October 14, 2013

Fresh Start and The Ruins

I like the title of this blog entry. Fresh Start. Two words. Just two BIG words - and The Ruins - carries a bigger impact.
Before you even think I am talking about a whole new start in my life (and something that is ruined).. I will give you a red light, and clarify - I am talking about the Fresh Start Organic Farm that we visited in Bacolod. Fresh Start is the third organic farm that we have visited during our Organic Farm Tour which happened last month. You can read about our stay in May's Organic Garden and visit to the Penalosa Farm by clicking on the links. I am warning you, the posts are sooo green ;)

Fresh Start Organics is a private company owned by Mr. Ramon Uy, which started the business as organic fertilizer producer. Currently, the organic farm is committed to producing certified organic fertilizers, fresh organic produce and processed products such as natural personal care items, wine, preserves, and other packed items. These products are showcased in Fresh Start Organic & Natural Store which we also got to visit.

I am sure you have already encountered the brand in the local grocery. The Fresh Start Organics also aims to unite advocates of organic farming and create awareness in supporting products which are chemical-free

What is good about the Fresh Start Organics is that it also supports small business and local entrepreneurs which use organic, healthy ingredients and feature their products in the Fresh Start Organic and Natural Store. 

Click Read More to know more about Fresh Start.. 

Aside from the nice view of the field and green that welcomed us to the entrance of the Fresh Start farm, we got to see the vermi compost beddings I am certain my former boss/friend Mai wouldn't be able to stand the site, as she calls the worms - mutant bulate but the fact is - these mutant bulates are big help in converting organic materials (usually wastes)into humus-like material known as vermicompost.


I suddenly thought of salad when I saw this view..

Herbs are also grown in the farm like basil, oregano, turmeric, rosemary. They are mostly supplied in Bacólod restaurants and also shipped to Manila-based restaurants. I heard that Cibo is one of them.

During our visit to the Fresh Start Organics Farm, I got to meet Stevia! (ah, what a nice name!).  It is a herb from Sunflower family, and it is known for its sweet leaves! I picked a leaf and ate it. I was expecting it to be bitter (because it is a plant and exposed in the air), but it is sweet! (.. and addicting, I picked another leaf!) Maybe it might help for candy companies to use Stevia as natural sweetener instead of sugar. :)

Speaking of sunflower.. the below view became the favorite of the girls for photo session. The fresh, fully-bloomed flowers reflect healthy and fresh farm. Do you agree?


After a quick tour, we visited the Fresh Start Organic and Natural Store. We got to taste its natural, organic piyaya (Bacolod's most favorite pasalubong!)

Here are some of the products that you can buy from the store. From personal care products, cleaning agents, make-up, coffee, cereals and wine - everything is organic. I also love the packaging which can compete competitively with other international brands.

Our host, the Department of Agriculture - Agriculture Training Institute is super kind enough to even bring us to The Ruins. Everyone was excited and itching to go there, while I remain clueless what is to discover in the place. I should be ashamed that I didn't know much about Negros Occidental, even its tourist spots - but at least, this gives me a different experience as I didn't have to expect for anything, and I just opened my eyes to what I would discover.

So I discovered The Ruins. It was built in 1990s by a sugar baron, but later on burnt to prevent the Japanese forces to use the mansion as headquarters. 


The Ruins is one of the places to visit when going to Bacolod.
It is still grandeur despite it is ruined.

Here's our group photo courtesy of Alex

and a fun shot from Ate Ruth  of Mommy Writes 
(nope, I am not trying to ruin The Ruins..)

It was a fun and tiring day. It is like a field trip that we used to do when we were in grade school. You get to visit a certain plant or factory, learn their process and got to take home some goodies. Then you got to visit a tourist spot, took wonderful pictures and felt like a kid. The difference, this trip got a purpose.

Please do watch out for the upcoming posts about our Bacolod Organic Farm Tour. 
Also check:

***Thank you once again to Fresh Start Organics Farm and Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Training Institute, Ms. Niet, and Ruth Floresca, for the amazing 4-day organic agriculture tour. 

Please stay tuned for more stories about this trip! 

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