A 61-year-old Frenchman who has an unusual profession is a consummate organic farmer growing all kinds of fruit trees in a 15-hectare property in Pililla, Rizal, owned by his Filipino wife. He is Denis Martin, an explosives engineer who is an expert in drilling and blasting hills and mountains for mining and quarry companies.
Denis is a very gentle person, not an “explosive” one. He came to our farm a few days ago to buy fruit bags that he will use to protect his pomelos, mango and other fruits from fruitfly damage. That’s because he does not use any chemical pesticide to spray his fruit trees.
He has planted several varieties of mango from other countries which are much bigger than our carabao mango. He particularly likes the big fruits of the Golden Queen from Taiwan which is not sour when eaten as green mango. He also likes it as a ripe fruit because it is sweet and so fleshy, he can make a lot of jam from just a fruits. Oh yes, he is an expert maker of jams, most of which are sent to his hotel in Coron, Palawan which is managed by a son.
Denis is a generous person. He often shares his harvests with an orphanage in Tanay, Rizal run by an American lady who is married to a Filipino. His fruit farm has been featured in morning TV shows. Aside from mangoes of all kinds, he has avoado, rambutan, longkong lanzones, pomelo, sweet balimbing, imported makopa varieties, atis, guava and many more.
For Denis, growing fruit trees is purely “Pleasure Farming”. It does not really matter whether he makes money or not. What is important is that he simply loves growing fruit trees for home consumption or for sharing the fruits to friends and relatives.