Monday, December 30, 2013

Tadian Farm

After Sagada on Sunday, December 1, Ata Becky and I headed to Tadian to see Andrew. It was a little out of the way, but I wanted to see his placement that I’d heard so much about. We took a 45 minute ride on a Jeepney back to Bontoc, got some lunch, then waited in a van as it filled up and finally we were off to Tadian, another 1 hour ride into the mountains. It’s beautiful! However, as we rode deeper and deeper into the rural moutains I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through Andrew’s head during his first trip up here. This is truly in the middle of nowhere.

Andrew's house which also doubles as a meeting space for the farm.

When we arrived we found Andrew hard at work sorting fertilizer. First a little background - Andrew’s placement is at the Tadian Demonstration Farm located at St. Michael’s All Angels Parish in the Diocese of the Northern Philippines (EDNP). From my understanding of what he’s told me (I’m not a farmer or agriculturist. I’m going to do my best to explain this.) the farm was under poor management and in financial troubles when he arrived in August 2012. In the past year and half, Andrew’s helped completely turn the farm around. The main purpose is to have visitors come to learn how to farm all naturally or organically. Their goal is to have groups come in from all across the Philippines and the world to complete trainings and learn from demonstrations on the farm.

View from the front stoop.

His cute puppy keeping guard.

The day we visited Andrew had only been back from the states for a little over a month. He said, “here let me show you what I’ve been working on the past month.” Oh he had only built a small warehouse, a chicken coop, and a piggery. No big deal. It made me feel like I have nothing to show for my productivity!

There are a couple of projects the farm is currently taking on – all-natural piggery, free range chickens, organic fertilizers and pesticides, a natural garden, cocoa trees, and a greenhouse. I might have forgotten something. But that’s a lot! And most of the time Andrew is there by himself doing the day-to-day maintenance. To say our placements are vastly different from one another would be an understatement.

The newly built piggery.

They're native pigs and the compost is all natural which breaks down their poo and bacteria.

A classroom on top and warehouse on the bottom.

Chicken coop

chicks, chicks, chicks!

Free range chicken.

The greenhouse.

As he picked pechay from the greenhouse to sell at the market in Bontoc the next day, I sat on his front stoop taking in the gorgeous view. It was a cool afternoon with a few sprinkles here and there. The first thing I noticed was the quiet. I can always here the highway or dogs barking or a rooster crowing from my room. There all I could here was silence. It’s quite peaceful in Tadian.

Andrew picking pechay.

Living room/dining room/meeting room/storage area

Not a bad view. 

The rest of the afternoon we sipped coffee, caught up on life and Andrew cooked dinner. The next morning the only van back to Bontoc was at 6am, which meant it left at 6:30am. Once in Bontoc, Ata Becky and I caught a bus back to Santiago City. It was quite the weekend of adventure! I greatly enjoyed the break from the compound even though I still couldn’t move my body from the caving experience.

Thanks for reading!

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