In lieu of the Earth Day Celebration today, April 22, i thought of sharing my source for organic produce and the importance of organic farming in our current environmental state.
It’s already known that the Philippines is a society of carnivores with less-to-none vegetable servings on an average meal. It’s saddening when our country and the world has a big farming sector. According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, almost 70% of the Agricultural sector is comprised of small farmers from rural areas hence, these farmers feed the world yet they are considered the poorest.
It was a challenge shifting from trashy to greener eating, but it’s even more challenging to find Organic produce for a more holistic approach. You may call it an accident on how I discovered OrganiKountry in Kapitolyo, Pasig.
Kapitolyo is considered one of Metro Manila’s main food-trip places with a long stretch of restaurants and hole-in-the-walls with a wide-variety of cuisines to choose from. A few months ago in one of those food-trip nights, my friend and I walked past this little grocery tucked in-skirts of San Rafael st., if i could jump out of joy for having found an organic grocery in a neighborhood i frequent, i totally would but instead i kept my calm and as you know, the rest is history.
Since then, I visit OrganiKountry for my stash of organic produce. During one of my visits, I get to talk to the grocery’s Managing Partner, Tita Carmen, and had the opportunity to know more about their beginnings and the organic culture in general.
It started in 2000 when a group of farmers (Binhi ng Buhay ng mga Magsasaka sa Bugon) from Sariaya, Quezon made a move to save the endangered state of Mt. Banahaw and one of the most concrete responses to environmental protection is Organic farming. Through this more natural-farming culture, there will be no water and air pollution that will affect the biodiversity of Mt. Banahaw that are usually caused by fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemical enhancers needed for mass production.
Aside from their farm in Quezon, they also have a network of small farmers in Benguet that supplies them organic produce should there be a shortage on items for their grocery here in Manila. OrganiKountry is their sole store but they participate in weekend markets in Greenhills and Connecticut St. in San Juan City. Also, in time for the Earth Day celebration, they will also have a stall at the Earth Day Jam in Fort, BGC on April 24, 3pm. It’s going to be a booth selling of organic produce, fresh juices & shakes, and even salads! 🙂
When I visited Lucena last month, i saw organic products from Costales Farm being sold by locals near Kamay ni Hesus. I told myself, one day i will visit this farm and have an immersion because I seriously want to be a farmer for at least a week and harvest fresh organic produce i planted with my own not-so-green hands. I’m glad i met Tita Carmen, who by the way is a Gawad Saka Awardee in 2011 and a National nominee for the 2015 Organic Farmer Award, now I’ll be able to immerse with no other than the country’s best!
That quick chat i had with her awakened so many doors and created too many flashes in my head as i got reminded of how strongly i wanted to be a Chef, an advocate to healthier eating, a business woman not because i want to earn but because i believe in what i produce, and a steward for a greater purpose (I have faith in my inner goodness haha!).
I promised Tita Carmen, i will help OrganiKountry be known to people like me who are supporting the Organic culture through this post (hopefully!), as well as to promote a healthier eating lifestyle and to be aware on saving the environment we live in.
Apart from OrganiKountry, more commercialized groceries like Rustans, Landmark, and selected SM Supermarkets carry Organic produce as well. But of course, we cannot be certain that these items are truly GMO-free (genetically modified) or mere products of business-oriented farming, but hey, as long as they stay true to saving the Earth, what’s stopping us from consuming them all the same?
Let’s try harder to save Mother Earth,