Friday, December 31, 2010

Thankful For 2010....Looking Forward To 2011

These past days, I had been composing in my mind how to post for my year ending blog.  I  can just think of blessings.  Am sure I had my share of trials, but those are learning expeditions for future realizations.

For Sunshine Chicken, I can't ask for more.  Only on our 3rd year for the dressed chicken market, we got a lot of media mileage for 2010.  How many TV shows featured us?  At least six (6).  Mag Agri tayo featured us twice this year.  I have to look at their support and of course to Mr. Zac Sarian, Editor for Agriculture of Manila Bulletin, who is always documenting our moves in the pastured, free range chicken industry. Both of them had been covering our transition from colored to white.  The last segment we had in December 25 with Mag Agri tayo will be followed up soon by a TV shoot again next week.  That show got a lot of good reviews and feedback.  Mr. Sarian just wrote about us last week and will follow up in the January issues of Agriculture Magazine and Panorama.

As for our sales for dressed Sunshine Chicken?  Take it from the cue that we are always loading dayold chicks :)

Just as I was composing in my mind how to "Thank" 2010 and everyone...I got a call informing me that Bobby Inocencio passed away while vacationing in Dumaguete.  Bobby is the Father of Free Range Chicken industry in the Philippines.  He reintroduced and opened our eyes again to how chickens should be raised, not just for backyard, but for commercial too. Solraya Enterprises as that time was just into distributing of dayold chicks for Bobby's Teresa Farm.  I may not agree with his business styles, but after we stopped doing business, we maintained friendship.  Later on, when we started importing and selling chicks, roles were reversed and he bought our Sunshine chicks and sold them the the clients who trusted and just wanted to buy from Bobby :)  That is one thing that remained, and SASSO of France knows that...that triangle of work and respect remained between SASSO of France, Bobby of Teresa Farm and Solraya Enterprises.  I had to let France know right away about Bobby's passing away....even before I remembered to call Bobby's UP College barkada (we had common friends).

There will be no Sunshine Chicken if there was no Bobby Inocencio.  We have no unfinished business together and he knew we were friends even after the business deals were over.  Last contact was to greet each other for Christmas.

Thank you to all for the joys and blessings shared.  If we shared trials....that is it...just trials to see how we deal with all of these :)

Friday, December 24, 2010


First we had a small microwaveable container with some Azolla, compliments of Edel.

We were so excited as we saw it multiply in a plastic pond.  Next we transferred to a small netted area in one of the ponds.  Oh boy, do they love the sun, the space and the indigenous microorganisms lurking around them.  You can't stop them from coughing themselves around...maybe by the second!
Azolla, as alternative feeds
We harvest a lot of Azolla to feed the three (3) batches of Sunshine Chicken we now have in the farm.  They are fed pails and pails of it daily....the pond just gets thicker with Azolla :)  You feel you have to harvest more to give more space to them to multiply.
All ages love Azolla, this batch was tested from almost day1 and the chicks were really excited every time it is offered to them
This batch is next in line for harvest.  While most opt to play outside, some prefer to wait for their meals in pen.
Very good as alternative feeds.  Now that we are so into natural farming, we threw some Azolla in our Pangasius and Tilapia ponds.  If only you can see the video, the ponds are in constant movement.  The fishes just love eating Azolla.  Now, can you understand why food on our tables taste good? :)
Now we need trolleys to transport the pails of Azolla to the different pens.  Cut down feeds, cut down manual labor...welcome problems to natural farming :)

We saw some floating in the water way on the road.  We had to get them even if we had a lot already.  Why?  We can't allow the farmer next to them spray it with herbicide!  It was a gift to us, so let us natural farmers take care of it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lessons Reiterated

Chickenful and lessons learned and re-echoed this weekend.

Saturday, Dec 18:

1) It was Doc Rey who was supposed to do the seminar on "Raising Pastured Chickens in the City" at Mercato Centrale, but after I was at the the newest weekend market for three (3) weekends now, the people there won't have the space nor the time to grow their own.  So, I was tasked to talk on the "Benefits of Eating Healthy Pastured Chicken".  Get to know your market.

2) As I was on the way to the talk tent, I saw Jhoey of Pinoy Organics speaking to a Chef who was going to do a cooking demo next day, Sunday.  As I went by them, I recognized Chef Rupert Carandang, son of one of my best friends Mary Massab (remember Miss Magnolia and Iskul Bukol?) and Nelson Carandang.  He said he was going to listen to me.   Support friends and family.

3) There was no space for the projector screen as we were going to make do
with the back of a used tarpaulin as screen.  Didn't work. The projector wasn't showing the images well as we were practically outdoors.  After Doc Rey said "the show must go on",  Jhoey of Pinoy Organics decided we do an interview type of presentation wherein she decided to ask me FAQs and I give the replies, addressed to the audience.  Worked perfect as FAQs are just it, the "frequently asked questions".  Be prepared for anything and make do with situations. 

4) After the talk, he decided he wanted to use Sunshine Chicken for his demo.  We  had good conversation about his preferences for cooking.  I later encouraged his parents to watch the demo.  Common denominators are set by friends and family.

5)  Right after Mercato Centrale, I hied of to catch up with a meeting.  Majority votes should be respected.

6) Christmas party....Important to walk up to new faces to make them feel welcome.

Sunday, Dec 19:

1) Chef Rupert asked me if I wanted to do selling and distribute my flyers during his cooking demo using Sunshine Chicken.  I said "Oh no"!  I didn't want to take away the moment from Chef Rupert.  Besides, the activity was a cooking demo and not product selling.  When you give something, there should be no expectations of returns. 

