Soak in the abundant
organic farm paradise
that we are creating here
1km easy walk to the sea,
in the middle of Luzon,
just a simple bus trip
north of Manila.
The best way to be with us
is to join us on one of
‘Create The Life You Want’ courses.
How To Visit Happy House Organic Farm
Come as an organic farm stay guest. Come for the weekend (min 2 nights) or longer. Bring your family, help out and enjoy nature in a kiddy friendly environment.
Come as a casual work exchange volunteer guest - min stay 7 nights. There’s a nominal contribution of 500 pesos per person per night to cover accommodation and food.
Come for one of our regular weekend trainings: Create The Life You Want courses – enjoy nature – stay at the farm or in a local resort hotel – inclusive of all meals
View From The Sky In Summer
SOME RECENT PHOTOS
Organic Farm Philippines
At the Happy House organic farm we have a standing joke when we dig the soil. We tell everyone that we are digging for gold and we have recently found a lot of gold, but it’s all brown!
Literally the soil is a farmers gold. And if a farmer does not care for the soil it cannot care for him/her. Soil health is everything on an organic farm so at the Happy House Farm we invest a lot of energy rebuilding soil fertility and micro-nutrients. We mainly use vermiculture along with traditional organic compost making to increase the soil fertility.
Many people – including conventional farmers, often think that organic farming is more labour intensive. And while some aspects of organic farming are more work, such as weeding, overall when sustainable modern best-practice techniques are used, such as mulching, no-plough, cover-cropping, crop rotation, vermiculture and permaculture, then the workload can be reduced in many cases.
Organic farming adds value in so many ways. While the Philippines is still a developing economy it is the perfect time to convert over to organic farming. In the USA, Australasia and Europe organic food is sold for a high premium price and it has a large consumer base. And while labour costs are still very low in the Philippines now is the time to convert and gain an edge in the market space by being an early adopter.
Most farmers in the Philippines live at a subsistence level. While they are often much better off than many city dwelling folk, they have a hard life. Living in simple homes close to nature with little material comfort may sound romantic but the reality is quite different. Having extra income from organic product sales which can sometimes be as much as 50% more than conventional products, can make a big difference in the farmers lives. The extra income can allow them to educate their children, have a few more material comforts all-the-while being able to eat their own organic foods grown without poison sprays and artificial fertilizers that destroy the soil along with their long-term livelihood.
The future of organic farming in the Philippines is likely to be a strong one as long as organic certification is in place.
Fortunately there have been some strong thinkers in the government and an act from 2010 (Organic Act of 2010 10068) has been created that will take effect from 2015 whereby organic products can only be labelled as such if they are certified organic.
Organic certification has strong barriers to entry – financial and administrative – so only focused professional farms will become certified giving consumers here and abroad strong certainty about the organic status and the professionalism behind the people and companies growing and marketing organic foods.
This consumer-backed confidence will allow Philippine farmers to leverage on the cheap and abundant labour supply here in the Philippines while being able to gain extra profit margins from an industry that by and large is undervalued.
Of course strong barriers to entry will affect small organic farmers. This will be inevitable, but as with all major positive changes, a way forward will be created so that the small farm holders can still sell organic vegetables and products. One way forward could be from government grants. The Philippine government is becoming pro-organic so the 2010 Act will slow the organic farming industry down unless the government also intervenes and makes it possible for the every-day organic farmer to become certified.
One thing for sure though is that farmers who have been practicing organics for a number of years will have a distinct competitive advantage in the future because it can take up to three years to gain full certification.
If a farm wants to convert over from conventional agriculture it has to go through a conversion period before it can receive full organic certification status. Additionally it takes about two years for soil to start recovering and become fertile enough to sustain organic agriculture. Soil subjected to pesticide and chemical fertiliser is very ‘weak’ with low microbe count and little or no worm activity.
At the Happy House Organic farm we did not plant a crop in our fields for one and a half years. We allowed the weeds to grow and let nature to take over. Last summer when all our neigbours’ land was bare and barren, our property was green and lush, with all the untethered local goats roaming by to enjoy the feast!
Organics may seem like a fad to some, and yet my grandfather who died in the late 70′s in England, never would have considered adding anything to his vegi garden soil unless it had come from the soil. My grandfather was a drinker and smoker so did not care for his body that much, but he somehow knew to care for the soil.
Organics is nothing new – if anything it’s a retro-fit of ideas that were prominent just a few years ago. But these days organics comes with an increase in consciousness – bringing with its wave, an awareness that everything is connected – the soil – the planet – us!
“What we give to the soil, the soil gives to us”
Just as we are what we eat – literally – cell for cell – so the soil is what we put into it and how we treat it.
Soil is Gold – literally – it’s the most valuable thing we have on this planet after water. And while water is a simple molecule that can be manufactured easily, soil cannot. Soil is a precious mix of so many elements and only nature really knows how to get the mix right.
Soil is not just organic material, it is also potential energy. Harm this intricate and delicate energy balance, and even if the mineral balance is perfect, life will not thrive. Soil reacts to our consciousness – to our thoughts – just like plants do. This is because soil is living – it’s so alive.
It is wise to protect the aliveness of our soils so that we can continue to thrive as humble occupants of this delicate planet we live on.
Take care of the soil!
Useful Organic Farm Links
Where Happy House Organic Farm Is Located In Philippines
Recent Comments From Our Organic Farm Work Exchange Volunteers
My time was limited so my stay was only a week with David and Carol at their special Happy House organic farm in La Union, northern Philippines and yet it was such a great experience that I took so much from.
They’re a hugely welcoming family and wider community in a beautiful home nested in a beautiful valley on top of the hill overlooking the Ocean. They have a strong grasp of what it really takes to live naturally and organically, are a basket-full of meaningful knowledge and ideas that they love sharing with the guests that come to stay.
Thanks guys, would genuinely love to come back and next time I will stay longer. Lee
We loved our 8 day stay at the Happy House Farm. David works so hard to revitalise the land and stabalise the organic property and he’s really knowledgeable about organic farming practices giving us useful feedback as we worked, letting us know how we can do things easier and faster, but in the end he let us know when we got it right.
Carol is an amazing host and a pure genius in the kitchen making up her own recipes and creating great meals. She is so kind, and knows a lot about the surrounding area around the farm seeing she grew up in a small farming village just 20km away. We learned so much fro Carol. She shared her recipes with us too and we are eager to try them out soon!
Little Kyra, David and Carol’s under 2 year old daughter, was the cherry on the top for our visit. She’s such a happy-go-lucky, caring and kind child and of course a massive bundle of energy – we really enjoyed our time with her.
David, Carol, and Kyra made us feel like family from our very first night at the Happy House. Even though at times the work was hard it was meaningful and diverse, and never boring. We definitely recommend this experience to other travellers!
We are wait to come back in the future and we will be excited to see just how much the farm has changed
Thanks again for everything!!
The Happy House Farm was a wonderful experience for me and although I only stayed 1 week, but it was still action packed!
We had a different project to do each day and within the week we got all the things on our to-do-list completed successfully.
This family is so accommodating! They are very kind and have great plans for the upcoming future.
David will provide plenty of insight into farming and energy while Carol is a lovely warm woman and a super amazing cook. Kyra their young daughter, is such a joyful bundle of life.
Be prepared to work hard and enjoy the feeling of a great sense of accomplishment at the end of the day as a result. It was also really great to interact and connect with other locals in the area and get to visit the local market place in Rosario. I do hope to return one day soon.