The organic farm continues to function as a learning center in helping address food security in the midst of a pandemic. Delegates from the indigenous people (IP) community in the district of Bignayan (Sityo Bignayan) participated in a week-long farm internship program and learned about the principles of organic farming, soil analysis, production of vermicast, organic concoctions, composting, and the Sloping Agriculture Land Technology (SALT).
After each half-day of lecture and discussion, the interns spend the rest of the day helping with various tasks on the farm and learning new skills along the way. What they have learned will be applied in their home gardens and mountain farms (kaingin). Eventually, they will share their knowledge and skills with their community.
With technical assistance from the farm team leader, interns have harvested and earned an income from the oyster mushroom production facility and the creation of a vermicast facility in a community garden in Barangay Aninuan.
Along with providing internships and technical support to leaders of community gardens established under the Food Security Program, the farm is continuously enhancing its capacity. Recently, two EACY officers participated in two trainings on beekeeping and permaculture at an Agri Tourism Farm in another town.
After the training on beekeeping, we have installed two colonies of stingless bees in Stairway. Once they multiply we will place the colonies in strategic locations to help in the pollination of flowers and fruit trees. This can also be a potential for honey production, which could generate alternative livelihood and income for the community. The training on permaculture will help us in designing our farm to be more sustainable – to produce more with less work by using the logic of nature.