New friends, new places…I’ve been enjoying my downtime so far! One of the new places I visited as of late is an eco-cultural farm in the Province of Bukidnon called Umanika.
Umanika or “Uma ni Kalinaw” (Kalinaw is the name of one of the farm founder’s children…isn’t that so cool or what?) a.k.a. Farm of Peace is located along Diversion Road, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. It’s near Ranchers and interestingly, there aren’t any signages leading towards this herb and organic farm. There’s a fair reason behind that, though. They’re busy working in the fields every day and they want to make sure that there’s someone who can entertain visitors hence the need for appointments.
So on a sunny, beautiful day, along with our new friends Christine, Paula and Dindo (they’re awesome entrepreneurs, by the way, and I’ll share more about their businesses very soon — join me on Facebook so you’ll be updated 🙂 ), my mother and I spent a few hours at Umanika Farm. It was actually Christine’s idea to go there and the rest of us all happily obliged. My mother, who has a green thumb, naturally had a grand time. All of us went home with our big stashes of potted plants, herbs etc.
Here’s what went down during our visit.
Umanika Farm is a fully functional “Learning while Earning” farm. They integrate “indigenous knowledge and systems with modern agricultural technologies.”
We all learned a lot of fascinating things during our visit — from vermicomposting to in-farm waste management to organic gardening to multi-level farming.
Speaking of which, in the video, you’ll find out how you can harvest 5 hectare worth of produce out of a 1-hectare piece of land. Curious? Watch the video and please don’t forget to subscribe 🙂 I’m producing more videos this time around and would love to interact with you on my channel, too.
Umanika also sells organic peanut products, culinary herbs, medicinal herbs and various plants with leaves that you can turn into tea or medicinal drinks. Watch the video in this post to see all the various plants and herbs.
By the way, this Bukidnon farm uses solar power and can also accommodate stay-in guests and trainees. So if you and your group want to go on a “deep dive” and learn the intricacies of organic farming better, you might want to contact Umanika and ask about their training facilities. There are also tents available if you want to do the “sleep under the stars” bit. Bukidnon is known for its cool weather so don’t forget to pack a jacket or scarf.
Here’s an example of their efficient farming strategies. If you may notice, there are 3 plants near a “water hole” surrounded by bamboo stalks. We were told that in order to save time (since Umanika Farm only has a handful of farm workers), they just pour water on that “hole” and the water is “fed” to the 3 plants. It’s a simple yet pretty fascinating idea to me!
Here’s another interesting thing I learned during our visit. See those tall grasslike stalks? Those are citronella and as you know, citronella is very effective in keeping mosquitoes away. However, that’s not the only role these citronella stalks play in the farm. They also act as “filters” since the adjacent farm uses fertilizer sprays plus when the wind blows especially during night time, the citronella emits pleasant floral/grassy odor. Perfume courtesy of Mother Nature!
Do you see something interesting about this banana tree? There are fruits but no heart! You see, banana fruits usually develop out of a banana heart but our tour guide specifically pointed this tree out because no, Mark Lapid, walang puso din itong saging na ito! 😀
Our visit to this eco-cultural farm in Bukidnon was really lovely. Looking forward to visiting again soon! Maybe by then I’ll be able to bring more folks. Let me know in the comments section if you’re interested to go!