By Eula Dee Lañada
Photos by Kent Edward S. Ballesteros
In its goal to advance social enterprises and eradicate poverty, the Lifebank Microfinance Foundation, Inc. – Center for Bayanihan Economics (CBE) was molded. With 5.3 hectares of land to showcase sustainable agriculture practices in the Philippines, CBE’s advocacy focuses on organic agriculture.
A place devoured by cogon grass and snakes was turned into a magnificent platform for a cause. You will be greeted with a mollusk-like structure upon entering CBE. Below is a pond which serves as a basin for rainwater filled with freshwater fishes. Serving as a backdrop, you can see a vegetable garden on each step of the terraces.
The farm welcomes those who are eager to do well in farming, make a livelihood out of it, and encourage others in joining the cause. They also have a laboratory, a showcase and a training ground.
As an organic farm, CBE follows the biodynamic planting and sowing calendar. It indicates favorable days for planting, replanting, plant care and harvest.
In addition, it preserves the ecological balance, ground fertility, the health of plant, animals as well as the humans.
Fresh from the organic farm, they promote consuming healthy food. “If you take good food, it equates to eating medicine,” said Digna Ruth Daliva. “A large part of the healing comes from the farmer,” she added. With this, they offer mushroom soup, mushroom patties, pigmented rice, tarragon soup, lemon grass tea with blue ternate, pesto pasta, sweet potato, pansit with mushroom, malunggay pesto, and lettuce salad.
In general, farmers look down to themselves. They are also spraying without knowing the long-term effects. With this, they want to correct this and give back the confidence that the farmer: deserve. This is also a way to serve the world as an instrument of this grand scale of healing through organic farming.
This article was first published as Lifebank Center for Bayanihan Economics in Vignette A Travelogue of Central Luzon’s Agritourism Sites from the Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center III.