How lovely will it be to see fields of greens, to gaze at butterflies sipping sweet nectar from colorful tropical flowers, to watch birds freely flying under the blue sky and to smell freshly roasted coffee beans early in the morning? This is something I can’t always have living in the city my entire life. There are times when I want to escape Manila and find myself in the countryside. Oh, where shall I go this time?
Farm Life at Gourmet Farms
Conveniently just an hour away from my family home, an organic farm has been quietly flourishing in Silang, Cavite for three decades now. With its proximity, I could finally do something I have always wanted to do – experience farm life!
Gourmet Farms is a seven-hectare fertile land home to the first organic farm in the Philippines. The first of its kind in the country, it supplies fresh produce and coffee to hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets nationwide.
The Farm Tour
Gourmet Farms offers a farm tour on each visit. During that time, the group was led by resident doctor, Dr. J. On the way to the plantation, I noticed four important things. One, there are many different local trees that line the roads. Common and scientific names were written in the signs stuck to the tree. When asked, Dr. J informed us that the team made it this way to educate the visitors especially students who go here on school trips.
Two, Gourmet Farms keeps its property as natural as it could be. The farm values and promotes natural diversity as seen in big spiders between trees, bees and butterflies fluttering around the area, snails and lizards in the rich vegetation, and birds chirping everywhere. I even saw these beautiful, yellow flowers called dancing ladies.
yellow on yellow [dancing ladies beside a standing lady?]
According to Doc J, these popcorn-looking blooms not only serve as ornament but also as a breeding ground for insects and pests – perfect and natural way to protect the herbs!
Three, the organic farm takes care of its most important investment – the soil. Farming can be a tedious business with various crops being planted all throughout the year. Many have neglected to take into consideration the health and nourishment of the soil; it is from good soil that high-quality produce can grow. Gladly, Gourmet Farms has its own vermicompost site where the farmhands treat the soil to make it as healthy as it can be with natural fertilizers.
African night crawlers are also present in the vermicompost area.
Four, a farm can also serve as a refuge for the mind and soul. Gourmet Farms houses St. Joseph’s Sanctuary, a dedicated place for reflection and meditation. The area is very serene and encourages relaxation.
There exists an octagon-shaped chapel to represent the eight beatitudes from the Bible.
Serene landscape was created to free the mind from anxieties while meditation area and a chapel was put up for reflection.
Farming – herbs and other produce
As we went out of the sanctuary, endless rows of fresh produce welcomed us. I see endless fields of greens!
I would love to harvest some of these and make a lettuce bouquet. What do you think?
We walked forward and were so happy to see planted herbs! I only see them fresh in supermarket produce section or dried in McCormick bottles, so this was definitely something new to this city girl.
We also went to the herb nursery where I saw such cute little greens determined to sprout from the earth. The smell inside is overpowering – I wanna eat all of these babies!
Gourmet Country Store
After each harvest, fresh and organic produce are sold at Gourmet Country Store, the farm’s household store for its crops, manufactured salad dressings, dips, and other food items.
When I entered the store, I couldn’t help but be attracted to this free sampling of chips and dips. My favorites are lettuce chips and Sicilian dressing.
Gourmet Farms prides itself as the first company in the Philippines to manufacture and sell local medicinal herbal teas. These are available in many supermarkets nationwide.
There is also a café next to the country store. I just had the best-tasting lemonade ever . No exaggeration here!
I learned that it also serves its own coffee. Gourmet Farms actually started as a coffee company – the first to export coffee beans from all over the country. It is also a premier coffee roaster with seven coffee blends out in the market as of today.
The Dining Room
At the end of my farm day tour, I get to dine in Gourmet Farms’ The Dining Room. It has a laid-back, natural ambiance which really fits the farm life theme. I felt being transported to our ancestral house in the countryside with its wooden chairs and tables. There was also a live piano accompaniment that set a classical mood in the restaurant. I felt hungry that I didn’t notice earlier during the walk around the farm. Good thing the excellent menu, which promotes organic healthy living and uses coffee and herbs locally grown in the farm, will feed my hunger!
I happily indulged in this sumptuous lunch served to us.
[From left to right: Greek nachos with salsa dressing, Gourmet pizza, lamb stew, beef pot roast]
Grilled tuna with marble potatoes in chimichuri sauce. The best!
Had more than one cup of this espresso panna cotta
I really had the experience of a lifetime at Gourmet Farms. I felt closer to nature as I see how the soil is treated and prepared before the greens grow. My appreciation to the hard work of our local farmers also soared. I will definitely go back here and buy fresh and organic finds!
Km. 52, Aguinaldo Highway, Buho, Silang, Cavite
Contact: (02) 757-3001 loc. 404/405 | (02) 843-8335 | (02) 757-5025