Words: Janferds Balois / Photos: Jerald Valdez
We’ve reviewed the 2018 Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.2 4×4 already, but for this time around, Ford Philippines invited us to take once again the Ranger Wildtrak out on a road trip to Costales Nature Farms.
The Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.2 4×4 serves as the top shelf variant of the Ranger line-up. It offers class leading safety features, infotainment, and solid driving dynamics. The pick-up truck became a perfect companion for us to take on in this road trip.
A trip to the farm takes on average about three and a half hours from Manila, mainly passing through SLEX, and then through Calamba exit passing through Los Baños, Laguna, and then a couple of hours later, Mount Banahaw drew closer to view, signalling our arrival to Majayjay, Laguna.
Founded in 2005, Costales Nature Farms became the first farm to be accredited by the Department of Tourism to be a premiere agri-tourism destination. The field trip caters to anyone who wants to relax and experience farm life for a day while being away from Manila. The idea was to learn the basics of integrated organic farming and enjoy the amenities of the farm. The farm produces purely organic vegetables, herbs, spices, meat, and poultry, as these are treated or fed with purely organic fertilizer or feed.
To give you an idea on how Costales plays a role in our daily lives, Costales Nature Farms is one of the major suppliers of vegetables and other ingredients to highly sought-after restaurants and resorts, including Shangri-La Hotels, Solaire Resorts and Casino, The Bistro Group, Healthy Option, Cibo, among others.
Upon arriving to the farm, we were briefed for the tour, and our tour started in the harvesting area, showing us how the gourmet quality vegetables and other produce are harvested and prepared for the well-known gourmet restaurants that we’ve probably been to. This part of the tour also includes the medicinal and herbal plants.
The fields and plots for vegetables were also shown to us, with an emphasis on how the plants are grown through organic farming. Fertilizers are naturally sourced from the manures of locally grown pigs and chickens, which are then processed as input fertilizer for the vegetables. No chemicals that can damage the environment are used in the farm.
We were also given a tour of the fishponds where fishes are organically grown with natural fish feed. This also became an opportunity for them to show us the farm’s organic poultry and livestock. These are all fed using organic feeds in order for them to be raised in a healthy and clean manner.
The farm also takes care of a range of rabbits. Do not worry, as these rabbits are not consumed in any way. Instead, their main purpose is to provide manure for the farm’s organic fertilizer.
One of the farm’s highlights is the salad making activity. From harvesting, all the way to its preparation on the table, these steps were carefully instructed to us by the tour guide. They were also able to teach us how to mix and prepare the salad using, as we’ve kept on saying throughout the article, organic ingredients.
We each prepared our own salad and ate our own concoction. While we’re not exactly fond of vegetables, the delicious special salad dressing encouraged us to consume much of what we made. This is complemented by a tasty glass of cucumber juice.
Lastly, Majayjay Falls is only within the farm’s vicinity. Though this is not exactly part of the tour, the tour guide nevertheless recommended us to visit the majestic falls. It’s a three-kilometer trip to the falls, which offered picturesque views and a relaxing solitude from the chaos of Manila. It is located right at the foot of Mount Banahaw, providing clear and fresh water to the community of Majayjay.
And that officially concludes our tour. We would love to stay for longer, as the farm offered a peaceful and fresh sanctuary away from the city. For those who wish to have a tour in the farm, a day tour package starts at P260, while a tour and overnight stay package starts at P1806. Not bad, considering the amenities, and how well prepared the food in the farm are. For more information on Costales Nature Farm, visit their website here.