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ATI Holds 4th Bloggers Event for Organic Agriculture
DOLORES, Quezon – The fourth leg of the bloggers' event for Organic Agriculture (OA) organized by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) travelled up to the vicinity of Mount Banahaw and Mount Cristobal to explore a well-preserved land hidden in the midst – the Bangkong Kahoy Valley Nature Retreat and Field Study Center.
Bangkong Kahoy Valley is a community of vegetable farmers who ventured into organic farming. Their main produce includes lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, tomato, radish, carrot, as well as sweet potato, wild raspberries, oyster mushroom, and honey, among others. Most are marketed fresh except for the wild raspberries which are processed into wine, jam, jelly, and vinaigrette.
Owner-caretaker Dionisio “Dion” Pullan toured the OA bloggers around the farm while briefly discussing their farming technologies and their products. He spoke about his vision of making the vast farmland pesticide-free and his advocacy to protect the forest and the biodiversity of the area. He relates how he was able to show the farmers the benefits of organic farming which then convinced them to make the shift from inorganic to organic production. Mang Dion added that Bangkong Kahoy Valley provided an alternative livelihood in nearby barangays.
Bangkong Kahoy is a local term which means “wooden bench”.
The nature retreat and field study center is located in Barangay Kinabuhayan, Dolores, Quezon. It is considered as one of the province protected paradise. Bangkong Kahoy Valley’s relaxing ambiance makes it an ideal place for nature-lovers. Visitors enjoy the center’s sumptuous meals of the farm’s organic produce and wander around the whole area to see the farming activities and even handpick fresh vegetables and raspberries.
Some 11 bloggers and three e-Extension Coordinators from ATI network of training centers got to explore the said organic farm. The activity is in pursuit of ATI’s advocacy and promotion campaign for organic agriculture. ATI believes that by featuring certain OA practitioner and their practices in various blog entries, it will help increase the awareness of consumers and other enthusiasts on the subject.
The 4th Bloggers Event for OA was conducted last March 1 to 2, 2014.