I appreciate the thought from Chef Rupert, but no thank you.

2) Chef Myke Sarthou was also a surprise cooking demonstrator too.  I am not normally there on Sundays so we weren't able to plan together.  He still managed to use my Liver Pate that he makes for Sunshine Chicken :)  Friends work great together.

3) The Mercato Centrale's comfortable surroundings are so conjusive to talking.  I went extra miles to learn more from others and needs to spread natural farming.  Plan through the eyes of others, as your needs have been met already and may not be applicable to the newbies :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Red Combs

 From afar, they look like Cherries topping Vanilla Ice Cream.  Hmmmmm, I shouldn't blog when I am craving for sweets :)

The red combs are a sign of good health.   Be conscious about them as it tells you if they are sick.

But what are combs for really?

Gamefowls who's combs had been cut off look smart and handsome.  Notice how gamefowls pant after a few flights shuffles?  Maybe you think they are like Manny Pacquiao who can withstand 12rounds.  Yes, they can because they are loaded with boosters :)  But take a look at the clean chicken who hasn't been subjected to boosters, they tire easily after their combs had been cut off.

Chickens don't perspire and the combs act as their radiator and cooling system.  That plays a good role during summer. 

Take Time for IFEX 2011

Calendar May 12-14 2011 for next year's IFEX Philippines.

This is one food trade show I really enjoy and look forward to.  Like last year, we will be exhibiting side by side with Alaminos Goat Farm in the retail area.

See you there.  Remember May 12-14.

Dec 18, at AANI St Vincent

Doc Rey will conduct a seminar on Raising Pastured Chickens, at 4pm at the AANI St Vincent Seminary, along Tandang Sora, QC.

If you are interested to learning from a technical person/farmer, you will enjoy his style of teaching.

Sand Bathing

We were busy documenting the new Sunshine Chicken, so we can spread the idea that we can all do it at a much cheaper way.

They displayed all the characteristics we though was absent in the whites. Of course it was absent because the commercial poultry technology doesn't allow them to live naturally.

I was so jumpy seeing them sand bathing!  We are editing the was captured well.  It was so vivid because they were white, you can see the clouds of dust fall on their on white :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

White Chickens Now Pastured

This must be the longest time I hadn't blogged!  I missed it so muchhhhhhhhhhhh.

Not that I wanted to take a, I longed to be in touch.  Just that my old laptop acted up a lot.  Cried to be changed.  Not only that, my softwares said they have expired.  Whatever that meant, maybe I knew I just had to reinstall but I closed my eyes so I can buy a new toy :) So, I stuck to just browsing and FB for about 2weeks.  I deliberated as after getting his and hers IPads, I saw the beauty of  the bitten Apple.  Do I get a Mac?  That means having to learn and TRANSFER files aarrggghhhhh.

Meantime, I kept busy with planning our paths for 2011, and talking and meeting up with groups who can't believe that is was possible.

How can I blog now?  You guess it right!  I got myself a new toy.  Learned to save the monumental thing to do is get my power point working.  Tried but failed transfer.  Will try after I get more confidence with her :)

Aside from so happy to be able to blog today...another pleasant gift today was THIS!

Mr. Zac Sarian had been with us since we started experimenting with pasturing the white broilers since we started in April.  Actually he already wrote teasers on them, not naming us...just saying his lady friend :)

Last week he said it was ripe to be introduced to the agriculture industry, although we had been harvesting the whites already and have actually gotten good reviews.  Clients haven't noticed the difference until we ask for feedback since we knew what batch of harvests were colored or white.  After finding in themselves the difference...if was for the better as far as Filipino tastebuds were concerned.

Filipinos like their soups yellow, rounded body chickens, meaty but tender compared to the colored....we got that with the pastured whites.

Short Talk, Raising Chickens In The City

Timely that after I had been invited on the book launching for Flor Tarriela's natural gardening "The Secret Is In The Soil", Jhoey of Pinoy Organics asks us to do a short talk on "Raising Free Range Chicken In The City".

Actually, we can't free range, in the real sense of the word, in the city...but let me get to that on Saturday, December 18, 10am, at Mercato Centrale @ BGC. 

Mercato Centrale @ BGC is the newest organic market in Metro Manila.  Not just fresh produce, it is really a foodies' haven too...and in air conditioned comfort.

Yes, just short talk for city dwellers.  We will touch on basics on raising and the benefits of eating healthy :)  

The Secret Is In The Soil

Flor Tarriela had been excitedly talking about this book....a child's and beginner's guide to natural gardening...makes them graduate to natural farming :)

Delays were blessings, because it allowed her to create the team to bring out he book she really envisioned it to be.

I am not into socials, more when I go alone.  But Flor took time out to invite and I knew how excited she was with this project.  I had to go.  Went early to make sure I can position myself when there aren't many there yet.  

Glad I did, as everyone was pleasant.  Most were relatives and family friends and they made the others like me feel at ease.  Name tags were used and when some asked me what I did....surprise...some were customers of ours already for the Sunshine Chicken!

Relief, I saw common faces: Tere, Dante and Sec Alcala of the Department of Agriculture.

The star of the night though, was really the book. 
Today I had the luxury of time to go over it.  Really a nice read for a farmer and getting to review what is elementary.  You can't get there without going through the basics :)

A Naturella Farm Store has this available for pick up at our QC address at PHP300, or we may send to you by LBC for a total of PHP550.  This will be  nice present this Season.