we are a farming family and a farmers’ market is our happy place
the farm is our constant source of encouragement and inspiration. seeds sprouting, leaves turning green. life and nature are such marvels, things we’d never get tired of watching and anticipating.
Our hydroponic farm is picking up on its pace. We see continuous increase in productivity since we resumed operations after the summer. We are very close to optimizing production capacity in our 100-square meter greenhouse. And when we do, which I know will happen very soon, we’ll be adding up the numbers (the right numbers this time) and we’ll be ready to replicate.
Imagine, our successful, small-scale, sustainable farming model could be brought to any location and environmental condition, to bring farm-fresh, affordable, safe and natural produce to every ordinary household. That’s our big, big dream, and we are inching closer.
As I keep saying over and over, “organic” and “sustainable” are not mere concepts. They are a way of life. Nothing that you can learn overnight. And the whole process is likely to be bittersweet. But such is the way that we choose to live ours. Pains, gains and all.
And I continue to be a sucker for everything local, natural and hand made.
Ilog Maria is a honey bee farm in Silang, Cavite. Just a few minutes drive from our in-law’s home in Dasmarinas. We’ve been seeing signs of the place each time we head to Tagaytay via Aguinaldo Highway but never really took the effort of going there. That was until last January. And then suddenly, we were honeybee lovers.
We already have a local source of wild organic honey at the Bee Project here in UPLB’s Institute of Biological Sciences. But Ilog Maria opened our eyes to a whole range of useful, everyday products made from all things bees.
They have handmade soaps made from honey, beeswax and propolis, with variants like lavender or rosemary which are supposed to be great for energizing morning showers. Or charcoal which has a deodorizing effect.
This time I bought the calamansi, sandalwood and charcoal variants, all three are supposed to have some kind of antibacterial or deodorizing effect. If it was just me taking showers in my household I would have done with just about any organic soap you can find in the market. But with my 2 rowdy boys and a farmer-husband, I need an everyday soap that has a good dose of antibacterial powers to keep my boys clean. So far I’m still on an active search. Let’s see how Ilog Maria soaps fare with respect to the germs in my boys’ bodies.
They also sell beeswax candles. These are all handmade and when you hold them, the texture is just glorious. They are a bit expensive but the quality of the product easily speaks for its price. It was good thing I didn’t bring extra cash or we’d end up with going home with a manger-full of beeswax statue candles. But I swear, I’m going to buy candles on our next visit here. And if I can afford to, give them away as gifts for Christmas.
Because it was a weekend of getting something for myself, I bought this handmade, beaded curtain which I plan to drape around the smallish entrance to our new kitchen (did I mention we’ll be moving to a new apartment?). The curtain wasn’t made from bee products or anything, but I did validate that it was made by a local community also in Silang. Still local, which is a good thing.
I think I’m doing a good job of converting my household, and my extended family, into fans of all-natural products. Or maybe it’s just a matter of finding organic products that are of really good quality. Turo is now a huge fan of Ilog Maria’s Honey & Propolis Shampoo which he uses everyday together with 2 slices of calamansi as his conditioner.
Just in case you’re headed for Tagaytay, you may want to pass by Ilog Maria farm and take a look at the range of honey bee based products they offer. You just might find something you can use everyday, and take the first steps to a chemical-free lifestyle.
To all things natural and crafted by hand!
Imagine trying to avoid milking cows moseying in the middle of the road. Here where we live, it’s an everyday thing.
Yesterday, Turo and I had a sweet date at the bull barn. What?!
This is an entry inspired by the realization that we still couldn’t take out a housing loan even if we could afford it.
The past year has been a trying year for us, especially financially. Sure we get by, we send our kids to school, eat lovely meals, live peacefully in our quaint little home, run our own farming business and be bosses of ourselves. We have a good life. We live simply and sustainably and pose little harm to our environment. We have time to pursue the things we want to do. In this day and age of stress and hurry, who still has time for things like composting, making pizza dough or walking? We do. And we are proud of how we have turned our city-dwelling lives around to our now low and slow lifestyle.
Sometimes, though, low and slow has its setbacks. After Turo left his job more than a year ago, nobody in our household remained formally employed. As for me, I’ve worked freelance ever since Uri was born so I practically have zero employment footprint. Turo, on the other hand, was supervisor-level for the past how many years. Being employed for so long, he was the de-facto provider of all legal documents, be it for credit card or loan application requirements. At least that was the case until a year ago. Continue reading emerging from a status quo
pruned herbs check. planted seedlings check. muddy boots check.
If there’s such a thing as the equivalent of postpartum depression after moving out of your birth nest, I can safely say that we have passed that stage with flying colors.
So it’s actually been ten months since we’ve moved to our new home in Los Banos. It’s also been a couple of months since I last checked on my blog, and even longer since I posted anything in here. Finally, I got around to writing here again. I have a lot of news, lots of stuff going on with me, and our new life in our new home, the farm, and the kids. But the most important stuff I really want to share right now are the things we already thought we knew, but are learning over and over, especially since we went on our own. Continue reading the big move: ten months after