An Eye-Opening Visit to Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, Laguna

I love doing out-of-town coverages. It gives me a chance to travel and discover new things far from home. Last week, some blogger friends and I got invited by the Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) to visit an organic farm in Brgy. Gagalot, Majayjay, Laguna and the two days we spent there were some of the most enriching and healthy trips I've had this year.

educational field trip :)
Costales Nature Farms promotes organic farming. It means everything they produce there -- fruits, vegetables, and livestock -- are grown using all-natural fertilizers or feeds. The three-hour-long trip from Makati was immediately forgotten when we arrived at the farm. I soaked in the fresh air and the cool-to-the-eyes green scenery around us. 

organic veggies galore
Since it was already early afternoon, we were invited to eat a late lunch first before proceeding to our rooms. I loved the crispy freshness of the vegetables especially the salad with Costales' special vinaigrette dressing. I went in for seconds after I tried all the other dishes. Oh and I also loved the French beans cooked with fried garlic. I could eat those all day, too!

various delicious dishes

We were served a glass each of freshly-squeezed juice made of a citrus fruit and honey. I was in heaven! That's one of the best drinks I've ever had in months! After eating, we were also served some peppermint tea which left a warm feeling in our tummies and a cool feeling on our tongues.

satsuma orange juice and peppermint tea
After depositing our bags to our respective quarters, we all went back to the session hall to listen to very informative talks about organic agriculture. We met Mr. Ronald Costales, owner and scientific farmer, who shared with us what they do at the farm and how they are helping other farmers transition to organic farming. 

the duplex dorms where we slept
The farm is actually a prime agro-tourism destination. There, they conduct trainings on ecological and balanced farming techniques with the goal of promoting sustainable agriculture (one that will not need buying all those harmful chemical preparations), healthy lifestyle, and environmental biodiversity through integrated natural farming. 

beautiful flowers
According to Mr. Costales, they want to create widespread awareness about the ill-effects of chemical inputs in food production, the importance of natural farming, and the need to motivate people to patronize organic produce for a healthy lifestyle. It made me think about the link of chemical-laden foods to illnesses such as cancer. It makes sense to pay a bit more for organic produce that get sick from eating cheaper variants from questionable farming methods.

healthy seedlings for transplanting
It's admirable to find out how dedicated Mr. Costales and his colleagues are in trying to make people understand that healthy produce won't harm the body unlike many commercially-sold products that were grown using pesticides.  He also stressed the importance of taking good care of the soil so it will help plants continuously bear fruit for years.

afternoon meryenda of pansit and refreshing cucumber juice
How do they maintain agricultural sustainability? It starts with organically raising various livestock (like pigs, chicken, and rabbits) and gathering their manure and feeding them to African Night Crawler worms. The worms' manure, called "vermicast" or what many call "black gold" becomes the primary fertilizer for the crops. The farm brews the worm manure with concoctions of beneficial and effective microorganisms to enrich the soil which, in turn, feed the plants all the nutrients they need. 

organic livestock
What's amazing is that nothing gets thrown out! Excess vegetable harvest and farm rejects are fed back to the livestock. Talk about a zero-waste program!

Later, we got to tour the farm and were further impressed by the things we saw ...

veggies grown using bamboo poles
greenhouse for seedlings
fish ponds for breeding tilapia
That night, we enjoyed dinner with another round of dishes made with organically-grown ingredients and they were all delicious! Before retiring for the night, everyone took turns with the videoke machine while munching on crispy-fried organic kangkong, vegetable strips, and hot-from-the-pan French fries. We were also given a gallon of lambanog which many of my companions took a drink of. I tried a sip and left it at that. 

after dinner snacks
We all retired for the night lulled by the chirps of crickets and enveloped by the cool wind blowing through the windows of the room I shared with the other girls. As I closed my eyes, I couldn't help wishing that I have my family with me. I'm sure my boys will also enjoy the simple but comfortable accommodations as well as the wonderful food that the farm has to offer. I hope to bring them there someday.

greenhouses provide a controlled environment
that ensures crop health
Please read my other post where I shared all about our visit to the famous Majayjay Falls the next day.

If you're interested to rediscover the wonders of the Earth's flavorful and healthy bounty plus enjoy the different kind of adventures found at Costales Nature Farms, log on to, contact 0917-5442023 or 0917-5393080, and Like their Facebook page. I know gadget addicts have been itching to ask a question and wondering ... yes, the place has WiFi! :)

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