It was around 1 in the afternoon when we reached Jaya’s Secret Garden in Malaybalay, Bukidnon for our Day 2 organic farm tour that started with Cervantes Farm in Cagayan de Oro last May 23, 2016.
After our overnight stay at Alomah’s Place, our group visited the backyard farming in urban settlement by the Bayag family who served us with a hearty lunch meal that included fried red tilapia, native pato tim (duck), vegetable salad, fruit dessert, and house blend orange juice spiked with chili pepper.
Junah and Hazel Bayag started their backyard farming upon realizing that there is an opportunity of growing crops in their family’s lot. Eventually, they called it Jaya’s Secret Garden, named after their 11-year old daughter. At her tender age, Jaya can host visitors and tour them around their diversified organic farm lot.
Junah explained that diversified organic farming is another solution to fight global warming and through the initiative of his family members, they can provide chemical-free fruits and vegetable produce to sell to interested customers. Also, a part of the tour, they provide catering and ingredients of the food they served are freshly picked from their backyard farm.
They have native frogs, crabs, tilapia, free range chickens, and ducks aside from the many crops and plants growing inside Jaya’s Secret Garden.
We found out that they also grow 5 varieties of chili pepper plants. They have Chocolate Chili and the world’s hottest, the Carolina Reaper.
Aside from growing crops and livestock, Junah also believes in recycling and reusing waste materials into something worthwhile. They use old vehicle tires and plastic bottles as plant vase. The tires were also made up as pathway stairs for visitors.
Natural waste from plants and animals were also used as fertilizers within the backyard farm. Livestock are fed with plants grew from the Jaya’s Secret Garden.
Juhna also believes that anyone and every household can do backyard farming. He also believes that encouraging kids to involve in backyard farming can bring back the practice of agriculture farming that is slowly vanishing in our culture.
True to that, Juhna is proud to share that their daughter Jaya has been constantly getting invites to talk as a presenter in seminars about organic farming in the national level.
“Going organic equates to a sustainable life for plants, animals, and human beings. Whoever you are, whatever is your status, let’s go on backyard gardening. For family consumption and for other people as well,” said Juhna.
Visiting Jaya’s Secret Garden was part of the 4-day organic farm tour organized by ATI in Manila and ATI Northern Mindanao. It’s also the 5th OA Bloggers Tour where bloggers from Manila were able to visit farms in Laguna, Quezon, Sagada, Benguet, Negros Occidental, and now in Bukidnon.
Jaya’s Secret Garden charged P40 as entrance fee to see, observe, and learn the beauty of diversified backyard farming.
Our chosen airline for this trip was Philippine Airlines. We were booked on a 9:30 AM MNL-CGY going to Mindanao and 2:20 PM CGY-MNL on our way back to NAIA Terminal 3.
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