Across the kubo is a nook under a passion fruit trellis, surrounded by diversely grown herbs and ornamentals. It is a spot where you can engage in small talks with family and friends . “After dining here, visitors can choose which activity to do next. They can either play with our board games or just chill out. We make them feel at home,” explained Glo.
The artistic touch in their farm was because of Art and Glo’s engagement in landscaping projects as an added source of income. Also, their varied experiences in ornamental plants growing and trading and their attendance of trainings and conventions in horticulture provided part of the foundation in the making of BH.
In addition, the farm also comprises of a store, training hall, lodging facility, kitchen, crop production area, and a small fish pond where kids can go fishing. Considering the limited area for development, BH is now in the process of developing a 1.4 hectares in Brgy Abuno, a 15 minutes ride from BH’s location.
The farm’s integrated approach boasts of a complementation of crops and animals. Their livestock and free-range chicken, rabbits, and goats are unnoticeably incorporated at the peripheral spaces of the farm. “We formulate our own feeds using some of the resources in our farm and other ingredients bought from other sources,” Art shared. He is an experienced livestock farm manager of several farms in his early employment period. He was also a graduate of the Mindanao State University in Marawi City with a Diploma in Agriculture Technology specializing in animal husbandry.
With his bamboo enterprise, Art was appointed as a Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) of the Farmer’s Information Center Iligan City in 2010. In 2013, Art together with a group of MS in Region 10 attended a training on organic agriculture at the Costales Nature Farm in Majayjay, Laguna organized by ATI Training Center in the region.
“ It was my turning point.” he expressed. “From that time on, I started my transition into organic farming , applying the technologies I learned from the training.” Art added.
Art started producing his own natural concoctions such as Indigenous Micro Organism (IMO) , Oriental Herbal Nutrient (OHN), Fermented Fruit Juice (FFJ), Fermented Plant Juice (FPJ), Fish Amino Acid (FAA), as well as some soil conditioners and fertilizers such as vermicast, vermi tea, vermiworms, cabornized rice hull (CRH), compost, and bokashi.
“From ornamentals and some herbs that we have in the farm, we made it more diversified and integrated at the same time.” he continued.
Balay sa Hardin also hosted several trainings with its partners in the private and public sector including Department of Agriculture(DA), ATI, LGU- Iligan City , MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology, MSU-IIT National Multi-purpose Cooperative, the Philippine Science High School and many others.
“More than the monetary successes of the farm is the involvement of the whole family in various farm enterprises.” said Art. Ardjani, their youngest is managing their farm’s food services and display center while Eldani, their eldest, acts as the in house veterinarian and for their poultry and livestock enterprise. Arnizza, their only daughter who is a landscape architect, was responsible for acquiring the farm lot and provides advises on land utilization. The herbs and crops are tended by the couple while Art focuses his attention on the rearing of all animals.
Presently, Balay sa Hardin is a model enterprise for a small and compact farm. Increasingly, the farm is now visited by tourists who want to relax and enjoy good food in a rural setting epitomized by the “payag”. Unexpectedly, the farm attracts varied clienteles such as students, professionals, business owners, farmers, senior citizens, NGO workers and many others. Their visit is either for dining, leisure and learning purposes. Glo stated that “we envision this place to become an effective learning site for farmers and gardeners who wants to learn about organic farming. We also see this place as the center of our family’s gathering as well as for families who wants spend healthy and quality time together.”
“The innermost foundation of Balay sa Hardin is our passion for farming and sense of purpose. Discovering and fulfilling that sense of purpose while undertaking the things that you like to do is ameaningful life for us. Patiently learn how you can achieve that purpose by starting small.” Glo boldly explained.
The farm that was borne out of the love for their family, now serves as a home of healthy inspiration and a garden of learning to those who come and experience Balay sa Hardin.