Lady Doctor Runs A Profitable Organic Farm Right In The Heart Of Bacolod City

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Dr. Anabel V. Salacata showing her lettuce grown in black plastic nursery bags to visitors.

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Dr. Anabel showing newly planted lettuce under net tunnel.


A lady medical doctor is running a profitable organic farm in the heart of Bacolod City in Negros Occidental. Her brothers are growing sugarcane and she has challenged them that her 3,000 square meter organic garden can produce a better return than a one-hectare sugarcane farm.

These days, the sugar industry is facing a lot of challenges and as per our information from sugarcane farmers, a hectare of sugarcane can usually give a net of P20,000 per hectare in a growing cycle or more than a year. That measly return from a hectare of sugarcane is the equivalent of just 100 kilos of lettuce which could be harvested in just over a month from planting.

The lady organic farmer is Dr. Maria Ana Isabel Villanueva-Salacata, more popularly known as Dr. Anabel. She used to practice her profession in the US but had to come back to the Philippines five years ago to take care of her aging mother who is over 90 years old.

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Dr. Anabel and her fruiting lemon.

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Dr. Anabel and floriferous Quisqualis. The flowers are used in her salad as edible flower.

To keep her busy in the company of her mother, she decided to grow salad greens, mostly lettuce, on a 100 square meter portion of their backyard for home consumption. But she produced more than what her family could consume. So she gave the excess as gifts to friends and relatives. And soon people who have learned about her veggies went knocking at her door, wanting to buy her veggies.

That prompted her to expand her garden. Fortunately, there was enough space because her late father raised his fighting cocks on 3,000 square meters behind their home. Thatโ€™s what she developed for her farm she calls โ€œTwenty Six Herb Gardenโ€ which has also become a restaurant serving organic dishes prepared from her own harvest.

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Dr. Anabel and her robust ginger grown in a discarded plastic basin.

What does she have in her garden? She grows a lot of lettuce, both green and colored, because they are very saleable at P200 per kilo. Some are grown in beds on the ground but others are also grown in black plastic nursery bags and placed on raised tables. Dr. Anabel observes that more can be grown in plastic bags than when grown in the ground.

Aside from leafy greens, she also grows eggplant, okra, tomato, camote, peanut, dragon fruit, ginger, lemon grass, turmeric, butterfly pea (Clitorea ternatea), lemon, passion fruit, basil, tarragon and many other herbs she needs in her eatery.
Her place will soon become a learning site that will be accredited by the Agricultural Training Institute. Its accreditation is pending upon completion of facilities for holding seminars.

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Dr. Anabel also raises rabbits for their manure and for their meat.The manure is food for her earthworms while the meat is prepared for her customers in her restaurant.

Dr. Anabel also raises rabbits and native chickens. The manure of her rabbits are excellent feed for her earthworms to produce vermicompost.

Dr. Anabel shared her experiences in growing organic vegetables and other crops at the launching of the Negros Agribiz Kapihan last October 20 in Bacolod City. No doubt she is very proud of what she is doing in her 3,000-square meter organic farm right in the heart of Bacolod City.

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Dr. Anabel shared her experiences in organic farming at the Negros Agribiz Kapihan last October 20 at the Capitol building.

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