By Eula Dee Lañada
Photos by Aeron P. Bermudez
Have you seen the horror film ‘Sukob’? A festival was featured there where the people smeared themselves with mud and dressed in dry banana or coconut leaves to emulate Saint John the Baptist.
Located in the home of the said festival also known as Taong Putik Festival, Nathaniel’s Farm is sprawled with rice, fruit-bearing trees, and vegetables, which are all chemical-free.
With the owner’s field as nursing, Mr. Eligio Vera Cruz is concerned for health and well-being of an individual thus he was inspired to venture into natural farming. The available crops in his farm are rice, mango, rambutan, lanzones, jackfruit, tamarind, cotton fruit, guyabano, kalamansi, papaya, different varieties of banana, durian, pineapple, dragon fruit, bitter gourd, eggplant, and ladies’ fingers. He also has native chickens, ducks, goats, and a pond filled with tilapia.
He showcases his produce through a mini-market every month for the community to savor the taste of healthy crops. He is currently concocting products, which will be available in the near future, such as papaya candy, rice ice cream, and sweetened jackfruit (minatamis no langka). Also, one of his goals is to produce strawberries and grapes in their area.
Vera Cruz has a special place for the 4-H Club in his heart. Being the former president of the said club in his younger years, he is eager to revive the 4-H Club in Aliaga and help the youth to develop a deep love for farming. In fact, he is constantly searching for out-of-school youth in their area to be a part of his advocacy.
When visiting his farm to see more of his naturally grown crops, your kids can tag along too because there is a playground inside. From swings to colorful paths and animal statues, the place will also awaken the kid inside you
This article was first published as Nathaniel’s Farm in Vignette A Travelogue of Central Luzon’s Agritourism Sites from the Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center III.