PDM Composite Photo of Binahon Farm Products and PH Carabao Center | Photo Source Facebook
Mindanao Travelogue Series Part VI
The Binahon Agroforestry Farm (BAFF) is a model upland farm that practices sustainable ecological agriculture located in Bukidnon. Philippine Carabao Center of Central Mindanao University focuses on transforming Philippine Carabaos to create new products to sell which in turn help the farmers.
The Philippines still remains largely an agricultural country and we need to return back to our roots of farming and ensure we support our farmers.
Binahon Agroforestry Farm allows you to enjoy a forest filled with Philippine endemic plants such as abaca which is the strongest fiber in the entire world that’s why they are used in ropes and other similar strong materials.
The forest has hundreds, if not thousands of plants and trees, some growing closer to the ground, others are unabashedly showing off their beautiful shaped leaves or their abundant fruits like papayas and Philippine Cacao while others are towering over the sky like the bamboo leaves. This place will definitely bring out the plantito, plantita, and Poison Ivy in you and will make you want to start growing a forest of your own.
The never-ending greens, warm rays of sun on your back, gentle breeze, an uphill trek of the uneven soil terrain while listening to the beautiful soundtrack of different species of birds will make you forget the cities and all their worries. Existential inquisitions and a deep longing to want to return to Mother Earth will surface. This place is rich, abundant, teeming with life and you just know that somewhere along the way, this is the way we’re supposed to live but have detached by modern living.
As we continue on our trekking (don’t worry – they have motors carrying passengers if you get tired in the middle of this), we were given a tour of the organic farm and harvested some cabbages and carrots ourselves! We are also given basic training on how to create an organic farm using organic pesticides and fertilizers.
Our tour guide informed us that nature is all about diversity and each species has a role to play in the whole ecosystem. When men learned modern agriculture and insist on producing several crops in large volumes, it goes against nature. In the normal ecosystem, nothing is wasted and everything returns to where it came from. This place is sustainable and life-giving. Our farmers are heroes of our country.
Another place we visited is the Philippine Carabao Center to pay homage and respect to the gentle beast of the country. I am a HUGE fan of dairy so this is an exciting place for me. Milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt – and milk products – I will eat it for sure. Products of this place are very fresh and top quality. Too bad they live so far away because then, I don’t have to settle for dairy products in groceries with twice the cost and half of the quality.
Mary Lou Cunanan is a regular Lifestyle columnist of the Philippine Daily Mirror. She is a writer, world traveler, and a Filipina who is very proud of her identity, whose life mission is always searching for covering stories of amazing Filipinos, events, organizations, and businesses globally to celebrate and champion what makes Filipinos amazing wherever they may be.