SAGADA, Mountain Province – The D’JAMBLAZE organic farm offers free tasting of fruits and picking of fruits, vegetables and herbs, and research on organic farming in this famous tourist town of the Cordillera.
For the past years, the farm was visited by local and foreign tourists.
A tourist registers and pays a minimum entrance fee. The visitor is entitled to tour around the farm and get to taste for free any of the fruits grown in the field. The farm also provides the guest the experience of picking fruits, herbs and vegetables grown in greenhouses, but he or she has to pay these with minimum farm gate prices.
The orchard is owned and managed by a certain Eugene Bacagan of Sagada. It has an area of about 1,800 sq. meters, located at sitio Capinitan, Sagada.
Way back in 1998, Bacagan started planting various varieties of oranges, other backyard fruits, sugar cane, vegetables and herbs that are used for garnishing foods. He domesticated wild raspberries, locally termed as pinit and guavas.
According to Eugene, the bananas he planted produced good fruits but these were totally damaged due to perceived presence of unidentified virus. He also raised free-range chicken but stopped due to the circulating bird flu virus that wiped out several poultry farms nationwide.
He produces the organic fertilizers for his farm. Bacagan grows sugar cane which he mixes with the compost instead of buying and using molasses.
Bacagan is a member of the Bina-od Organic Farmers Association that he conceptualized and organized initially with four other members but was formally organized in 2011 with 42 members, who raise organic fruits and vegetables in Sagada.
According to Bacagan, he said that bina-od is very important in the life of i-Sagada. It is food prepared, cooked and served during any of the agricultural activities, such as extraction of decomposed pig sty from the pigpen (gongoan) to fertilize the ricefields, during the putting of roof of a house, and other Igorot activities.
He emphasized that products of organic farming promote healthy human and the traditional fertilizers improve the soil texture. He said further that organic farming is one among the activities that contributes to mitigate the alarming climate change phenomenon.
By Francis B. Degay
Photo lifted from D Jaamblaze Farm Homestay Facebook post