Friends of AANI Visit Dioko Ecotourism Park

Virgilio Dioko (center), resident farm manager, showing the Butternut tree to the visitors.

More than 40 farming enthusiasts, all coming from Friends of AANI, got a lot of practical farming and gardening ideas at the Ecoroutism Park of the Dioko Farm Resort in Brgy. San Joaquin in San Pablo City, Laguna.
Resident farm manager Virgilio Dioko and Christopher D. Briones, in charge of the Ecotourism Park, welcomed the visitors who came from different parts of the country on Sunday, June 25, 2017.

Christopher D. Briones, in charge of the Eco Park, welcoming the AANI farm visitors.
Virgilio Dioko explained to the visitors the virtues of stingless bees which are showcased right at the entrance of the Eco Park. He said that they are friendly bees that produce their own kind of special honey and at the same time they are efficient in pollinating the fruit trees and the fruiting vegetables like cucumber, tomato, eggplant and others.

Christopher D. Briones, explaining how they produce organic fertilizer through vermiculture.

Christopher Briones, on the other hand, explained to the visitors an improved technique of harvesting earthworms for vermicomposting. He said that after two months from the time the earthworms are introduced in the vermicomposting bin, the substrate that the earthworms eat shall have been fully decomposed. By that time there would be no more feed for the worms so that they have to be harvested by putting the composted material with the worms in a wire screen. The worms are then harvested by shaking the wire screen.

Christopher said that the technique stresses the worms. The new technique being practiced at the Dioko Eco Park is to put new feed in onion net bags atop the vermibin. Two bags may be placed near the two ends of the bin and another at the middle. The hungry worms will then go to the onion bags to feed on the new substrate. The worms are then easily harvested without stressing them

Virgilio Dioko explaining how they produce mushroom inside the greenhouse.

The Ecotourism Park produces its own organic fertilizer for its various crops by vermicomposting. One greenhouse is devoted to vermicomposting where concrete bins measuring 2 meters by 4 meters are maintained. Every two months, they can harvest from one bin 20 sacks (50 kg each) of vermicompost and 20 to 30 kilos of worms which fetch P600 per kilo.

The overhead bridge going to The Eco Park.

Each bin is provided with 1000 kilos of feed or substrate and 10 kilos of worms. The feed consists of 50% shredded banana stalks, 20% kakawate leaves, 25% spent mushroom fruiting bags and 5% garden soil. These have to be pre-decomposed for two weeks before putting them in the vermicomposting bins and then putting the worms.

The farm visitors also learned a lot about growing lowland strawberry, Apple melon, lettuce in hydroponics as well as in the open field. They also enjoyed getting ideas about mushroom growing, dragon fruit, various fruit trees and butterfly culture. They also enjoyed the healthy coconut-based dishes, lechon, mushroom dinugoan, and dragon fruit and others served for lunch.

More than 40 Friends of AANI joined the farm visit to the Dioko Farm Resort that included former newsman Jake Espino and daughter Tina.
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