FROM helping his father at the farm in his younger years to advocating Natural Farming, Eduard Tresico has his hands full. Managing over 6 hectares of a combined campsite and natural farming habitat, he is indeed one busy guy.
Nevertheless, Tresico sat down with Green Space to share a few ideas on how to grow our own food and make a profit while doing it.
High value crops in 100 sqm
In Natural Farming, high value crops are the leafy greens we grow and sell for a good profit. They can be a combination of lettuce, arugula and micro greens that customers always buy for salads. In 100 square meters you can have five plots of lettuce and one plot can give you a harvest of 30 kilos per/plot. At a 30 to 45 days cycle you can easily harvest P35,000 a month. Caveat: Know where to sell the lettuce.
Tabletop gardening model
Love to cook? Start with a square meter (size of a tabletop) of chives and other herbs. Easily, you can make P3,300/month and with something as useful as chives, you snip and use and the plant just keeps on growing.
Using old tires, and using half a kilo per box, you can hang these tires on your fence and grow many kinds of edible food in them (lettuce, etc). In 100 square meters you can harvest P15,000 a month worth of high value vegetables. This is for people who cannot find a flat piece of land. Rather, it uses “airspace” like a condominium, rather than planting on the ground.
The better profit, of course, is having first dibs or first crack at your harvest. You no longer need to buy expensive vegetables from other people’s farms. Just make sure you get OPB or Open pollinated seeds, not GMO.
I met Eduard and Serma Tresico as we were vetting the suppliers for our Iloilo ECHOstore. He shared with me his journey in being a farmer which paved the way to his creating Dreamers Valley—a campsite and natural farm where he teaches kids, students and adults on the benefits of natural farming. One thing common about these natural farmers is the innate passion to be one with Nature, while advocating the practice so many more people may benefit from it. They also now involve their son Paul Tresico, who studied Physical Therapy but is now an avowed natural farmer.
Besides vegetables, Eduard now has pigs who feed on his special diet pellets made from what else but organic vegetables, of course! We look forward to having these pork meat cuts in our stores soon.
Eduard and Serma also work with Pastor Greg Ledesma, a registered nurse who has turned herbologist, and who specializes in concocting the best herbal teas grown from the garden, too.
Visitors can tour the farm, have a healthy lunch with fresh salads and freshly made juices too. It’s about an hour from Iloilo City and must be really worth the trip. Meanwhile, if you must plan a camp for your kids, consider the Dreamers Valley’s approach—natural farming while communing with Nature.
Thank God for passionate people like Eduard—we can eat well from his harvests while learning how to grow our food , too. And it’s a good idea for a side business as well.
Portable green businesses. It’s never too late to have one.
Dreamers Valley is in Tigbauan, Iloilo. You can find them on Facebook: Dreamers Valley. They will be supplying organic vegetables to ECHOstore Iloilo when it opens next week in Atria, Qualimed, Mandduriao in Iloilo City.
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Chit Juan is a founder and owner of ECHOStore sustainable lifestyle, ECHOmarket sustainable farms and ECHOcafe in Serendra , Podium, Centris QC mall, Davao, Cebu City, Antipolo City and Iloilo. She also is President of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and President of the Philippine Coffee Board Inc., two non-profits close to her heart. She often speaks to corporates and NGOs on sustainability, women empowerment, and coffee. You can follow her on twitter.com/chitjuan or find her on facebook:Pacita “Chit” Juan. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org