Farm Life in the Philippines

Farm Life in the Philippines – What is It Like? (Part 2)

I’m now on the 8th day of my very own self-imposed 30-day blog post challenge which also propelled me to restart doing other things I love and one of them is actually living at the farm. This is Part 2. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here: FARM LIFE IN THE PHILIPPINES – WHAT IS IT LIKE? (PART 1)

 

OUR FARM LIFE TODAY

Tuz and I came to the farm with Mahal last Saturday. I honestly thought that we’ll only be here for the weekend, just to catch some fresh air and enjoy the view, because, you know, I can be high maintenance like that. Lol. Seriously though, it’s because of the following reasons:

  • There’s no running water here.
  • We don’t have a proper bathroom, just an old-fashioned toilet that I do not want to sit on.
  • I still have work to do and I need a good internet signal and I thought there was no steady signal here like before.

Well, guess how happy I was when I found a new spot with good and steady internet signal just in front of the house! So Mahal set up my “mobile mountain office” there.

mountain office

My mobile mountain office right now, hehehe. ^_^ The internet signal here is quite strong!

My first mobile mountain office used to be set up at the back near the mushroom house, dragon fruits and coffee trees.

mobile mountain office

My first mobile mountain office, hehehe.

My second mobile mountain office was set up far away from the farmhouse near the sunflowers. There were so many mosquitoes and the signal wasn’t good as well. I usually worked here at midnight til dawn and it was pretty scary!!! #thingsidoforlove

mobile mountain office

My 2nd mobile mountain office, hehehe.

So when I discovered this new spot where I do my online work now, I tested the signal and found that the signal was quite fast and steady, I started working there. It’s already been 6 days and the signal did not falter. Weee!

It’s also been raining every afternoon so we all get to take a bath every day. Hurray for that! #TheBestThingsInLifeAreFree

saving rainwater in the farm

Even Tuz now plays every day under the rain. Thank God he’s not getting sick! He’s still the same hyper and hard-headed bugoy that we know. ^_^

playing under the rain

As for the toilet, well, when you gotta go, you gotta go, even if it means squatting in there. Lol!

 

WHAT MY LIFE IS LIKE THE PAST DAYS

I NOW SLEEP BETTER

In our tiny pad down the mountains, Tuz and I used to have unrestful sleep. I say unrestful because Tuz would wake up every 3 hours to ask for milk, which disrupts my sleep and I have a hard time going back to sleep again. By the time I’m in deep slumber, Tuz would wake me up again and you can just imagine how groggy that will make one feel… and so on and so forth. Tuz also wakes up between 5-8pm and accompanies me on my night shift at work. The result? I am a zombie mom all throughout the day.

When we got here last Saturday, Tuz and I both fell asleep for 11 hours straight! The next day, I slept 10 hours. On our third night, Tuz slept for 10 hours, I slept for 4 hours only coz Mahal and I watched one of the Avenger movies til 2:30 am haha. For some reason, by 6:30 am the next day I was already wide awake. Then the next night, I forced myself to get up after 8 hours of sleep so I can do my planting at sunrise. Last night, I was in slumber by 9:30 PM and I woke up this morning before 6 AM. For 5 nights now, Tuz and I seem to have a normal body clock. We get sleepy at night and we wake up in the morning. It is quite refreshing! No more zombie mommy here. Thank you, God!

Maybe it helps that I liked the way I redecorated Mahal’s parents’ bedroom where we now sleep. It looks like a haunted storage room before. Now, it’s quite cozy and romantic. You can read my blog post about it here: Jen By Design – Making an Old Rustic Room Look Cozy and Nice

Jen by Design

It helps that it is also very cold here especially at night, no more need for air conditioning! The air is so fresh and it’s nice to hear the sounds of crickets and frogs and the occasional “wakwak” (hahaha!) from dusk til dawn. Who wouldn’t want to live here?

I FEEL HAPPIER

I also feel happier here. Maybe because we’re all together again instead of being in LDR (long distance relationship) mode during the week. I also get to hike Mahal’s huge land which is good for my health. Tuz and I are no longer cooped up inside our tiny pad for long periods of time. And when I have a client meeting, I no longer have to worry about the internet signal… I can have my morning meeting with a beautiful view of the mountains or the farmlands depending on the direction I am facing. I get to work surrounded by fog in the afternoon (it feels surreal). I get to have my evening meeting with the sounds of the crickets and frogs under the stars.

A foggy afternoon to everyone!

WE GET TO SAVE MONEY AND EAT HEALTHY MEALS

We also haven’t swiped my credit card for two weeks now (mostly for groceries) because we’ve been getting our food from Mahal’s land. I’m really loving this!

Last Saturday, Mahal harvested some camote tops and gabi and our neighbors gave us a pork dish, Humba, which lasted for 4 days.

Sinabawang gabi, malunggay, tarragon and lemongrass… yummm! Perfect for the cold rainy weather here.

