We decided to tag along on this trip just to go to the South of Luzon, via the East road from Rizal.
Had a hearty breakfast of the freshest latexless Langka from Teresa Orchard, over muesli and fresh milk.
By 7am, we were off the pleasant drive to Tiaong, Quezon
Getting to the entrance of Earthkeepers, by the roadside, didn't prepare us for the day ahead.
Tere and Armand welcomed us and led us thru a short maze of gift shop, their abode, and the largest building marked "restaurant", all comforted by blankets of ornamental plants.
As you approach the restaurant, you think why the building (you see a wall with windows) is enclosed in net. You walk past the door of the screen and realize there is only one wall and the whole area is enclosed in net. No boundaries, open, great view. The washrooms are also integrated with the garden.
We were served breakfast, that we were treating as brunch. Remember, we already had a hearty, healthy one. Laid on our table: naturally raised pork refried adobo, hard boiled native chicken eggs, fried sinaing na tulingan, tinolang native manok, ensalada, real malagkit suman w/ latik and naturally grown rice with great aroma and fresh taste. We thought it was too much! Wehehehhehe, a second round of pork adobo came out...still wiped out! Perfectly washed down by brewed coffee. We were laughing about a before and after photos of the table.
We went to walk around the nursery of ornamental plants, all naturally grown, no pesticides, no chemicals.
They make much of their farm inputs. They veer away from using the term organic...they call it natural farming.
Then we went to the pig pens. Boy were they glad to see visitors as they knew they will be given leaves to eat...part of the tour, they were like part of the show :) Then nearby the native chickens that gave us eggs.
After talking about Sunshines, they will start raising for their naturally produced restaurant to serve the meat and the eggs.
Tere talks about walking around the premises of Earthkeepers early in the morning and picking from the trellis and vines her breakfast.
They give seminars to interested parties, actually Congressman Alcala sends his people to train there. Tere actually had sore throat that day. Armand is trying to figure out what the cause was..wehehhe and he says he will reproduce that to give her a bad voice when he needs it.
Armand and Tere are a joy to talk to as they are intelligent, open and simple as you can get. No snooty purists here! Pretensions are not in the dictionary they own.
Wait...we were served LUNCH! We were saying no way we can eat more, no space.... I remembered to take the before photo of the buffet. After photo? I was way too busy trying to figure out what went into the pako salad, kinilaw na tangigue, pandan juice, sinigang na balat ng tangigue, tinolang native manok, adobong pata ng naturally raised pork and puso ng saging.
We bade our goodbyes and shook hands. Got to the car and talked about the unexpected day. The great company, new back to basics knowledge, meeting a principled and decided family, gastronimic events twice held....hoping to meet them again real soon.
Raymond Rubia of Daily Dose Farm should have been here.