How a Garbage Area Turned Out as a Farm: Saliot Visits Duran’s Farm in Bulacan

Ms. Desiree Duran showing her farm products to Director Asterio P. Saliot (Photo by Mr. Clemente Gabion)

After almost 13 years of operation, Duran farm has just been inaugurated graced by ATI Director Asterio P. Saliot last February 27, 2014. Cutting of the ribbon was proceeded by a tour of the Duran Farm. Diversified crops, farm amenities, machinery area, fermentation area, flat bed dryer and other integrated enterprises were showcased in the developed farm owned by Desiree Duran located in San Ildefonso, Bulacan. A demonstration on seed bed preparation and planting was done during the farm tour led by Saliot and the scholars who were taking up their practicum in the area.

Dersiree’s story is one inspiring tale of success. From being a fish ball vendor to becoming the seedling queen of Bulacan, her fortune started 13 years back when she attended a training of the Department of Agriculture. Bringing with her home after attending the activity was a packet of seeds that she planted in a garbage area at the back of their house. Year 2001 was when she started farming in her small area. Through the years and with her determination and perseverance, Desiree was able to expand and fully develop her lot as a learning and tourism site in 2011. The small garbage area she once had in her backyard later on became a productive 1.8 hectare integrated farm.

Other than providing good quality seedlings and vegetables to those in need, Desiree already has constructed a training center that could accommodate not only students but also tourists interested in organic agriculture. She did not stop there, Desiree is now willingly sharing her expertise and skills to individuals who asks for it. It is her immediate purpose to contribute in the progress of her own town through her farming skills. “We should not stop because other organizations are also dependent on us,” she said. Desiree had focused her attention on disseminating her knowledge on farming.

“If everyone emulates Ms. Desiree, nobody will go hungry and Filipinos will be living a comfortable life,” stated Saliot during his message after the farm tour. Following the farm inauguration was the awarding of outstanding Rural Improvement Clubs (RICs) from all regions in the country. They were given due recognition in accomplishing the national training on social entrepreneurship held in the farm of Desiree who likewise served as one of the resource persons.

Gracing the activity, Saliot imparted words for the participants to contemplate on, he shared that “farming is a miracle which brings us closer to God. Every day and every minute spent in farming is an experience of miracle comparable to a seed's growth into a big tree. That’s why ATI teaches organic farming and encourages taking proper care of the environment. All of us can prove that farming is a noble livelihood that gives peace and life to everyone. It is through farming that many miracles happen.”

Participants of the activity were very much delighted of what has transpired during their stay in the farm. They have learned much from the topics effectively presented and have learned not only the qualities of what it takes to be an entrepreneur also including concepts on spirituality. Bringing with them the inspiration, participants have committed to bring and share their learnings back in their respective areas.