Located in Pundicion, Sta. Cruz, Angat, Bulacan, a sweet little paradise is slowly making a name in Angat agricultural sector. A haven for lovers of naturally grown rice, fruits, vegetables and herbs, Munting Paraiso ni Yolly Farm occupies merely a hectare of land. Yet, in the recently concluded 4th Regional Agricultural Congress, the farm was the Regional Winner for Small Farmer Achiver category and First Place in Kumikitang Organikong Farm. More organically grown food enthusiasts, organic farmers and students, even from other countries, visit the farm and experience hands on planting and harvesting and have a healthy and fun way of learning farming the natural way.
The Riguer family owns this small and simple organic farm. Looking back, the family had no interest in farming. Their source of income was a small garment business. However, in 2006, Mr. Emerico Riguer was diagnosed with liver disease and gallbladder stones. It was a wake up call that made them realize the value of healthy living, to be conscious of the food they eat, and decided that the more natural and chemical- free food, the better and healthier. It was then that the wife, Mrs. Yolanda Riguer took notice of their small piece of land and started to cultivate and planted few vegetables for the family consumption. She joined the barangay farmers association and started to approach the Municipal Department of Agriculture for ways and means to natural farming. She attended various seminars to gain basic farming skills and knowledge. She received overwhelming support from the Angat local government as well as the Provincial Department of Agriculture to promote organic farming. Just this year, the Agricultural Training Institute granted Munting Paraiso a Learning Site Certificate. Organic Agriculture Seminars are now being conducted in the farm.
After several years of hard work, the farm is now established with active bio diversity in place. There are edible and non-edible flowers that attract good insects and herbs that repel bad insects. Inter-cropping and companion-cropping are very much alive wherein each plant benefits each other. Barrier plants surround the farm to prevent contamination from insecticide sprays from nearby farms. They only use organic soil fertilizers and insecticides from rice hulls, vermicompost, animal wastes and fermented plant scraps. Native and naturally fed pigs and chickens also abound in the farm. The fresh harvests from the farm not just satisfy the family’s needs but they now sell their fresh produce to farm visitors and naturally grown fresh produce shops. They also participate and showcase their produce in various organic fairs and exhibits.
The Riguer family, is now starting to reap the fruits of their sweat and hard work. It was not an easy ride, and they had their shares of bumps and slides, but through self determination and passion, they know they could overcome. They envision the Munting Paraiso ni Yoly to be a certified organic farm in the future and have greater market for organic fresh produce and be a linkage for enterprise. They also dream for Barangay Sta. Cruz to be an organic barangay and lead the Agri-Eco Tourism industry in Angat. Still a long way to go, but with continuous hard work and God’s help and guidance, nothing is impossible.
True to its name, indeed, a little paradise can be found here! To God be the glory!!!