In Guimaras Island, if you are fond of rare and expensive ornamental plants, you will find them in Neptune Puttman’s Garden Resort in Buenavista town. We were really amazed by the huge Dioon species growing beautifully near the back entrance of the building. Another Dioon species, a Dioon mejiae, is also full-grown with a lot of suckers or pups. It can be a good money-maker because Neptune sells the baby mejiae at P800 each. Other rare plants include the all-white Agave attenuata, variegated bauhinia, palms, carmine red atsuete, flowering and foliage ornamentals. Of course during our stay on October 22, 2019, we enjoyed the good food and the comfortable accommodations.
At the Agriculture College of the Guimaras State College in San Lorenzo, we saw an interesting project of Dean Julius Vergara. This is the massive cloning of indigenous forest trees where juvenile branch tips are being rooted in a misting and rooting chamber. It is a project funded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Dean Vergara has also a showcase on how to make wood vinegar which is a plant growth stimulant and an insect repellent.
Our last stop was the Jem Home Farm in Sibunag, an 8-hectare property operated as a Permaculture Farm by Edmon and Marjorie Mella who are balikbayans from Toronto, Canada. They have 700 mango trees that are 22 years old which gave them 6 tons of organic fruits earlier this year. One major cash crop, however, is oyster mushroom. They make a very filling breakfast of mushroom tapa with kimchi omelette and fried rice that they serve their visitors. They have also come up with mushroom chips packed in very sturdy packaging.
Jem Home Farm is accredited as a learning site for Permaculture farming by the Agriculture Training Institute of the Department of Agriculture. It is also known for its Mud House and other structures constructed with 60% mud (clay), 20% sand, 10% lime and 10% coconut coir. A Mud House with a floor area of 100 square feet with two beds costs just about P35,000, according to Edmon.