Saturday, July 2, 2016

Buhian Diversified Farm: Coconuts Trees and more…

After an early flight to Misamis Oriental, a team of bloggers and staff of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) visited one of the learning site farms of ATI that advocates and practices Organic Agriculture in Initao, Misamis Oriental. The Organic farm is situated at the inner part of Initao that covers a 1.2 hectares of farm land owned by the husband and wife team Ms. Nemia Penita and Engr. Edgar Buhian. 

Buhian Diversified Farm is located at Initao, Misamis Oriental
Engr. Edgar and Municipal Councilor Penita Buhian
Last 2015, Engr. Edgar Buhian was awarded as Outstanding Coconut Farmer of the Gawad Saka Awards. According to him, he was so surprised at the same time humbled with the award despite the small size of his farm compared to other farmer’s. The size of the farm maybe small but one thing that sets Buhain Daversified Farm apart from others are the various coconut byproducts it can produce out of them. Among the coconut products they make are Cocconut Sweet Tuba, Coconut Spicy and Regular Vinegar, Coconut sugar, Coconut Jam, Coconut bocayo, Coconut Bocarillo and Virgin Coconut oil. 

The farm offers various coconut-based products and is certified by the Department of Agriculture
Coconut trees are covered with coconut husks for moisture retention. A technology that protects the trees from El Nino
Last year, I had the opportunity to serve SaveCoconut Foundation as consultant and I was immersed on how valuable coconuts can be and the potential revenue a farmer can earn from it. In my conversation with Engr. Edgar and Mam Penita, I shared some of what I learned in the foundation. I shared to them another potential revenue from the coconut juice they can gather in processing copra, in which they can also make “toyo” or soysauce out of it by simply boiling it. They were surprised because it was a technology they never knew before, and were very excited to try it. That is why in my next visit to the farm, I’m also excited to see if the tip I shared paid off. 

The Buhian Farm integrates other vegetation with coconuts...
Lunch...Fresh from the farm
After a refreshing lunch, the group toured the farm. It was a short tour but there were a lot of interesting stuff we saw and one can learn. Apart from coconuts, the Buhain farm also grows other organic vegetables like lettuce, Chilly pepper, Eggplant, different kinds of herbs, okra, tomatoes and mushrooms. A little further back are the nursery of coconut seedlings where the farm also sells. The farm also grows, various types of poultry such as ducks, chicken and turkey where all of them a freely roaming around the farm. Yes, they are all free range and also organically grown. 

One of the different variety of chili peppers...
Taragon, Peppermint and Stevia are just among the many herbs scattered in the farm free from chmicals
Eggplant are being harvested on a regular basis...
Camote Tops...fresh and blooming
Fresh Mushrooms...
So what is an Organic Farm? It is a farm where everything that is grown there, both plants and animals are free from chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticide that also harm the people who eats them. The Buhain farm, through the assistance of ATI’s various training in organic agriculture, were able to apply technologies where they can make their own natural pesticide by mixing Effective Micro-organism (EM1) and other aggregates such as molasses to combat pests which are harmful to plants. Combining them will make EMAS or the Effective Micro Organism Agri-Solution that also serves many uses in the farm. 

Ducks, chicken and turkey are all free-range...
Turkey and other poultry animals co-exist in the farm...
Another interesting part of the farm is the organic piggery. What makes this so amazing is the absence of foul odor and with lesser flies roaming around. This is because of another technology where the flooring of the coral is filled with rice-haul, salt and EMAS. The combination of these makes the pigs grow healthy, with very minimal foul odor. 

Organic piggery emits less foul smell and lesser flies...
And the pig looks happy and healthy too...


The pigs are not grain fed but eat only vegetables harvested in the farm but are rejected for commercial consumption. These are either fed to the pigs or use it to feed the African Night Crawler (Earth worms) in their Vermiculture area. The poop of the worm is called Vermicast and is the best source of natural fertilizers for the plants. 

Honey Bee Production...
Duck-weed culture for fish food (Tilapia)
Buhian Diversified Farm is an ATI learning site where Agricultural Students from different schools and universities in Northern Mindanao, engage in experiential learning about the beauty of organic agriculture. With this training approach, ATI and its partners envision to inspire these students to become effective and successful future generations of farmers. 

#OABloggers, ATI Staff from Central Office and Region 10 office with Mam Penita and Sir. Edgar Buhian







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