OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms

OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms
OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms
Inna Chan, a hotel and restaurant services student in Pilar, Sorsogon, is an on-the-job trainee at the Costales Nature Farms. She is posing with a fruiting Vietnam pomelo planted in a half drum.

At any given time about 30 to 40 students in agriculture, agritourism and hotel and restaurant management are undergoing on-the-job training (OJT) at the Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, Laguna where they produce organic crops, pigs, poultry meat and eggs. The farm has also started raising Murrah buffalo for milking.

Last May 14, 2016, we had occasion to talk to the students to find out about the things they are learning from the program which is a requirement by the schools. Most of the participants are students in their senior year, majority of which are female. They come from state universities and colleges of agriculture and technology in different parts of the country. During our visit, the students came from Eastern Samar, Legazpi City and Sorsogon in Bicol, and from Mindoro Oriental.

OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms
On-the-job trainees (OJTs) help in cleaning, sorting and packing vegetables before they are shipped to the market.

As OJT students, they work in different sections in the farm for a total of 200 to 300 hours. They donโ€™t get any pay for working in the farm and they also pay for their food and lodging. But then they get first-hand experience in organic farming. The know-how they acquire is something they can make good use of throughout their lives.

OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms
The OJTs at the nursery section of Costales Nature Farms.

Lorie Ann Gutierrez, a 22-year-old agriculture student from the Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology, said she has learned a lot that has not been taught in their school. She was first assigned to the seedling nursery where she has learned to germinate lettuce seeds in seedling trays. They mix equal parts of carbonized rice hull (CRH) and vermicompost for germinating the seeds in plastic trays with 105 holes.

Why use the tray and the CRH and vermicompost? We asked. Well, she said that is the new technique of producing healthy seedlings. The seedlings easily take root in the germinating medium and the roots are not disturbed when the seedlings are transplanted to the planting beds. Well and good. In one day she could seed about 15 trays, including preparation of the potting mix.

OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms
Jean Ambrosio, a tourism management student from Bicol, poses with a fruiting chico grown in a half drum. The tree is an attraction to visitors at Costales Nature Farms.

Others are assigned to farm animals. One of them is Cherryel Alarbo of Pili, Camarines Norte, a student of Central Bicol State University of Agriculture. We found her feeding the rabbits with tender leaves of Indigofera, a nutritious small forage tree that is also the favorite of goats.

OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms
Cherryel Alarba of Central Bicol State University of Agriculture, feeds the rabbits with Indigofera leaves.
OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms
Madre de Agua, a highly nutritious forage crop relished by pigs and chickens, grows luxuriantly at the Costales Nature Farms.

In the process, the students learn about the recommended forage crops for livestock and poultry. These include the Madre de Agua from South America which apparently loves the rich soil and mild climate at the Costales farm. The pigs and chickens relish the chopped leaves of the Madre de Agua.

OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms
Murrah buffalos love to eat the Super Napier or Pakchong !. Here, Ronald Costales is feeding his buffalos with Super Napier.

We asked another student if the Madre de Agua is also well-liked by the Murrah buffalos. No sir, he said. The buffalos like the Super Napier or Pakchong 1 better. You just cut the grass and take the same to the corral where the animals are confined. He also told us how to multiply the fast-growing napier by means of three-node cuttings.

OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms
Reden Costales (extreme left), president of Costales Nature Farms, confers with the students from Mindoro.

The students also undergo training on growing crops in the open field as well as in greenhouses, postharvest techniques in vegetables (cleaning, sorting and packing), making organic fertilizer, formulating fermented feeds for pigs and poultry, guiding tourists around the farm, preparing food in the kitchen (especially salads that are served to visitors) and many other things.

OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms
Group photo of the OJTs at the Costales Nature Farms, May 12, 2016.
OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms
An OJT trainee on the job at the kitchen peeling and slicing carrots.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

One thought on “OJTs Learn A Lot At Costales Nature Farms

  1. It’s good to see students learning something about AGRICULTURE. It is the UTMOST factor that the nomads became settlers thousand years ago. -Maria Fattoria Farm

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.