot of rambutan trees with red fruit hanging like that, along with lechon, which also reminded me that Christmas is near!

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You can't smell the stench from the pigs

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and I actually jumped from surprise when I turned around when this one was this close to me haha. One thing to keep the stench off is to give them fermented grains/feeds.

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It turns out that he saw someone in front of me holding up his favorite tricantera leaves (madre de agua). 

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Vitamins are usually mixed in their food and water. They use ube shavings, soya and fermented fruits (including rambutan) instead of swill feeding. One thing not to do is to feed them human food scrap because they can get ASF this way. They leave the food waste for compost. They put carbonized rice hull for the pig pen.

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One thing they told us was that what you feed your pigs becomes the taste of the meat. And the pig stomach is nonruminant more of like humans than cows and goats so it's probably better to ferment their food for them and eat easy to digest stuff to get as much nutrients as they can. How do you tell if the pig is fat? You look at the pigi (ham part) if it's rounder. I think they can easily weigh 3x my weight..

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I heard about the baby pig mortality rate, that the only ones who will survive the litter are the ones who get milk. If the mother pigs' udder (nipple) is less than the pigs she gave birth then the others will die. Ever heard of the pig feeding that the young are so greedy that they will line up for the same nipple to get milk even if you jumble them up? Tatay Gilbert Madeja enlightened me that you can actually control the number of piglets that a sow can bear and to prepare them for giving birth again gradually. You slowly increase the number of piglets per birth. Then you can also put the piglets to other newly birthed mother pigs who have fewer piglets and available nipples to feed them instead ;) Sows can give birth around twice a year for six times in their lifetime. You call the father pig barako.  They choose the pigs with the best characteristics from the litter to continue the breeding. Tatay recommends the following live weight for the other pigs for consumption:

Lechon - 15 to 30 kgs
Lechon paella - 10 to 12 kgs
Lechon de Leche - 5 kgs

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The reality is we eat these cute pigs so I also asked about how they slaughter the pigs and Tatay told me that they let them walk to the slaughterhouse in the compound. They die instantly as they stab them once with a long knife. Maybe it's better than 7 to 10 days or a total wipe out of the herds with ASF... Check out these other info on ASF that I found in Agrilink. You can also refer to this link for fast facts.

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It's time to go to another office outside Manila

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and plant lettuce at the greenhouse!

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It's actually not that hard haha. You put sprouted lettuce grown 2 weeks ago from seeds into the prepared soil. Make a hole with your finger or spade.

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You pinch the bottom of the plant tray to get the plant with roots and some soil.

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Carefully put the plant in the hole

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and cover completely pressing soil towards the plant.

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Use your finger to space it out - one dangkal. Around 20cm X 20cm? Haha.

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This is me taking my time not to damage or squish anything I touch haha.

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I'm proud to say the 2nd from the right is mine hahaha. It will be ready for harvest in 6 weeks after watering twice a day at 6am and 4pm (best times to water).

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They get bitter if left to mature. But you can get seeds in return.

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I believe this is the fly trap where they put boiled fermented fruit juice (FFJ), molasses and sour vinegar. Recipe for FFJ in my Sanctuario Nature Farms post.

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You might be wondering where we slept. Teofely also has a garden resort and events venue nearby.

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We were there for the launch of ATI Calabarzon's coffee table books Agriculturally Awesome and MoCa Farm's Sariling Atin!

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I finally got to meet ATI Director Alfredo Aton

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and taste Lechon de Teofely! Hehe.

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I liked the flavor of the lechon and it reminded me of our recent trip to GerNil's Organic Farm in Koronadal, South Cotabato where they also skewered the Philippine native pig for lechon in front of us! One lechon by order costs around P5500 to P8500 depending on the live weight. Note: They don't accept walk-ins for lechon and they don't sell by kilo at Teofely Cafe. Other specialties that I want to try are the 14" Pizza with the Native Longganisa Pork Toppings, Lechon Paella, Lechona Tolimense and Hamon (Teofely's Premium Native Pork Ham)!

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Maybe you can spend an overnight here and consider going around ATI and DOT accredited CALABARZON farms!

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This is the breakfast area

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and where we stayed.

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The bathroom was decent, just ask how to turn on the heater for hot shower beforehand.

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They have a common area with pool view on the 2nd floor (no elevator).

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They have this dorm type room for big groups (around 4 of these beds with pullouts)

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with 2 showers and 2 toilets for both genders downstairs.

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Hmm... where else to go in CALABARZON?! You can get this free coffee table book with listings at the ATI Region IVA office in Trece Martirez Cavite and they can assist you where to go! Or just read my other posts labeled Organic Journey hehe.

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For more info on the sites we visited and if you're interested in Philippine agriculture, farm visits and organic farming, check out the ATIE-Extension and Department of Agriculture websites. 

For their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, you can check out @atiinteractive. 

ATI also has a list of all accredited farms that are Learning Sites (LS), Extension Service Providers (ESP) and Schools for Practical Agriculture (SPA). Click here. These are the hotlines of ATI Main if you want to be in touch and ask for the farm contacts - 0920-9462474 or 929-8541 (government office hours). It is better to call their regional offices (info available at the ATI website) also as they are the ones coordinating with the farmers. 

Details:
Teofely Nature Farms (Formerly Lumil Natural Farms), Teofely Cafe and Teofely Gardens Resort
Accredited DA-ATI Region 4A Learning Site, Accredited TESDA Farm School, Accredited by DOT Farm Tourism Destination
Cortez Street, Silang Cavite
Open Mondays to Sundays 8am to 5pm
ic_bil04@yahoo.com
0917-8822379 - Teofely Nature Farms / (046) 4043877 - The Wild Juan
Facebook of the Farm, Facebook of the Accommodation and Events Place, Facebook of the Restaurant 
Website

ATI Calabarzon Region Facebook
8575 Camerino St. Brgy Lapidario, Trece Martires City, Cavite
atirtc4a@gmail.com
(046) 4190210
Website

Check Out My Other Posts:

Visiting South Cotabato's Sunflower Field at Blooming Petals Agri-Tourism Park

How to Make Vermicast, Simple Vermicomposting Tips, Itik Pinas Housing and Planting Rice at Felicidad Organic Farm in Mindanao


Around the World with Felicidad Orchard & Garden Organics Farm - Agri Tourism and Innovations in GenSan!


Sanctuario Nature Organic Farm in Indang Mendez Cavite - Practical Organic Farming Tips, Fermented Plant Juice, Fermented Fruit Juice, Calcium Source and OHN Recipes!


Farms to Visit, Where to Eat and Where to Stay Overnight in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Tagaytay - Accommodations at the ATI Calabarzon Dormitory, Gorgeous Farms and The Wild Juan!


Hog Raising Sneak Peek and Tips at Teofely Nature Farms, October Blackfeast and Native Pig Lechon at the ATI Agriculturally Awesome Event in Teofely Gardens Silang Cavite!

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