Discover Your self within the Cordilleras: The Farm Tourism Circuit of Benguet and Mountain Province
The Farm Tourism Circuit of Benguet and Mountain Province
H.The Cordilleras region is rich in picturesque highland landscapes and offers an abundance of wonders. From its cool year-round weather to its majestic nature, fascinating culture, and delicious local cuisine, one all-too-well-known feature of the region is now gaining much-needed attention. These are the fruit and vegetable farms of Benguet and the Mountain Province.
Bauko Bergprovinz Agrotourism
On the intertwining mountains of the two provinces are colorful fields of blooming flowers, lush green vegetables and seasonal fruits that best reflect the ingenuity and hard work of the Cordillera farmers.
As the growing trend towards choosing healthier food options like farm-to-table increases, by visiting these farms we can also show gratitude to our farmers by including their livelihoods as an essential element of the tourism industry.
Here are some farming communities you can visit to plan your farm hopping trip to Benguet and the Mountain Province.
Northern flower farm in Atok, Benguet
This 3 acre farm, stretching over the scenic mountainside of Atok, Benguet, is a great place to enjoy the vast landscape of colorful flowers that bloom all year round. A variety of flowers of different species such as matthiola, rice flowers, delphinium, snapdragons, cabbage roses and more are harvested here and reach the many flower shops from Metro Manila to Mindanao.
Owned by Ms. Melany Ganayan and her husband, Northern Blossom Flower Farm has recognized her status as the “rock star of all flower farms” and welcomed visitors who stopped by to snap a few photos, pick and buy flowers.
There are now some host families close to the farm, while there is a small café in the farm which offers a wide view of the farm and the Cordillera mountain ranges. You can even see the top of the mountain. Pulag and Mt. Timbak on a clear day – opening soon.
Buguias Benguet Farm – The Farm Tourism Circuit of Benguet and the Mountain Province
The city of Buguias is said to be one of the best vegetable producers in the country and 80% of the city’s more than 40,000 inhabitants are farmers. Farms that stretch across the town’s mountains and plains are covered in lush vegetation made up of almost every vegetable you can name.
From chopsuey ingredients (potatoes, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, pechay, etc.) to beans, eggplant, okra, sayote, and even strawberries, you can visit the vegetable farms here and fill a truck with fresh produce with ease.
Other places of interest in Buguias include the Veteran Memorial Marker, which marks the liberation of the city from the Japanese Imperial Army on July 27, 1945, and the 66th World War II Infantry Shrine along the Halsema Highway. The town of Buguias is also home to a 12th century burial site, which includes the mummified remains of Apo Anno, who was believed to have been originally buried in the 16th century.
Another farm easily accessible by Benguet standards are the vegetable farms in Paoay, Benguet. In addition to buying fresh produce and various succulent and snake plants from the farmers, you can walk to the nearby Bosleng Lourdes grotto, which is sheltered under a huge boulder on a stony summit, surrounded by vegetable plantations.
There is a protruding rock near the grotto that offers a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains and, on a good day, a sea of clouds.
Bauko, mountain province
Agritourism in the mountain province of BaukoStrawberry farm in the mining province of Bauko Potato harvest – mountain province Bauko Potatoes in Bauko
The neighboring province of Benguet, the mountain province, is also dotted with lush vegetable and fruit farms. At over 400 meters above sea level, the topography of the mountains in this part of the Cordilleras is perfect for planting and harvesting fresh crops. In the town of Bauko, one can visit farm after farm, from potato farms to salad farms to strawberries, kale and pepper, to name a few.
This is also an idyllic place to learn more about farming from the local farmers themselves, as they are very friendly and accommodating in answering all of your questions about their own growing techniques. Plus, you can always buy a few pounds of freshly harvested agricultural goods from them afterwards.
Tadian, Mountain Province
The mother farmers in TadianTurmeric tea from Tadian
Half an hour from Bauko, in the town of Tadian, is another lush farm, but this time it is loaded with turmeric and ginger plants that farmers – mostly from local mothers – harvest to make ginger and turmeric tea. With the help of a social enterprise called Local Goodness PH, farmers here are now planting and harvesting increased production of turmeric and ginger as they can now market them directly to consumers in Metro Manila.
“Today, after the local goodness started taking orders, we were motivated to keep growing turmeric and ginger. Turmeric farming is not easy because it takes almost a year to cultivate. With the help of the local goodness we can’t stop now, ”said one of the mother farmers Theresa Farnican.
Where to sleep
Haights place in Sakura Park (Benguet)
Currently, Haight’s Place with 4 cabin rooms (which are currently being built for additional rooms) is screaming for the mountain atmosphere one would expect in Benguet. The property is set amid expansive green lawns with flower farms – including a handful of cherry blossom trees that made headlines on social media a few years ago – charming campgrounds, and even a forest path.
This is a perfect place to relax and build a base when exploring Benguet and the nearby mountain provincial farms. The Naguey rice terraces are also visible from this location.
Northern Blossoms Flower Farm
Northern Blossoms Flower Farm
The hotel is just steps from the Northern Blossoms Flower Farm. This simple homestay is the ideal place to stay and literally smell the flowers all the time.
The management is currently building a small cafe on the farm that will offer guests a romantic place to prepare coffee and a hearty breakfast while enjoying the glorious sunrise over the vibrant flower fields.
The instagrammable rock at the Bosleng Lourdes Grotto
How to go around
In this part of the Cordillera, 4×4 jeepneys are the first choice as most roads are uphill. You can easily take a jeepney that goes from Atok to Buguias and the mountain province to the nearest town. However, it would be more convenient if you came here in a private vehicle, probably a powerful pickup truck or van, so that you have extra storage space for the vegetables, fruits, and plants that you will end up buying from the farmers.
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