It was almost the end of August, a National Heroes Day in the Philippines, when our group of friends went for a brief, relaxing, and I should say healthy, vacation as we went to Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, Laguna.
The bus ride took 3 good hours as Majayjay is almost at the farthest end of Laguna from Manila where I caught some sleeping hours. Mt. Banahaw was already in sight as Quezon Province is just a town-ride away.
Upon arriving, we were greeted by a drizzle of rain and a nameplate saying: “Costales Nature Farms: Experience the Freshness of Nature!”
We were surrounded by greens from all sides with the abundance of trees, shrubs, flower plants, and herbs. I can almost see our lunch in its raw form. 🙂
The Farm Tour – Farm Produce, Livestock, & Agro-Tourism
Allow me to proceed directly to our Farm tour right after lunch. I’m leaving our delicious organic lunch feature in my food blog NomNomClub.com very soon.
One would not immediately realize the vastness of Costales Natue Farms’ 5 hectare vegetation. But once you start and go beyond the cottages, you will see the sun draping its yellow rays in rows of greens amid the afternoon sun.
It’s as if we started the tour by the category of sizes. Costales’ staff first introduced us to their farm helpers who works 24hrs without pay – the African Night Crawlers. These earthworms convert the livestock manure into beneficial fertilizers commonly called vermicast; also referred to as ‘black gold‘.
This was followed by the huge free range native chickens from France, rabbits raised to provide meat rich in protein, organically grown tilapia, aquaculture from the spring water of Mt. Banahaw, and the friendly odorless pigs unlike those we have in the city and other provinces. This is primarily of course due to their organic diet as excess vegetable harvest and farm rejects are fed to them.
Yes, it’s not only visitors like you and me who undergo an organic diet upon visiting Costales Farm. As they say, the best testimonies are those practiced by the preachers themselves. 🙂
We proceeded to visit their farms made beneficial through organic agriculture and orchards lined with high value vegetables such as those you would find in your premium salad bars including arugula, lettuce, spinach, and even Chinese upland kangkong.
There were also lowland vegetables such as upo and sitaw. I wasn’t able to see any Ampalaya though as the rainy season makes it hard to grow the latter.
Herbs and spices including taragon, different kinds of basil, mint, and thyme were sprawling just like in one’s backyard, only much wider. 🙂
The farm makes Costales one of the major agro-tourism destination in Luzon who conducts ecological farming techniques and integrated natural farming for a chemical-free sustainable agriculture.
In line with making it an agro-tourism destination for travelers, nature lovers, and health-seekers. Costales Nature Farms have dorm-type accomodation facilities where we stayed. They can accommodate upto 35 guests within the farms.
It’s a good place as well for fishing, company seminars, and spa treatment. I didn’t get the chance to see the spa services, however.
In the organic agriculture seminar we had, we also met members of the group – Spread Organic Agriculture in the Philippines (SOAP, Tel 09178472639).
Swimming through the famous and nearby Majayajay Falls will be featured in this travel blog soon as well.
As bloggers, we were also oriented on the processes Costales adopted for a commercial scale integrated organic farming.
Aside form that, they also adopted an efficient zero-waste farming, duckweed culture (plant-based protein source), companion planting, sticky traps, net bags, botanical pest control, Bokashi fertilizer, and kitchen waste compost.
Their livestock and smiley pigs are not injected with anti-biotic, vaccines, commercial feeds, nor growth hormones. They are only fed with fermented organic feeds, japanese agriculture technology called EM probiotic (Effective Microorganisms – 5 concoctions similar to lactic acid bacteria in Yakult),
Costales Organic Farm has also been recognized by government agencies like the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Agriculture. They were recognized as the First Agri-Tourism destination in the Philippines as accredited by the DOT.
Costales owner Mr. Ronald Costales was also awarded Most Outstanding Organic Farmer of Region IV-A by DA Gawad Saka in both 2011 and 2012.
Healthy Options, SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, Rustan’s Supermarket, Makati Shangri-La, Gaisano, Cibo, and The Bistro Group‘s Italiannis, Flapjacks, Fish & Co., TGIFridays, Krazy Garlic, and Pig Out are among their clienteles.
Costales Nature Farms
Barangay Gagalot, Majayjay, Laguna
“Throw your waste and it will be wasted,…recycle your waste and the world will be saved.” – Costales Nature Farms
Indeed, our brief visit to Costales Nature Farms in Laguna was a good and organic way to escape the city and be closer to Earth and the healthy bounty of what it has to offer. I’ve learned a lot about organic agriculture and I can say that the little extra cost of organic food way outweighs its health benefits.
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