Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Our Organic Farm Begins
One of the advantages that I enjoy living in the Philippines is that the majority of our food comes from a local market. This isn't a market like most in the US or Even Europe would think of. It would equate best to the markets like we see in movies of Old England or Flee markets in the US.
They are loud, claustrophobic, and a pure joy to shop at. Meat is cut by hand in front of you. Fish are still swimming and breathing when you buy them and vegetables and fruits are fresh picked, seven days a week.
Best of all you can meet and get to know the people that are growing your food. If you have questions, they answer them and most will invite you to their farms for visits.
Being a people person and knowing a visit here usually involves a drinking session. I have gotten very friendly with several of the farmers we buy from. They are not only wonderful people to get to know but they are organic farmers and don't even realize it.
Big corporate farms here are limited to a few export important crops and the majority of food is still grown on small family run farms. The farmers grow a mix of crops and animals, not only for their livelihood but their own sustenance.
They have little concept of what we would call heritage breeds or organic farming methods. What they do have is generations of farming tradition. They save their own seeds breed their own stock and use one to feed the other. That is where this story gets interesting.
I was talking with one of my friends. Her family grows the most delicious tomatoes you have ever tasted. I asked her where I could get some seeds and she just handed me a tomato and told me, with a smile, the seeds were inside. When I asked for advice about growing them she told me "for good tomatoes, raise chickens".
That was the beginning for our little microfarm. Next time I'll tell where we went from there.