Live. Laugh. Farm.
Sickness has a way of changing a person’s life and perspective. When entrepreneur and TOYM awardee Emerson Atanacio was diagnosed with a thyroid problem due to work-related stress, his doctor recommended that he try farming as a recreational activity. Farming means going back to the basics, and immersing in an environment where there are trees and animals, and far from the pressure brought about by the demands of his job as president and CEO of a local college.
Following his doctor’s advice and realizing that “health is indeed wealth”, he bought a piece of land and turned it into a family retreat place with a small farm. His exposure to farm life and healthy way of living inspired him to expand the place; and with the support of his family, eventually developed it into an organic and animal farm aptly named Terra Verde or Green Earth.
The 15-hectare eco-farm is the first DOT-accredited agri-tourism destination in Maragondon, Cavite, just two hours away from Manila. This place became our next option when our original mountaineering trip to Benguet was aborted due to inclement weather.
At first glance, the farm seem like an expansive playground with undulating vista and refreshing greenery. I love its simplicity. No life-size dinosaur statues to welcome guests; just the warm and friendly staff, some horses, trees and green, green grass of home.
Accommodation ranges from tents, dormitory to kubins (or kubo cabins). The campsite could accommodate more than a hundred campers and glampers.
We stayed in the biggest kubin which could accommodate maximum of five persons. It has two queen-size beds and one single bed; fully air-conditioned with TV.
There is a fishpond right in front of the communal bathroom.
And a nice treehouse a few steps behind the kubins.
Their in-house open restaurant offers all-day breakfast meals, and free-flowing coffee.
It also showcases some of the toy car collection of Emerson, which I heard are miniatures of his actual car collection. They also have 3 ATVs for rent.
The most fun and educational activity at Terra Verde is the guided tour around the farm. What makes it extra special is that we rode on a white carabao-pulled sled to visit every corner of the farm.
A portion of the land is being used by the Department of Agriculture as a demo farm. The farm also serves as an Extension Service Provider of Agricultural Training Institute. They welcome students, hobbyists, corporate groups and other organizations who wish to learn more about Integrated Diversified Organic Farming System using natural farming technology and effective micro-organism or EM-1 technology in ensuring safety in food production.
Some of the plants, fruits and vegetables growing at Terra are papaya, tomatoes, guava, dragon fruit, lettuce, eggplant, okra, turmeric, herbs among others. We enjoyed eating guavas the most. They do not mass produce any particular crop because they are mainly for demo purposes and for the consumption of their family and guests.
As an alternative to chemical pesticides and fertilizers, the farm produce their own wood vinegar or mokusako. This organic fertilizer is helpful in promoting growth of plants and at the same time acts as repellant to pests.
The variety of animals living in the farm is also quite impressive. They include horses, peacocks, geese, ducks, chickens, monkeys, wild pigs, dingala, etc. Animals are fed with organic food.
Among the animals, we enjoyed photo-ops with Tisay the most. Tisay is not the typical beast of burden. She is an albino water buffalo and is actually the “main star” of the farm. In fact, never pa raw siya nakapag-araro. Nag-e-entertain lang siya at nag-to-tour ng mga guests.
After a tiring but fruitful day, we had bonfire at night.
It was a breather spending a night at Tera Verde.
I learned so many things - not only about basic farming and animal raising but also to “Keep your friends close, and your farmers closer.”
Terra Verde Ecofarm and Resort
Km. 89, Alfonso-Maragondon Rd.
Pantihan 2, Maragondon, Cavite
Tel. No.: 0917-5223637