Organic Farm for Interested Visitors
Nuvali Greens and Patches, an organic farm is open to interested visitors who want to see and enjoy the plants around without any cost. It is situated inside the vast Nuvali property of the Ayalas in Sta. Rosa, Laguna Philippines. It was not really known to many unlike the Nuvali mall which has been really famous since it was established. Those who want to visit this place must be reminded that before proceeding to the place, you have to sign a waiver in the Club House . The place is two gates away from the famous Nuvali Mall. For you to easily find the place you have to look for the signs and ask the guards as well for directions because the place is quite remote.
The Old, Rugged Road Almost Turned us Off
The way to the place is very remote and the road resembles those of an old barrio for it is not cemented, narrow and partly rugged. We almost gave up pursuing the trip. It looked like a road that is not meant for cars but only for bikers and hikers but we were there already so we proceeded just the same and almost got lost had. It was a good thing that we came across a store owner in that remote place who gave us the right direction to the place.
The Accommodating and Gracious Coordinator of Greens and Patches
When we finally reached the place, we had to give the waiver to the guard and then we waited for some few minutes for Mr. Roger Mendoza, the one in charge of the garden. This man is very accommodating. He graciously toured us to every part of the garden. We could not help but admire his patience and kindness. He answered our questions and even gave us relevant information about organic farming. We found no hint of impatience on him even if we were asking a lot but instead he was all smiles and very generous in sharing his knowledge about organic farming.
Important Facts to Know About Organic Gardening
Chlorinated Water is not Good for Plants
We learned that this organic farm does not use chlorinated water in this garden because chlorine is bad for the plants. So this explains my plants do not grow as healthy and as long as the plants in this organic garden.
How to Make Compost Fertilizer
They also use compost to fertilize the soil. Compost is made by simply gathering the dry leaves in one garbage bag then tie up the bag and set aside for some days till the leaves dried up into compost. You have to touch the finished product. If they are cool to your touch, then it is already ready for use.
Interesting Facts About Growing Tomatoes
I also learned the secret in growing and healthy and fruitful tomatoes. It is none other than lots of pure water. They can stay alive in water in fact (according to Roge)r and hence when you plant them in soil they have to be generously watered every day to keep them healthy and fruitful. This is exactly the opposite when it comes to growing capcicums that do not need much water. In fact, you just have to water them once in two days and do not need to maintain the wetness of the soil around this plant. So this explains why I can't grow capcicum. I kept watering it and so it usually dies before it ever matures.
Asparagus Plant is not What We Eat
I was so amazed with how asparagus looked like and can’t believe that the plant itself does not even resemble the asparagus we buy in the markets because the asparagus sold in the markets are the sprouts of the mother plant. The asparagus sprouts that are tender and so nice to our bite do not even resemble the mother plant at all.
Healthy Lettuce Growing Vertically
Lettuce, Very Easy To Grow
I also learned how easy it is to plant and maintain lettuce of different varieties. This inspired me to grow my own lettuce plant using the same vertical planting techniques I learned from Mr. Roger Mendoza.
Vertical planting makes use of bamboos and recycled plastic bottles. The lettuce were planted in those recycled bottles and bamboos and were artistically placed in an improvised wooden racks. It looks so neat and the plants were really growing well so that you could not believe that they could thrive even when just potted and with not much soil. Well the secrets are compost and water with no chlorine. Lettuce grows well with or without much sunshine according to Mr. Roger.
Difference Between Gynura and Ashitaba Plants
I also saw lots of healthy gynura plants here. Gynura has been very famous lately due to its medicinal benefits. From Mr. Roger himself, I have confirmed that unlike the wrong notion of many people Gynura is different from Ashitaba plants which unfortunately is not found in this garden. Anyway, Mr. Roger said that if we could munch and put in our salad the medicinal gynura leaves, the ashitaba leaves have strong bitter taste that is very hard to tolerate.
The Plants are Growing Very Well Even Without Chemical Fertilzer
We were amazed to see various medicinal plants, herbs and spices planted in this place. The likes of spearmint, basil, tarragon, parsely, garlic, pandan, onion , pepper, and many more vegetables are growing very well in such a natural kind of caring and environment.
Many of the plants were fruiting and I wish I could take them home especially the capcicums and herbs that are great for pasta but unfortunately they don’t sell the fruits because they are all for demonstration only to interested visitors.
A Gratifying Visit We Will Never Forget
Indeed we learned a lot from Mr. Roger so we enjoyed the place even more which by itself is truly cool and relaxing. We really appreciated Mr. Roger and would have wanted to tip him as a token of gratitude but he politely refused. He said that it is his job and he is being paid for that so we need not pay him for the services rendered. He was such a gracious and honest man. We certainly enjoyed not just the plant but Mr. Roger Mendoza’s hospitality.
When it was time for us to go home, we felt worried because this means we had to pass through again the crooked road but it was a good thing that we we were given a hint to try pursue another road which is under construction. Well this is better and wider and at the end of the road we saw it was leading us to the main road. Hurray! Next time we visit Greens and Patches again, we know already the easy road to this piece of paradise.
More Photos from Nuvali Greens and Patches
celso s.salazar on June 20, 2020:
Love to visit the place.this is a must for everyone.tnx to the writer and of course to the unique personality of roger mendoza.cant wait to see the site.
Greenlily (author) from Philippines on April 23, 2014:
Hi! I have just heard about chia so I was unable to ask Mr. Roger. What is chia is it a tree?
LongTimeMother from Australia on April 23, 2014:
Hello, greenlily. this is an awesome hub! I greatly enjoyed it!
I have been approached by someone who is involved in rebuilding after the recent Haiyan Typhoon that devastated a big part of the Middle Philippines. I was asked if I could fly over and give some advice about growing chia.
Do you know if Roger Mendoza is growing chia at his farm? I am happy to donate chia seeds to the project of planting for victims of the typhoon, but I cannot get to the Philippines just now. Perhaps Mr Mendoza could give some local knowledge, to add to mine from Australia.
Did you see chia plants at the farm?