Sergio’s Farm shows the way
Engr. Paul Revalde’s personal commitment to plant organic fruits and vegetables stemmed from his father who died of lung cancer several years ago.
“Ang akong papa biktima sa (My father fell victim to) lung cancer due to pesticides (use). If I had a chance, I have to do something for the locals nga mo go sila (that they will go) into natural farming,” Engr. Revalde said.
Sergio’s Farm, owned by Engr. Revalde’s family, was set up six years ago and planted with organic fruits and vegetables.
It went viral on social media for its strawberries which Engr. Revalde planted only a year ago.
Named after his father, Sergio’s Farm occupies a two-hectare lot at the upland barangay of Maloray in Dalaguete town, southern Cebu, about two hours away from Cebu City.
From the town proper, one has to ride the habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) for more than an hour to reach the farm located 21 kilometers away.
From five pots of strawberries, Sergio’s Farm now has five greenhouses filled with strawberries.
Engr. Revalde also grows organic cabbage, carrots, lettuce, radish, a variety of herbs and assorted vegetables. He said they receive visitors for a P50 fee.
Aside from taking photos of their strawberries, their visitors also buy their strawberries at P800 per kilo and their strawberry jam at P150 per bottle.
Based on their logbook, the farm receives 500 visitors on Saturdays. Most of them come to pick locally grown strawberries.
“Wala mi magtuo nga ingon niini kadaghan ang mga tawo nga miabot sa among farm (We didn’t believe that there were so many visitors to our farm),” said Margot Omega, the farm caretaker.
Omega said they use organic fertilizers like compost and manure for their farm.
She said the farm has become an agri-tourism site, and they want to use it to promote the growing and consumption of organic food.
Revalde said he is glad that Sergio’s Farm is setting an example among farmers in their area to employ more sustainable agricultural methods that ensure the soil’s fertility.
He said vegetable farmers in neighboring barangays like Mantalongon have been using synthetic chemicals to boost their yield.
Revalde also credits his mother for pushing him to go organic in his farm by avoiding pesticides and antibiotics altogether.
While there are still a lot of farmers that use genetically modified fertilizers and boosters, Revalde said the increasing market demand for organic food has made his personal advocacy a lot less of an uphill battle.
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