How Tarlac’s Mushroom Queen went from a corporate career to advocating organic farming

Emma Tolentino left her career in the corporate world to become a farmer and encourage others to do the same.

By Eula Dee Lañada
Photos by Aeron P. Bermudez

From the corporate world to the field of farming, Ms. Emma Tolentino has experienced the best of both worlds. When asked if she is happy to have changed careers and become a farmer, she said with a resounding “yes.”

It was her dream for her farm to become the convergence of new and modern technologies of agriculture, and now, it is slowly becoming a reality. She wants to share her blessings through teaching other people who share the same passion with her. Through farming, she gained more friends and expanded her network.

“I want to motivate farmers to bring back their confidence,” quipped Tolentino as she weeps to the fact that farmers generally look down on themselves. Tolentino wants farmers to feel they are important because without them, our nation will starve to death.

Tolentino offers seminars on organic farming and mushroom production to interested individuals.

The love for farming was inculcated to her when she was young as she was also a member of the 4-H Club in their area.

She recalled that she was the youngest of the bunch and she would attend any kind of training and seminars available for them.

Found in Brgy. Bulo, Victoria, Tarlac, her farm is a home for guava apple, organic rice, mushroom, herbs & spices, and free-range chicken. The farm holds a mushroom greenhouse, where all kinds of ideas on how to add value are brewed. Together with Bodomo Reyes Farm, she has tried perfecting all of these with mushroom as the main ingredient: adobo, curry, bagoong, chicharon, dinuguan, tapa, tocino, and chili garlic oil.

The farm has a greenhouse that houses its mushrooms.

Tolentino’s advocacy for organic farming led her to try carbon farming, which is bringing back to the soil what is taken out. She encourages other farmers to step up and make a business out of farming. A farm should have an identity on its own for it to stand out. Just like her farm, when one says mushroom or organic farming, the name Eco Natural Integrated Farm or Emma Tolentino pops up.

This article was first published as Eco Natural Integrated Farm in Vignette A Travelogue of Central Luzon’s Agritourism Sites from the Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center III.

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