Moving on to the third farm, we come across a smaller but beautifully landscaped 2,100 sq. meter farm where every space is maximized. The sloping land area was transformed into a beautiful garden of organic vegetables.SAM_1963

As we entered Jaya Secret Garden, we were welcomed by the owners Junah Bayag and his family with lunch: a meal of blue rice, fish, veggies, cucumber cooler, lemongrass juice, orange with chilli refresher—freshly harvested from the garden. Blue rice was made with a  flower called blue ternate, which has anti-ageing, energy-enhancing, fertility increasing properties.

During his daughter Jaya’s tour and his lecture, Farmer Junah constantly acknowledged his family’s contribution and support in developing this visually appealing, photogenic landscaped garden. Landscaping is their main income source, followed by catering, and the sale of their organic produce such as cabbages, lettuce, herbs, chilli, fish, and duck among others. Diversified backyard gardening he explains is a key element to his thriving place.SAM_2035

“Waste is a resource” according to Junah so waste is returned to the soil and the feeds grow from the ground. What makes his gardening impressive is that the wild-growing plants is what they feed the fish and chickens making overhead expense low or almost zero. Zero fertilizers as well. The bottom line is that there is no waste, it goes back in the cycle.
SAM_2048For construction materials, they make use of old tires that serve as barriers, foot paths, and pots while plastic bottles serve as pots that direct water overflow back to the lake. Surprisingly, there are no mosquitoes or pests at all perhaps due to the diversity of the garden’s plants and herbs. Brilliant, inspirational ideas you can apply in your own homes. Please do watch the videos for more ideas on how to develop your backyard organic garden from Junah Bayag.
SAM_2077He endorses family gardening: the family that gardens together, stays together. “The children are encouraged to plant. Why do we encourage our children? Because nawawala ang agrikultura, the new generation don’t know and are not interested in Agriculture. How do we encourage the next generation? In our experience, we let them experience planting and let them experience that they can earn money from what they are doing. In Jaya’s case, she collects the entrance fee of P40 from visitors to see the garden. Another is through farm tourism, she gets incentives to be a tour guide and lecturerSAM_2030. At a young age, she is encouraged to get into the business. Hopefully, she will be encouraged to continue the garden even when I am gone. We need to add beauty to our farming to attract the next generation, or else they will just go far away,” Junah addressed the need for future generations to learn about Agriculture through a painting he made himself using symbolic images. This paintingSAM_1986 is prominently displayed in the main dining/ welcome area.

“In organic agriculture, we give value to the sun, to the water, and land wSAM_2069hich sustains people, animal, and plants. Whatever your career in life, I encourage you to start backyard gardening, at least for family consumption,” Junah’s final message to all.
A wealth of information and practical applications along with a family bonding element is a refreshing perspective from the Bayag family.

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