A Visit to a Vegetable Farm on Bantayan Island


One perfect bed weather morning, our family took the scooter around the island of Bantayan to keep our toddler from feeling bored. The light drizzle did not deter us. Fully equipped with packable raincoats in our small backpack, we drove along the main highway of Santa Fe.  Just before the Bantayan Town Welcome Arch, we  turned left towards a damp dirt road that leads to Marikaban.


JMJ Farm Entrance
We found ourselves shyly entering the black gate of JMJ Farm muttering, "Hello?" A child appeared and gestured us towards the end of the farm where his mother was working.

We spotted  farmers busily bent over their own areas throughout the grand space. We walked. I stopped to check vegetables from time to time, while my husband chased a mud-covered Ana├»s throughout the vegetable garden. We were curious to see which crops thrive well on the island. Here they are: 

Bitter Melon, Pepper and Tomatoes
Squash
Squash Plant that's starting to grow
Squash
A slim cow
Local Pepper
Labanos or White Radish
String Beans planting season
Bell pepper container garden
Freshly harvested lady fingers, pepper and eggplants
A small market stall where you can purchase fresh produce

Angie, the child's mother who manages the farm, was kind enough to show us around. The vegetable and fruit farm was initiated by her late husband. He learned vegetable agriculture through SM Foundation Program as part of rehabilitation efforts to help the island get back to its feet after Typhoon Yolanda. He later passed the knowledge and legacy to his family.

June is planting season. The strong rains from the past few days quickly transformed the El Nino struck earth to green. Hence, their irrigation came from the deep well during the months of drought.  There are about 8 farmers who are regularly working on the farm. Apart from local veggies, we also found fruit trees, watermelons and lots of passion fruit, as well as ornamental plants and flowers.

I'm definitely curious how aromatic herbs would thrive here.  I can't wait to try growing heirlooms and bring in more variety to the island. I will always have a soft spot for organic farming.


If you were to purchase any of these fruits and vegetables, what would they be?
Love & light,
Arni


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8 comments

  1. I bet they have tons of veggies I've never even heard of! Wish we would get some new types of veggies and fruits here as well

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    1. I would really like for you to try our tropical veggies. They're usually the 'either you hate 'em or you love 'em' kind at first bite.

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  2. Looks like they have an organized gardening system. I've planted string beans, peas, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and lettuce in my garden. It's doing quite well.

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    1. Lovely! I can imagine how exciting it must be to watch them grow.

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  3. One of my dreams is to have a garden in my backyard with vegetables and fruit bearing trees. I am excited to see your own garden. Do you have a green thumb? I don't. My father did and obviously I didn't inherit his gift hahaha...

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    1. Guess what, Marge? I don't even think I was born with a green thumb. Haha, I had no idea. Our summer in France last year changed my mind. It was when I saw the batch of tomato seedlings that I helped plant, grow and produce lots of heirloom tomatoes. Since then, a light switch inside me glows whenever I pass by the gardening section of home depots.

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  4. My boyfriend is the one with the green thumb and is growing tomatoes, cilantro, and green peppers this summer :)

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    1. Yum, lots of salsa for this summer. :) Great work with cilantro there! I tried cilantro at my Mom's garden twice The first time they were eaten by birds and then the next time, I provided a net for protection, the heat killed them. I'm sure there's something I am not doing right. Can't wait to try again when we have our own.

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