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SERGIO’S STRAWBERRY FARM: ‘An answered clamor’

By: Doris Mae C. Mondragon July 25,2018 - 10:09 PM

Aside from strawberries, the farm also cultivates organic lettuce which they also serve in their restaurant. CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO


Cebu’s strawberry farm is located in the fertile valley of Barangay Maloray, Dalaguete, approximately 103 kilometers south of the province.

Developed in 2012, the farm was originally a “salad farm” planted with different varieties of lettuce, cucumber and herbs such as spearmint, rosemary, tarragon, asparagus, mint (herba buena), and dill.

It was in 2014, when 49-year-old farm manager Teddie Alcancia tried growing five pots of the Hawaiian variety of strawberries in the farm as an experiment considering the favorable climate in the mountain barangays of Dalaguete.

“Gisuwayan lang gyud to namo. After one week, nitubo man pud. Mao nga among gipadaghan (We just tried it. After one week, it grew and so we planted more),” Alcancia said.

“Dili sayon ang pagpatubo sa strawberry kay gikan sa pagkagamay niya, imong atimanon ang mga saha unya kada adlaw namo kuhaan og mga laylay (It isn’t easy to grow strawberries because from the start, you really have to take good care of it and everyday you have to take out the dry leaves),” added Alcancia.

For Engr. Paul Revalde, the farm’s 50-year-old owner, Sergio’s Strawberry Farm answered a clamor for local farm tourism.

“Our farm is unique because we are the only strawberry farm in Cebu but we have also kept the salads,” Revalde said.

Aside from promoting organic farming, Revalde also wants to promote farm tourism in Cebu.

The farm also sells other delicacies such as pickled radish, pickled cucumber, and strawberry jam. All the
ingredients are grown and harvested from the farm.

Local farm tourism

The three-hectare farm was officially opened to the public in 2016.

Revalde said that at first, they tried to grow three varieties of strawberries in farm: the Netherlands variety, the Taiwan variety and the Hawaiian variety.

However, he preferred to grow the Hawaiian variety since it bears fruit all year round.

The farm draws more tourists during “pick season” which starts from September until April when around 500 to one thousand tourists visit the farm.

“Since we are promoting farm tourism here, I preferred this variety. It only goes off-season for a while so we don’t lose our tourists,” Revalde said.

With an entrance fee of P50 per person, one can enjoy a tour of the farm and take pictures of the fresh strawberries.

The farm’s marketing officer, Lerma Moya, eats a freshly-picked strawberry.

The farm also has a giant strawberry statue bearing the message “I ? (love) Sergio’s Farm” above it where tourists usually pose for a souvenir photo.

The farm has a mini-restaurant which adopts the “farm-to-table” concept — a way of serving local dishes to customers with fresh ingredients directly picked from the farm.

The strawberries can be bought for P800 per kilo and the lettuce at P350 per kilo. Strawberry-flavored ice candy, jams and shakes are also available along with waffles made from radish and taro or gabi.

The restaurant’s main course salad, the “Maloray Salad” is sold at P50 per serving.

Plans for development

After the success of his strawberry farm, Revalde is now developing a cacao and coffee plantation and a camp site within his 10-hectare property in Barangay Maloray.

“It’s a big plan actually, because we are promoting the concept of farm tourism, which is the direction of the national government,” he said.

“As a Dalaguetenon and as someone from the mountains, we have a very favorable weather and right now, especially that the roads are quite okay, we all have the elements to develop this into a farm tourism hub not just in Barangay Maloray; but also in the other mountain barangays of Dalaguete,” said Revalde.

The camp site, currently being developed for local and international tourists who want to have an overnight experience, will be 300 meters above sea level near the recently-discovered majestic Kandungaw Peak.



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