The other day, we harvested some more gabi, malunggay, lemongrass and tarragon for our meals. We also get to have buko (coconut) because there are so many coconut trees here!

harvesting from our own backyard

Even Tuz gets to climb and harvest his own vegetable… lol!

Yesterday, we hiked up and down the mountains to get some more gabi for laing.

hiking up a mountain

We hiked Mahal’s huge land to get some more gabi plants for our laing. Tuz brought bread with him coz he might get hungry from the long walk. Hahaha!  

I GET TO DO ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS – PLANTING!

I used to plant my own vegetables in 2010. You can look at my old Sexynomad Projects blog to learn about how to plant Eggplant, Okra, Tomatoes, Kailan and Kangkong.

It’s been years, 8 years, since I last did this! I’ve always thought of planting again but life got in the way and my lifestyle hasn’t accommodated this fun activity until now.

Just this morning, as I said, I did some planting. I mentioned in my previous blog post that we bought some herbal seedlings from Jaco’s and I replanted them this morning.

Jaco's Herb Garden

That’s Mahal buying some herb seedlings to be replanted in our farm.

This is me replanting my favorite herbs – Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Tarragon and Mint:

Replanting herbs

Woke up early to replant my favorite herbs!

The other day, after I did some online work, Mahal and I planted Arugula seeds and set up another nursery. We now have a nursery of Bellpeppers, Egplant and Arugula. Yey!

Planting Arugula

My first dibs at planting Arugula seeds. Did it late in the afternoon so it can catch the next day’s first rays of the sun which is good for the nursery.

And just this morning, I saw my Arugula already sprouting! Yey!

Arugula Sprouts

Our Arugula nursery!

We need to buy more seedling trays on our next trip to the city so we can plant some more of these vegetables including Lettuce and those bell pepper seeds Mahal collected and dried from those red bell peppers the other day. I’m soooo happppyyyyy!!!

Bellpepper seeds

Bell pepper seeds!

MAHAL DOES ORGANIC FARMING

Mahal likes to study organic farming stuff and loves it, even more, when he gets to apply everything he learns. One of which is how to take care of plants without the need for synthetic chemicals. Below is his own concoction of IMO (indigenous microorganisms) which he sprays to our plants for healthier growth so whatever nutrient is lost can be replaced. He also does his own organic insecticide made of boiled Bracken leaves (a kind of fern which grows here in the wild) and manufactures his own calcium from coconut vinegar and eggshells.

Mahal's Organic Concoctions

Mahal makes his own organic insecticide, microorganisms, and calcium.

He says that JADAM Korean Organic Farming’s essence is similar to that of permaculture wherein what you take from the environment, you also give back. The plants use up the nitrogen and calcium from the soil so you give it back by either planting beans that give back nitrogen to the soil or spraying his organic concoctions to the soil and the plants. Everything is done here organically, baby!

I think I’ll start reading up on JADAM  and Korean organic farming as well. There was one time I saw farmers from neighboring lands spraying the usual synthetic pesticides and chemicals to their cabbage and OMG I never want to buy cheap vegetables in the market that are not organically grown ever again! That made me realize how much toxic chemicals I’m ingesting when I eat those vegetables. It’s quite shocking when you see that kind of farming in person. Many vegetables here are being grown by the hundreds and thousands using toxic chemicals to drive away the pests and insects. Oh my goodness! Never shall I buy them again! If many of you do, you should soak them first in water with baking soda for at least 12 minutes to get rid of all the chemicals.

MY TAKEAWAY

Farm life in the Philippines is fun and can be good for your health and your soul but it can be hard too especially if you don’t have the resources you need at hand. Nevertheless, it’s good to know that in these parts of Northern Mindanao, the Dept. of Agrarian Reform is actively holding free farming courses for landowners and farm caretakers so they get to improve on their farming and agricultural knowledge which hopefully they can apply to their respective farms. I wonder if they do this all throughout the country? I hope so.

My only wish right now is that the local government will also do their part, even if it’s just as simple as providing running water in the mountains. All of the residents, us included,  still get our drinking water here from a deep well. It actually tastes quite sweet and so far, Tuz and I have never felt better and healthier. As for the water needed for laundry , washing dishes, cleaning and bathing, people here always depend on the rain. Thank God it’s raining everyday!

So maybe farming is not for everyone. And if I didn’t change my perspective and my way of thinking, (and for the most part, if I don’t love Mahal), a party and beach girl like me will NEVER EVER in a million years survive in this kind of living condition. (Never say never! Hahaha!) I remember when I was younger, my mom told me to take care of the land I’m going to inherit from my grandfather but I said No way! Just give me the money!” So childish of me, right? But look at me now, all grown up and mature, thriving and living happily in the wild. Lol! So, maybe farming can be for everyone… everyone who is willing to live the simple life that is.

Til my next post! Time to check on my plants now then do online work. Ciao! ^_^

 

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