After our overnight visit at the Sebul Farm in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, we drove an hour or so to Koronadal Proper for our second stop – Gernil Farm. I can only wish we could have spent longer time with Sir Gerardo “Boy” Cordero.
Behind GerNil Farm’s unasumming frontage is a well-plotted farming system – rows of three-tier condo-like living arrangements for his farm animals, an impressive coconut plantation, his medicinal products born out of his own grandma’s health challenge, and even his own kidney stone problem, alongside a host of other treasures within this bountiful farmland.
Mr. Gerardo Cordero is a Gawad Saka 2017 Awardee
Sir Boy mentioned that although they were taught from childhood on farming by his father, it was only 11 years ago that they transitioned into organic farming.
GerNil Farm was coined from Sir Gerardo’s name and his beloved wife, Nilda. They initially hoped to use Cordero Farm, until they found out that it’s already taken.
We had loads of fun listening to Sir Boy’s many farming insights. I loved how he finds humor in everything. In the above video clip, specifically at 15:56, he mentioned how different farmers are essentially just “poisoning” each other. A fish farmer will sell his formalin-drunk fish to the vegetable farmer. The next day, the vegetable farmer in return sells his chemical pesticide-laden produce to the fisherman to “retaliate.” Although this was shared in jest, it really is what essentially happens in the real, non-organic farming world. This further emphasizes the need for our country to turn to organic farming.
I had hands down the best Tsokolate tablea drink I’ve ever had at GerNil Farms! Possibly the richest and smoothest tablea drink in the whole world! Yes, it was that good! I had a few servings before I realized I should stop to give space for lunch food. 🙂
Even as I remember from my former farm visits in the past years, farmers, for the most part, really do find the idea of organic farming intimidating, and for a good reason. Chemical pesticide farming has always been the rule of the trade. To go against the flow isn’t always the most convenient path. It’s human nature, regardless if you’re a farmer or not. This is where I have personally gained great respect for our country’s Department of Agriculture, even as the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) champions this cause, assisting farmers from different regions in the Philippines to transition towards organic farming, encouraging farmers to help each other in this department.
I was an instant GerNil Farm fan soonest I saw these posters! I know traditional medicine is backed with all those studied synthetic drugs (which are mostly funded by pharmas, as expected).
A lot of friends and well-meaning folks have talked me against herbal medications and even seeing a naturopathic doctor to monitor my breast nodules. But the Lord has given me peace to choose this protocol, and after that cancer scare when I was 19 years old, 24 years after to be exact, I have not felt healthier in my life, to be completely honest.
Sir Boy’s landing into herbal medicine production, specifically mangosteen, was an offshot of his own struggle with kidney stones back in the day. GerNil Farm sells these Mangosteen Capsules for P3/capsule, made from sundried Mangosteen rinds. They accommodate orders for shipping – a minimum of 10 packets per order. A packet costs P150, containing 50 capsules. My family and I have been taking it since I got home. I am so pleased that even in days that I don’t do Intermittent Fasting (IF), I have zero problems with my bathroom routine, like I would when I normally would when I’m off intermittent fasting. TMI, I know, but that’s as honest as I can get. It’s the one thing that’s hard not to notice. Haha!
Needless to say, I hoarded a handful, but hubby said I should’ve brought more. Yes, he is one of my willing converts. 🙂
My Takeway Recipes from GerNil Farms
Sir Boy also gave us a handful of recipes, including his farm’s signature drink, KaTang-C, which is composed of juice of Kamote Tops, Tanglad and Calamansi. I have been making our own Kamote Tops Juice and Tanglad Juice at home (I add calamansi on both and honey), but never considered mixing both. The taste is distinctly good.
Natural Fertilizer Recipe:
A concoction of 1 tbsp. of Yeast in a liter of non-chorinated water sprayed
Botanical Indigenous Pest Spray Recipe to Ward off Vegetable Pests and Aphids:
- 3 tbsps. of organic laundry powder
- 1 gallon of non-chlorinated water
- Ground chilis
GerNil Farm’s impressive coconut plantation is Mang Boy’s pride, even as he has mastered the production of coconut sap and coco sugar, supplying even well-known brands in Davao.
Coconut sap is collected from the tree, no more than every 5 hours. When you go beyond 5 hours, the liquid is no longer good for coco syrup, but will be made into coconut sugar.
We have been using coconut sugar these past 5 years, and I am downright amazed as I get transported into how this all-natural sweetener is made. My family’s switch to coconut sugar is mostly because of Coco Sugar’s low Glycemic Index (GI) of around 31. Regular table sugar is mostly around GI 56-69, per Healthline.
As with most organic farms I’ve visited, nothing goes to waste. These coconut husks are either turned into floor scrubbers/polishers a.k.a. our old school “bunot,” or firewood alternative (panggatong).
And voila! Sir Boy and his ingenious three-tier condo-like living arrangement for his farm animals. This truly is as sustainable as an organic farm can get.
The animals are situated accordingly so that their manure will go straight to its compost catcher, feeding the African Night Crawlers that will in turn be used to fertilize the farm land! How ingenious can an organic farmer get. Such impressive set up, to say the least.
I have learned a great deal from GerNil Farm, considering our whirlwind visit. Imagine if we have stayed a while longer! I’m sure the very hospitable Sir Boy would have more to share from up his sleeves on his organic farming tips.
Gernil Farm is a Certified School for Practical Agriculture of the Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center (ATI-RTC) XII and is composed of three parcels of #agricultural lands in Bgy. Topland, Koronadal City.
Check out Marriage and Beyond’s Gernil Farm Visit Album on Facebook for more photos. 🙂
Koronadal Proper, South Cotabato City